This summer’s San Diego Comic Con saw comic book and cosplay fans flock from all over the world to see and be seen. With over 130,000 people expected each year, San Diego’s Comic Con is one of the biggest in the world, attracting A-List celebrities, nerdy fans and plenty of creative types.
No longer is it considered a bit weird to don fancy dress: Cosplay is all the rage these days, as comic books fans competitively dress up as their favourite movie characters, superheroes or anime personalities – many of the dedicated fans even design and craft their costumes themselves. At Comic Con, you’ll see the typical comic book favourites, but there’s also a range of characters from tv, movies and even books. And if that isn’t radical enough, there are always the mashups combining two favorite fantasy worlds to mix things up a bit. Zombie Disney princesses? Anime Harry Potter? Cosplayers are limited only by their imagination. Here, we’ve picked a selection of the best cosplayers from this year’s San Diego Comic Con for you to enjoy and even oggle (cosplay can get pretty sexy) – perhaps you’ll be inspired to cosplay at the next Comic Con in a city near you!
15. Most Adorable
Adorable girls? Check. Cute dresses and bows? Check. Hello Kitty? Check, check, and check. These girls all have one thing in common… They love Hello Kitty. So much so that they’ve dedicated their saccharine costumes to the sweet little cartoon feline.
14. Sexiest Brothers
Thor and Loki may be rivals in the movies, but at Comic Con it’s all fun and games for these two Gods. From what we can tell, it’s nothing but brotherly love between these two hunky cosplayers.
13. Best Cartoon Character Brought to Life
The Simpsons have been around for what seems like forever, and they’ve built up a pretty large fan base over the years. But never have we seen Marge Simpson looking so… life-like. It’s hard to imagine a cartoon character brought to life, but these women nailed it. Her hair, her skin tone, everything about their costume just feels cartoonish, which in this case is very high praise indeed.
12. Best Robot
The Transformers may not be cinematic genius, but fans seem to love the simple formula of explosions + robots. And Bumblebee has to be one of the coolest characters, right? Okay, after Optimus Prime. This guy’s costume couldn’t have been easy to assemble, and for that, he gets mad props.
11. Best Disney Princesses
Sure, a lot of girls dream about dressing up as princesses, and you’ll see a lot of Disney princesses walking around Comic Con, but these girls aren’t like the others. They were probably the ones decapitating their Barbie dolls at a young age and melting their My Little Pony’s down to make glue. Thanks to them, we may never look at Merida and Alice the same way again.
10. Best Blast From the Past
Who doesn’t remember the classic Disney Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus? Can you believe it’s been 21 years since the movie came out? These three women almost make it seem like it was only yesterday, with their seriously retro Comic Con ensemble. Or maybe the Sanderson sisters have just been resurrected all over again…
9. Best Animal
Walking around all day at Comic Con like this takes some dedication. Unless of course he’s really a horse disguised as half human. I mean, weirder things have shown up at Comic Con so you never know.
8. Sexiest Genderbend
Just because a character is considered male or female doesn’t restrict other genders from getting in on the fun. It isn’t terribly uncommon for cosplayers to genderbend and dress up as the opposite sex and this female Thor looks mighty fine to us. With Marvel promising a female Thor in the near future, this one’s right at the cutting edge of comic book trends.
7. Sexiest Mashup
We’ve seen a mashup already on this list with the zombie princesses, but these fine ladies take two very popular themes (comic book villains and pirates) and combine them seamlessly.
6. Sexiest Men (And Another Genderbend)
Hey, if girls can be all sexy while interpreting male superheroes, why can’t men do the same? After all, girls like a little eye candy too, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t include a few sexy male cosplayers for them to oggle at. Props to the man in the middle props for pulling off Wonderman.
5. Sexiest Superheroes
Yeah, I know we’ve seen a lot of superheroes on this list (superheroes are always big business in the comic world). But if you’re looking for sexy, these two women reveal just enough to take the crown of Sexiest Superheroes.
4. Best Comic Book Villain
The Joker is one of the best Batman villains, hands down. And Heath Ledger’s interpretation of the legendary villain will forever go down in cinema history as being one of the creepiest, darkest versions yet. Thus, we’re used to seeing costumes inspired by Ledger’s Joker but this guy’s re-imagining is impressively nightmarish, too.
Sleepy Hollow has recently brought the Headless Horseman to a new generation of fans. As if the legend isn’t creepy enough, you get guys like this who bring the decapitated ghost to life. We shudder just looking at this one!
2. Most Creative
Some cosplayers take themselves way too seriously, and then you have this guy. Sharknado, which is a huge hit simply because it’s really bad, has taken the world by storm (pardon the pun), and this guy’s Sharknado costume has to be one of the cheesiest, most ridiculous costumes Comic Con has seen in awhile.
1. Best Star Wars Costume
When you think geek culture, Star Wars fandom is one of the first to spring to mind. If not, then obviously you’re a Star Trek fan and that’s cool too… but Captain Kirk costumes don’t hold a candle to this guy’s version of Chewbacca. Chewy towered over everyone else, both literally and physically.