As comic con season winds down, we're taking a look back at the biggest draw of the comic con culture; the costumes. Cosplay - from the term costume play - is a hobby whose popularity has grown exponentially in the last decade. 'Geek' is in, and comic book and gaming conventions are held on a regular basis the world over. Fans get together and dress up as their favorite superheroes, gaming characters or anime personas, resulting in stunning costumes with often incredible attention to detail. Some cosplayers even create their own steampunk costumes, while others genderswap well-known characters in a trend known as 'crossplay'.
Some cosplayers have become celebrities in their own right and gained huge followings thanks in large part to a potentially huge fan reach via social media. Fans of the world’s most popular cosplayers eagerly await the appearances of these cosplay icons at conventions and anticipate upcoming tweets showing off their latest costume creations. Some cosplayers have even gone on to be professional models. Just as female models are more celebrated than their male counterparts in the fashion world, female cosplayers tend to be overwhelmingly more popular than cosplaying men. Of course, the revealing outfits are certainly not the only reason these cosplayers are popular, but it doesn't hurt their popularity either. Is it their good looks, their costuming talents or their original concepts that make these cosplayers so popular? We'll let you decide, as we profile the ten most popular cosplaying girls in the world today.
2 Ginny McQueen
Known as G-Chan in the cosplaying world, Ginny McQueen has been appearing on the cosplay scene since 1998 when she attended Otakon. McQueen is a regular contributor to the geek culture website Fandomania, and her costume creations have been profiled in cosplay magazine Cosmode. She boasts almost 7,000 followers on Twitter and over 6,000 subscribers to her personal YouTube channel.
9. Marie-Claude Bourbonnais
Before she became a professional model, this Blonde French-Canadian bombshell worked as a costume and fashion designer, so the transition to the world of cosplay was seamless. Bourbonnais, with 15.5k Twitter followers, has been cosplaying since 2009, and she has appeared in numerous magazines such as FHM and PlayStation Official Magazine and Elle. She makes her own costumes by hand and sells autographed posters and other assorted 'collectibles' (including an MC Bourbonnais body pillow...) on her personal website.
8. Spiral Cats
One of South Korea’s biggest exports is K-Pop and Spiral Cats is one example of the way South Korea is surpassing the USA as the world’s biggest 'pop' factory. The Spiral Cats are a sort of K-Pop style supergroup, but instead of dancing and singing they create captivating recreations of manga and anime characters. The group is a common site at conventions and gaming expos.
7. Yaya Han
Yaya Han is a frequent judge at cosplay competitions. She discovered cosplaying after attending Anime Expo in 1999, and since then she has created a seemingly endless supply of groundbreaking costume designs. Some have even called her a cosplaying pioneer. Han starred in the Syfy TV show Heroes of Cosplay, and she was a judge of the TBS reality show King of the Nerds.
6. Myrtle Sarrosa
Sarrosa started appearing at cosplay conventions in the Philippines when she was just 14 years old. Sarrosa has won a number of awards for her cosplaying: She won the fourth season of the teen version of Filipino Big Brother and was given the nickname Cosplay Cutie ng Iloilo on the show.
5. Linda Le
Linda Le, who goes often goes by her stage name Vampy, has been cosplaying since she was 12. She is particularly fond of the X-men character Psylocke, and has dressed up as every different version of the character. Le rose to fame when upscale Japanese toy manufacturer Kotobukiya featured some of her cosplay photos in one of its books.
1 Jessica Nigri
She has been modelling since 2012, and cosplaying since 2009. Nigri has the look of Juliet Starling, the lead character in the horror video game Lollipop Chainsaw, down to a tee. She appeared in costume as the chainsaw-wielding, zombie-slaughtering cheerleader at E3 and numerous other gaming conventions. Her over 7,000 followers on Twitter hang on her every move, waiting for her latest cosplay photos.
3. Adrianne Curry
Curry won the first season of America’s Next Top Model, and has posed for numerous magazines such as Stuff, Star, OK!, US Weekly, Maxim and Playboy. She is an avid gamer and has cosplayed as characters from Mortal Kombat. At San Diego Comic Con this year she fought back against an attacker who was sexually assaulting her friend - while dressed as Catwoman.
2. Anna Faith Carlson
Anna Faith and her sister shot to fame in the cosplaying world when they first adopted the identities of Elsa and her sister Anna from the insanely popular Disney film Frozen. 18 year old Anna Faith dresses as Queen Elsa, an incredibly believable and accurate cosplay that has earned her over half a million Instagram followers and almost 40,000 Twitter followers. Her real-life sister Lexie convincingly plays the errant little sis, Princess Anna. The gorgeous Carlson sisters now make a living from cosplaying the Frozen princesses; they're in high demand for their public appearances. It doesn't hurt that she's a stunning natural beauty with a bikini-bod that she's happy to show off when she's not in her princess clothes...
1. Alodia Gosiengfiao
Alodia began cosplaying in 2003 when she was just 15, and now she is the most popular cosplayer in the world. She has had many endorsement deals including health and beauty products, toy and video game companies, and even a clothing line. The Filipino beauty is most well known for dressing as characters from franchises like G.I. Joe, Evangelion, Witchblade and Final Fantasy. Her Facebook page has over 4.5 million likes and she was featured in Morgan Spurlock’s San Diego Comic-Con documentary titled Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope. Gosiengfiao has appeared on the cover of the Filipino version of FHM, and UNO Magazine named her one of the most influential women in the Philippines. The indisputable Cosplay queen currently boasts more than 386,000 Twitter followers.