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CSBG Archive

Committed: My Top Ten Photos of Male Cosplayers

Since I wrote you two columns last week, and this week I have both laryngitis and a sinus infection (aren’t you jealous? ugh…) this week I’m going to give you some fun pictures instead.

Over the years that I’ve been writing my weekly articles, I have also been attending comic book conventions and taking photos of things I find interesting. Naturally, people in costumes are fun to document, not just because I admire their courage, but because I’m also intrigued by the way in which people can explore boundaries of gender and appearance outside of their “normal” role in life. I’ve always felt that part of the appeal of the superhero comic book is this dual identity, and while I don’t choose to explore mine publicly in this way, I still find people in costume fascinating.

You’re probably aware that there has been a bit of a furore over a comic book professional making a public statement yesterday (if not then very briefly it was a about his feelings towards some women in skimpy costumes.) He made me curious and so I took a quick look through my own photos (or at leas the ones I remembered to tag) to see how much nudity there was. It turns out there isn’t much, which says more about my own interests than showing any kind of pattern, since I took the photos and I made sure to take them of things I found noteworthy in some way. Anyway, it occurred to me that you might like to see some of the highlights from the other side of the fence, so to speak, and I’ve put together a top ten of my favorite photos of men in costume at comic book conventions – enjoy!

10. Asian Catwoman Man

He has the greatest pose, chilled out look (perfectly in-character), jaunty mask, and (because he’s considerate) we can see that he’s wearing underwear. Thanks Catwoman Man!

9. Sexy Adventure Time

Or something like that. This was in New York in October, where it was cold, so this was impressive commitment to a fantastically disturbing costume.

8. Sleepy Tron

Fantastic father and son costume, only gets better because his tiny son is soooo sleepy.

7. Darkseid and Superman

These guys took things very seriously, ignoring all the yelling and rain, they just lived out their characters completely.

6. Mostly naked King Hippo

The photo doesn’t really show the full glory of his costume, he only had shorts on so there was even more nudity. And it was such a cold day, I wore a sweater, boots, leather jacket and a wooly hat too! I don’t know how he did it but it is very impressive.

5. Little HULK!

This kid did a great little angry Hulk pose, but the moment that just blew me away was when his dad was helping him get his mask out of his backpack. Just great to see them bonding over enjoying the convention together and taking the whole thing so seriously.

4. Polystyrene Silver Surfer

The man with the golden gun has nothing on this guy. A can of silver paint and a board cut out of expanded polystyrene is all this guy needed to become a focal point at San Diego.

3. Spider-Man needs his friends

I love catching people helping each other with their costumes. It is such a basic moment and I really enjoy the juxtaposition of human vulnerability and care with the image of the strong, independent superhero.

2. Exhausted Jedi

I took this in the last hour of a con. Everyone was exhausted and this Jedi’s posture and face say what we were all feeling in that moment. He looks like he’s just come back from fighting Darth Vader and lost.

1. Baby Yoda

It’s easier to be this happy when someone carries you around a convention all day! Even so, this is the most Yoda-like baby ever, and the smile makes it that much more wonderful. Getting him started this young and in this comfortable a costume seems like a great way to make a convention fun for a tiny kid.

Honorable mention

A great contrast between Superman and these mismatched characters from The Venture Brothers all taking a moment to relax together outside the convention center.

All-in-all a great little collection of socially acceptable insanity! Personally I support people wearing costumes at comic book conventions, I don’t care why they do it, as long as they’re having fun they definitely enhance the atmosphere. Cosplay makes it that much more surreal to step into this world filled with things we like, which is pretty damn magical.


Re: the comic book professional. NAME NAMES, HARRIS!!!!!! (I know who it is, though, but don’t be coy!)

In that last photo, isn’t that Superman … um, you know? YOU KNOW!

I wish I could get such casual pictures of people in costumes. They always jump into poses when I try to take pictures of them. Yours are, not surprisingly, so much better!

That Superman outfit up there with Darkseid is AWESOME. Is that from an Elseworlds I haven’t read, or is that an original design?

Was ,“name names, Harris!” supposed to be a clue, Greg?

Mike: Ha! No, I thought of that afterward. I can’t help the synchronicity!

I was gonna say I don’t wanna look at cosplay pics unless there’s boobs, but then I remembered what some of us male comics fans look like. Then King Hippo (again with that pic!) happened, and my eyes burn worse than when we see pics of Burgas at a convention (HA!).

I know we’re here to talk about the dudes, but my eyes wound up drawn to that Gwen Stacy along with Spider-Man. Isn’t is just awesome and silly how a collection of perfectly normal clothes that she could wear while walking down the street without drawing a second look immediately cause that neuron in your brain to fire that allows you to go “She’s not wearing casual clothes, she’s Gwen Stacy.” Just one of those little things.

Chris, I was going to post about much the same reaction. I was scrolling down and literally did a kind of double-take, thinking “wait a minute, wasn’t that…” and having to scroll back up to check. Best stealth costume, ever.

Though this whole post is great. Fantastic selection, Sonia!

Beautiful pictures, the human and the super/other human. Get well soon!

Travis: But I’m so stylish!

Bob from Accounting

November 15, 2012 at 9:37 am

That Catwoman was far and away the pick of the bunch. Just wonderful.

It’s the accessories that make the Gwen Stacy costume – Pass her on the street alone, you wouldn’t notice. See her with Spiderman – THAT triggers the recognition.

So much fun.

I still remember when, about a decade ago, a guy got a cosplay award at Sugoicon for an excellent costume – as well as being the first guy in ages to cosplay a MALE character from Gundam Wing (granted, it was Zechs, but still…). For the longest time, many of us had only seen girls doing GW males, and the occasional guy roped by their GF to play one of the female characters while she played one of the males.

One of my favorites that I wish I had a picture of (I might actually have one, but I don’t want to have to search) was one of my fellow Anime Central staffers in 1999, who was wearing a Cabbit costume, with his Ren Faire armor on top, and a baby carrier (with his child in costume) on his back – and he had NO IDEA why we were making “Lone Cabbit and Cub” jokes, as he’d never heard of Lone Wolf & Cub. Talk about a cosplay idea that could have been….

Love the images. Still wondering where King Hipo found such a realistic looking fat suit.

Yeah…”fat suit”…we’ll go with that.

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