Friday, October 21, 2011

The Best Costumes of NY Comic Con 2011

New York Comic Con this year had certainly fewer costumes than last year, but upon inspection of what I deemed the best of the best, I have to say that the average upper-tier costumes were a grade above what I was expecting. To that end, this year I am announcing a few categories for costumes of different types.

First the second-runner-up category, Thank You for Not Sucking. These costumes are usually so terribly done that to craft and enact one well is itself a meritorious feat.

Photo © Alex Erde
1. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - Midna (imp form)

This is a costume usually performed by an overweight girl of modest stature donning a baggy, painted Lycra suit, flecking paint. Not only was this girl's headdress perfect, she had the height appropriate to an imp. She still had curves appropriate to the character, but the shape was right and so was the bodysuit.

Makeup and prosthetics were top-shelf, so thank you, Random, Possibly Asian-Looking girl, for taking an overused and under performing character and letting her shine.

2. Panty & Stocking with Garter belt - Panty and Stocking

I saw a few Stockings, throughout the weekend, but I suppose a decent number of those could have also been generic gothic lolita fashion girls, as opposed to simple, poorly executed Stocking costumes.

Panty is looking like a complete bitch who thinks she's wat hotter than she actually is, which–frankly–is perfectly in character. Considering they were also with another couple girls cosplaying related show characters, They are granted bonus points.

Thank you, Not-Sucky P&S!

3. Durarara - Celty

There were two or three Celtys in total this year, but this was the only one I saw who was the right height, the right gender, the right physique, and had both a (well-fitted) motorcycle suit and a real motorcycle helmet. Even the "ears" were made of the same material as the rest of the helmet.

Plus she had her scythe with her.

For those not familiar with the cute ensemble cast show recently airing on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim anime Saturdays block, Celty is a "dulahan," a Celtic faerie type that is immortal, powerful, and carries her own head around with her while riding her horse across the countryside.

Of course, Celty 'lost' her head and with it her memories, so she turned her horse into a bike and set off to find her head, wherever it went.

Thank you, Not Sucky Celty.

Extra Nerdy Awards

Photo © Alex Erde
1. Internet - Longcat

Thank you, internet, and thank you, all of you people who made a Chinese dragon of Longcat and paraded around the Javits center holding this monstrosity.

Your work and sense of humor (and camaraderie) is greatly appreciated.

Photo © Alex Erde

2. Axe Cop - Axe Cop

An ordinary cop, until he picked up a fireman's axe and became … Axe Cop.

Originally, this was a comic drawn by a talented artist depicting stories narrated verbatim by his–I think–then nine-year old cousin.


3. Mega Man - Cutman (vintage)

This costume is wonderful in how bad parts of it are, while other parts remain incredible: boots, gloves, and especially helmet - all awesome. Look at that, he cut sheet metal to the proper configuration and bolted it stylishly to a batting helmet. Well done!

Then again, he's out of shape–was he ever in-shape to begin with?–goateed, and is wearing a baggy, white sweatsuit.

This is what I talk about when I say that a crappy costume, meant to be crappy, can be awesome.

Best Cross-Gender Costumes

Photo © Alex Erde
1. The Labyrinth - Female Jareth (David Bowie)

Dude, I'd consider banging David Bowie in The Labyrinth and he's still technically a guy. (Though, if I may quote Family Guy, "Androgynous enough that we could both feel attracted to him and it not be weird.")

Props on the epic hair, perfect to character, the frilly blouse, vest, gloves, and the contact juggling ball. Really, the only inaccuracies here are

a) I don't think she has a penis, and
b) Her eyes are both brown. But I begrudge no one for not possessing dichromia like Bowie and I.

Photo © Alex Erde
2. X-Men - Female Gambit

First off, really cute Asian girl. Who's into comics. And has fashion sense. Thank you.

Secondly, this was by fath the best Gambit costume I saw all weekend. Thursday I saw one that might have been on-par, but it was movie Gambit, not comics Gambit.

This one is badass, appropriately tailored, and altered only in so far as the costume needs to fit a woman's frame instead of a Cajun man's. It is faithful to the comics, the '90s cartoon, and about 837,000 fanboy fantasies now, I'd suspect.

Photo © Alex Erde
3. Iron Man - Female Tony Stark

Again, Asian girls just seem to have more technical prowess than us white boys.

Alex dragged me over to get a picture with my counterpart to the costume I wore last year.

Alright, I had a real beard, but my chest piece was a Tap Light© covered in gorilla tape and strung around my neck with twine.

This girl built a fully working Arc light prop from internet tutorials and glued it in place with bandage tape.

Oh, and she's currently working on the Mk III "triangle" piece.

Most impressive.

Photo © Alex Erde
4. Conan O'Brien - The Flaming C


Obscure, accurate, flamboyant, and–like all good Rule 63–perfectly altered for depiction by the opposite gender.

Girl even had a hand-made jai alai scoop!

Also, epaulets are totally in fashion right now. Women's clothing really picked up on the men's military dress trend.

5. Deadpool - Deadpool in a German Bar Maid Dress

To be fair, I don't think this was a woman.

I took a look just to be sure, and those boobs were not exactly in the proper placement and orientation for real boobs, nor did they possess a natural form as (s)he walked. Also: almost no hair.

Based on gait and physiology, I had to surmise that this was a man wearing a Deadpool costume, who then donned a beer wench costume.


Because Deadpool, that's why. Of course he would do that. I'm sure it even made sense. To him. For like a second at least.

Nice gams.

Adventure Time Awards

 I am giving an aware to everyone who wore awesome Adventure Time costumes.

1. Manliest Finn

2. Most amazing  Fiona.

Not only did she nail the costume, she had a sick Cake the Cat, and her friend there was dressed as the male version of Marceline (canonically called "Marshall Lee," a name a refuse to acknowledge in favor of "Man-Celine).

Manceline even has a hyper-sweet reproduction of Marceline's battle "axe."

They were amazing and I love them both forever.

3. Best Cake the Cat

This was a crocheted backpack critter type thing. I don't think it held or did anything, just hung around this girl's back.

I felt like a total skeever taking this picture too, because the girl was like 15 but I couldn't resist such a sweet, sweet crochet job.

4. Most accurate Princesses

Alright, Princess Bubblegum I could take or leave. She was well done here, but honestly, if not for her voice actor in the show, I don't care for the character. Too easy.

Lumpy Space Princess, on the other hand, that is an impressive costume.

That's a ballsy move for the little girl inside that big, purple cloud shape. All hot and gross inside, suffering for her comedy.

Because make no mistake, the only reason to go as Lumpy Space Princess when you could be Bubblegum or Fiona, or anybody else, is it is hilarious.

Photo © Alex Erde
5. Best Universe-Shattering Slash Fiction

Him: A Finn cosplayer

Her: A Fionna devotee.

Together: The most adorable couple's costume at the whole con.

Somewhere, Pendleton Ward just sat down after experiencing a great disturbance in the Time, as if thousands of voices suddenly cried out in cheer on the internet and began furiously typing up fan fiction, then were suddenly never silenced ever.

Just Awesome Costumes:

(In no particular order.)

Photo © Alex Erde
X-Men - Archangel

Blue face paint is a commitment.

Giant steel wings that must weigh a ton and could probably really hurt someone or at the very least impare your mobility in a crowded convention center:

That's some semper fi marine shit, right there.

Photo © Alex Erde
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Casey Jones

Yeah, I'm ignoring April O'Neil here.

I'll tell you why:

First: she's not that good. I saw a much sexier, much more cartoon-accurate April on Thursday, and if you remember the cartoon, you remember that girl had some Barbie-doll level of impossible proportions on her. And Thursday's April met them. Pretty sure she was even a natural redhead.

Secondly: Casey just kicks ass here. Ratty old golf bag full of five-irons and hockey sticks? 2000s accurate cartoon mask? Hell, by that iteration of Casey, even the sweat pants, sneakers, short shirt, and ties/wraps are accurate. Plus, he brought an entire girlfriend as an accessory, and she has her own accessories. She's like a Ken doll, to stretch the previous analogy.

Hellblazer - John Constantine

Perfect costume, with "lit" cigarette (think it was an LED), and the schtick of following around other obscure comics heroes and skulking in the background of their photo opportunities?

That's John, for you.

Darkwing Duck - Darkwing Duck, Morganna Webb, and Megavolt

… Just … I-

Simply amazing. So freaking funny, accurate while also more realistically anthropomorphic, amazing accessories for everyone, and, I don't know if you can see this so I'll give you a little close-up:

Those duck feat are made from three pairs of Converse All-Stars painted orange and white.

They used the same technique in the Whoopi Goldberg vehicle "Theodore Rex."


Photo © Alex Erde
X-Men - Hank McCoy

Speaking of blue before, here's some commitment for you:

Dressing like a giant nerd at a convention of nerds nerdy enough to know how big a nerd you are for pretending to be a specific giant nerd.

Who is also blue.

And dressed like an associate professor a at state school.

Epic facial hair, though.

Marvel Comics - Luke Cage (1970s)

Okay, you can't really tell much scale here, but this guy was, no lie, not shorter than 6'10". He was just enormous. People were walking by him and grown men stopped at his collar bone.

Plus the costume was 100% comic book accurate. Forget all the She-Hulks in "4" leotards I saw all weekend, Luke Cage is my favorite substitute Fantastic Four member from this day forward.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force - Master Shake

Asked if he had anything to say after the costume contest, Shake had only this to utter:
I should have been in the contest.

That straw's a giant foam pool noodle, by the way.

Photo © Alex Erde
Another giant man.

This one dressed as The Rhino, from Spider-Man, complete with latex chest pieces and headgear, and just generally gargantuan arms.

The feet are a nice touch, to grab attention away from the mamoth sweat pants.

Batman Forever - The Riddler (Jim Carey iteration)

This is another bold move.

Both for the leotard on someone so gangly, and the hair, but in-character both work perfectly. He was also flappy and jaunty and doing a lot of physical stuff Carey did in the movie.

It's also bold since that was a terrible movie and the worst version of The Riddler. I'm not saying it was Batman and Robin bad, but it was the next thing over.

This kid pulled it off, though.

A Nightmare Before Christmas - Jack Skellington

This guy actually won the costume contest. Amazing tailoring, and if you couldn't tell, the walking stick is because in order to look appropriately freakish and lanky, this guy was walking around on stilts.

Batman - Bane

This is the guy I was actually rooting for to win the costume contest.

Paul, as I found out, says,
"I have never seen someone as Bane who was in shape. They were all either fat or wearing a muscle suit. So I worked out like crazy and dieted for 6 months lol.
LoL, indeed, Paul! Not only was his costume spot-on, he pulled out all the stops with matching shape and having poses and a full act handy, where he would drag Batman around all day by the limp ankles of neck, and then "break" him over his knee with a lumbar-twinging floppiness anyone familiar with the comics is ecstatic to witness. You can see a sweet pictorial and write-up of it here.

Paul doesn't have a website, but if you're interested in seeing his other work, he has a Dark Knight-styled short film giving the Nolan treatment to the origin of Harley Quinn over on YouTube.


  1. Just found the article through Google! I'm the Deadpool from your list. Sorry to say, but your boob analysis gets a failing grade. They're real and quite fabulous. I'm guessing the waist cincher threw you off since it does mess with the boobies. But that's okay, you're not the only one who's made that mistake! Thanks for including me in your list. It has provided many lulz for my friends and I! :]

    1. Huzzah! Glad to know you!

      Fabulous costume either way, but yeah, the bustiér moves stuff around. Next year, maybe even Cary around little yellow thought balloons!

    2. Saw you in a photo I took this year! Check it out:

  2. Oh, hey look it's me! I'm the female Jareth up there. :) Found this article on Google and wanted to thank you for including me in the list! It's always nice to hear that people enjoyed my cosplay! <3
    (My eyes are also both blue, not brown. ;] )

    1. Yay! You are quite welcome as your costume was incredible! My friend Carolyn was a little in love with it. Much respect from a very picky and rule-laden cosplayer there. Sorry we didn't get to talk to you there!

  3. Wow, I am very grateful that I was included in your write-up! Thank you. I am the Black Mage and I had no idea that my photo was floating around on the web. And yes, the pun in my costume was not lost (and afforded me a ton of fun that day, too!) See you next month ^.^


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