Even if you couldn't make it to San Diego Comic-Con this year, we're about to let you in on the cosplay event of the summer.
SDCC's Masquerade came into being to give anyone — not just the professionals whose work dazzles us on movie screens — a chance to create costumes that were larger than life. While most of the cosplayers on the Masquerade stage are inspired by a particular fandom, you may not know that you can enter with your own completely original costume. Got a fanfiction character you created and want to breathe life into? You can.
The 50th anniversary of the con marks the 45th Masquerade Costume Competition, which seems to have been attracting more wildly creative costumes every year since it kicked off in 1974. This isn't the kind of Phantom of the Opera-style masquerade where everyone wears their fanciest suits and dresses with masks, though you certainly can cosplay as something from Phantom if you want (bonus points if you can actually make that chandelier yourself).
Masquerade is a spectacle showing off the con's most breathtaking and outrageous cosplays as they parade across the stage. Expect to see any fandom, character, or brainchild of someone's imagination represented. You know the whole Game of Thrones controversy that had fans feeling some kind of way about granting Jon Snow legitimacy and making him Jon Stark, before that whole surprise Targaryen thing? Someone actually went as Jon Stark. As in, Jon Snow mashed up with Tony Stark.
If that isn't an epic tribute to a show that just ended and the life of an Avenger that tragically ended, then we don't know what is. That wasn't the only thing that has us fangirling and fanboying hard. Someone actually did the thing and transformed into Mayuri from Bleach, the mad scientist of the spirit world, and that freakish golden fetus-thing you see in the photo is supposed to be some really dangerous sorcery.
While The Nightmare Before Christmas cosplay is one of those things you always see at cons in some capacity, someone took it to another level with their Mayor of Halloweentown. Even the head flips around when he has a sudden mood swing.
You're going to be fan-swooning just like we were when you live vicariously through us and obsess over our photo gallery.