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Saturday, June 25, 2011


The big costume contest was scheduled to start at 6PM, so I made my way to the hall where it was to be held and waited on line for admission. I got there maybe twenty minutes before starting time and intended to make some progress in the new WILD CARDS novel, FORT FREAK — which is very good so far and easily the best book in the series since 2006's DEATH DRAWS FIVE, but I digress — but that plan was immediately scuttled when some of the contestants began to stroll by and line up to take their places in the wings. And when all was said and done, the scheduled-for-two-hours contest managed to stretch to three very full and thoroughly entertaining hours.

(NOTE: double-click on the photos to embiggen.)


Just before the contest: the cosplayers, many of whom were exhausted after a day of walking the floor in full gear, begin to arrive and hang out in the hallway in front of Room B on the convention center's ground level.

I was rather surprised to see only this lone Power Girl over the course of the con. Usually these shows are good for at least three.

Bane represents.

Rockin' it Justice Society-style: (L-R) Stargirl, Cyclone and Liberty Belle. I love it!

The return of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.

An elegant Storm strikes a pose.

The "demonic faun."

I particularly loved her nasty-looking teeth.

The Riddler prepares.


Our hilarious host, Jarrett Crippen, winner of the reality TV series WHO WANTS TO BE A SUPERHERO? No lie, this guy was the funniest emcee I've ever seen.

The evening's first costume: Master Shake (which I believe was a store-bought outfit).

The one saving grace of this guy showing up in a store-bought costume was the moment when he took the mic and launched into flawless imitations of the main characters from AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE (a show whose popularity totally eludes me).

A quite good Elektra. Very lean and athletic-looking.

Storm bestrides the stage.

A very Brit-centric Lara Croft, who cited her qualification for playing the character as having "boobs out to here." And she was tall, too!

Tank Girl takes the stage. Remember the days when this character was an ubiquitous presence at cons? (Wow, I'm seriously dating myself...)

ARMY OF DARKNESS' Ash gets a distaff interpretation.

The Green Arrow steps up...

..and takes a considerable amount of chiding for not showing up with a bow (which he said he forgot).

Power Girl takes the stage.

I forget her exact character, but I believe she was along the lines of a "dark Alice."

One of the many times audience when responses were prompted.

An exceptional Joker takes the stage. I shot this one this way so you can get a good look at his cane.

The Joker brought presents!

The Joker presents the panel with a surprise package that ticked very loudly. No. really.

A Red Lantern and everyone's favorite rage-fueled kitty, Dex-Starr.


Catwoman unfurls her whip...

...and gives it a crack.

Mr. Stay-Puft waddles his way up to the stage.

Jesus! Those eyes!

The judges inspect the costume. The head contained a fan (which did not work)...

...and the suit was also equipped with a hydration system for the wearer. I cannot imagine how hot that suit must have been to be stuck in four hours on end.

The demonic faun takes the stage. Sure her basically naked boobs were distracting, but I love how the juxtaposition of pretty fairytale-like creature and nasty-looking monster worked to create a very disturbing aspect for the character.

I'm unsure as to the significance of the letters on her back.

An outstanding Cobra Commander, who showed up with his very young sons (who were in the audience) decked out as Cobra-style cub scouts.

Cobra Commander used the moment to announce his bid for the 2012 presidency.

A seriously-vinyl Harley Quinn.

Bane rocks the mic. (Note Harley Quinn's lipstick print on the emcee's face.)

A distaff Darth Vader.

The explanation-defying, ultra-disturbing horror of "Kitty Kitty."

He kept bellowing his name and made not a goddamned lick of sense. I thought he was fucking brilliant.

A truly spectacular moment of "what the fuck?"-ness.

The Terminator takes out our host.

These LARPers did an excellent skit.

The Spider-Man villains represent as the Sinister Six (recruiting).

The black-suit Spidey's outfit left little to the imagination, so of course he had to stuff his package right into the judge's face.

Gotham represents, with my favorite Harley Quinn and that very toothsome Poison Ivy. (Catwoman's no slouch either.)

Not a damn thing wrong with this.

The excellent Wonder Woman/Batman scenarion that is dying to happen in the comics.

A blast from the cartoon past: the return of Marvin and Wendy.

Spaceballs, black variant. Still combing the desert and still not finding shit.

Spaceballs, white variant.

"Hail, Skroob!"

This kid was one of the aforementioned Cobra scouts, and his off-the-cuff "kid logic" comments were hilarious. And, yes, the woman doing the exasperated double-face-palm was his mother.

The impressive zombie Hulk.

X-13 strikes a pose.

A Jedi knight lets loose with an impressive double-lightsaber routine.

THE FIFTH ELEMENT's Leeloo and her stolen multi-pass.

Apparently a booth model who showed up as Storm and attempted to correct the host by telling him "No, I'm Storm, not Ororo." Needless to say, that gaffe was not well-received by the audience.

General Grievous.

This storm gets points for making the famous tiara.

The excellent Wolverine guy represents in the yellow and black outfit.

Deadpool showed up to shoot Wolvie in the head, only to have Hawkeye arrive and plant an arrow in Deadpool's face.

The freshly-healed Wolverine stands triumphant.

Deadpool lay there clutching the arrow for a fairly long time, until ordered offstage.

ARMY OF DARKNESS' Ash returns, only this time with male genitalia.

The Golden Age Red Tornado takes the stage...

...and reveals herself as...

...Ma Hunkel.

My favorite of the con's many Hulks.

The admittedly diminutive Hulk quickly regretted his threat to "smash puny humans."

As things began to briefly lag, from out of nowhere sprang SOUTH PARK's Terrence and Phillip, who hilariously stormed the stage, ran around the judges and host and executed some of their signature fart humor before just as abruptly running away.

The cutest Booster Gold in the history of western civilization.

I love that she went the extra distance and accessorized with that homemade bag.


A terrific pre-evil Phoenix.

Note to future cosplayers: if you're going to rock this character, the sash is a must.

Mera and Aquaman.

Power-Man and Iron Fist do an impromptu ad for the Heroes for Hire agency.

Terrence and Phillip return, this time as legitimate contestants.

The outstanding Kang the Conqueror.

"Team Awesome," consisting of a geisha and some sort of distaff manifestation of GG Allin. Seriously, you can't make this stuff up.

"Statutory Ape." Yes, you read that right.

As the proceedings broke for the judges to determine the winners, I spotted this guy in a marvelously bizarre t-shirt depicting Admiral Ackbar as a Ghostbuster. "It's a trap!" Get it?

The winners circle: the Joker (Best Male Villain), Boster Gold (Honorable Mention; she got robbed, if you ask me), Female Ash (Honorable Mention).

Next up, Power Girl (Best Female Hero) and Demonic Faun (Best Female Villain).

Best Team was taken by these two fantasy characters whose names elude me at the moment.

Unsurprisingly, the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man took Best in Show.

And the male Ash took Best Male Hero.

All of the cosplayers take the stage.

Yay, Dex-Starr!!!

Me, with our emcee.

Mr. Stay-Puft, triumphant.

General Grievous sets off for the bar.



Vicki Schodowski said...

Thanks be to Buncheman for the look at the costume show. Scroll fast and it is an awesome flip book. I missed this year's Philly Con but have been at a lot of them in the past.

Anonymous said...

Gen. Grievous actually looked weirdly good. And weird. But good. And if you hadn't said something, I could have stared at the Akbar shirt for a week and not got it. Then, at the end of the week, you'd have said, "It's a trap..." I would have been, like, "Ohhhhhh. Ok. Of course. I need to sleep. And to call my wife. And my boss." And you look like you're wearing something stylish? Cultural? Superheroish?
Thanks for the cool pics,
Mark Newman