• Mon, Jul 16 2012

What With All These Mainstream Cosplay Outfits, Comic-Con Has Officially Become Halloween In July

San Diego Comic-Con cosplay Snooki Flo Where's Waldo wtf

For the past few years, I’ve heard the same complaint from my geeky friends: San Diego Comic-Con is getting way too mainstream. Why are the Glee kids telling us about season 4? Does it really make sense for the Archer cast to pop in? We love the guys from Psych, but really…? However, while you could make a case for these kinds of shows being “geeky” in some small way, it’s the cosplay that has me worried.

Cosplay, short for “costume play,” is where people dress up as beloved fictional characters and is integral to any geeky convention. I would go so far as to call it an art—the energy and creativity that these fans put into their costumes and performances is incredible. It’s always a treat to scan through galleries, like this comprehensive one from Redditor notdagreatbrain, and just appreciate the sheer joy of creating and enjoying these costumes.

But as I looked through the 600 photos, I was incredibly surprised to see some decidedly nongeeky faces. Like, the kinds of characters and reality personalities that we write about on Crushable when we’re not covering superhero movies and actors with dedicated Tumblr followings.

Let me be clear: I am not denigrating these cosplayers. They have every right to dress up as whomever they like, and in every case the resemblance is incredible. That said, it’s worth noting the shift in costume choice from obscure geeky characters (a random X-Wing pilot from Star Wars) or even mainstream ones (the Avengers, the Engineer from Prometheus) to people like Flo the Progressive girl or Snooki. Yes, there was a Snooki at Comic-Con. I guess we should just be grateful that it wasn’t the real thing. Then we’d know for sure that 2012 was the last year of the world.

[Tested via Reddit]

Photos: Norman Chan

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  • Chase

    Hey! That deadmau5 is me. @pwnch on twitter.

    • Natalie Zutter

      Very cool! Thanks for reaching out. Want to tweet out our gallery? :) Also, how long did it take to make that Deadmau5 head, because wow.

  • Kristin

    Haha! You have two of my costumes up on this….preggo Snooki and Consuela from Family Guy. It really is no fun being what everyone else is at con. So, that’s why I chose to do the most random costumes for my cosplay. :)

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  • dee

    I think that perhaps from a geek perspective, some of those costumes you mentioned do seem “mainstream” but I think it is strange to say that Star Wars costumes are acceptable (I don’t think there is a more mainstream sci-fi franchise out there – there’s a even a ride at Disneyland for chrissakes) when other obscure (but perhaps less appealing to a certain facet of geek culture) characters are portrayed. I can’t think of a single person I know who has not seen Star Wars, but I only know a handful of people who have even heard of Archer.

    I think that ultimately what matters is that people come to Comic-Con to share in their obsession about whatever thing they love with other like-minded people, in a safe place where others won’t judge them for being freakishly obsessed with something that the rest of the world is only moderately interested in. (Although, I say good riddance to the celebrity autograph stalkers… and I suppose I agree that Snookie would have been more Comic-Con appropriate/creative had she been a Snookie-Wookie instead: http://goo.gl/Llue0)

  • Bob C

    Comic Con is now billed as a POP CULTURE event, so I think there is even a place for a Snooki costume there.