It was two action packed days of pure pandemonium as area sci-fi, horror, comic, and anime fans descended into the Irving Convention Center on February 7th and 8th. Now enter the world of Dallas Comic Con’s Fan Days 2015 — where hearts are light, the supernatural exists, and fantasies are meant to come true. To use the term obsessed would merely be an understatement, as fans and cosplayers trekked the terrain in fully clad costumes and equipment, channeling the personalities of their most favored characters. From a towering Chewbacca complete with sound effects, to hundreds of Tardis variations from Doctor Who, Dallas Comic Con Fan Days 2015 proved to be in a world of its own.
We here at DFW Style Daily are known to be groupies of a mystic sci-fi or two, but really traversed the scene to capture the best in what we’re coining as supernatural style. With both children and adults donning their best in cosplay attire, here’s our mini recap of character costumes that really captured the essence of what Comic Con is truly about.
Costuming Vs. Cosplay: Dissecting the Dichotomy
As our sensories went into complete overdrive from costume envy, we took note of the systemic culture surrounding the cosplay world. After hours of scoping the convention, our interest was piqued as the terms “costuming” versus “cosplay” continued to circulate in casual conversations. After attending the cosplay red carpet and the then later costume contest, we were itching to know more about what actually goes on behind the scene of a diehard cosplayer. Satisfying our curiosity into the unknown, we picked the brains of Dallas Comic Con Cosplay Ambassador Devin Pike (pictured below) and professional cosplayer Mika Nicole to get the skinny on this fun, yet highly intensive “nerd culture” (as Mika so artfully states) and pastime.
DFW Style Daily: How long have you been involved in the Comic Con Scene?
Devin Pike: “I’ve been involved in Fan Expo, but prior to that, Dallas Comic Con totaling eight and a half years. I’ve moderated panels and also manage the costume contest which draws large interest.”
What exactly is meant by the term cosplay? We see the word thrown around here and there, but for those of us not hip to the Comic Con scene, it can get a bit confusing.
“Cosplay is not just doing the screen costume – it’s getting into character and being able to perform as that character, whether it’s anime or a television series. The difference between cosplay and costuming is that with cosplay, you have to be able to perform as that character in public.”
You’ve obviously witnessed a lot of cosplay characters over your involvement with Comic Con. What is the one thing that inspires you the most about the cosplay and costume participants?
“These are people from all walks of life who see something created on screen by an army of craftsmen, and then they create it in the real world with foam and shoulder pads from sports stores, and it looks so amazing! It truly floors me the level of talent from our participants.”
We then ventured on from our convo with Devin Pike to catch up with cosplayer Mika Nicole to get the dish on what it’s really like to be a professional cosplayer.
DFW Style Daily: What is real life like outside of your fantasy life?
Mika Nicole: “I’m a professional model and a kick-boxing instructor full-time.”
How long have you been involved in the cosplay scene?
“It began eight years ago as a hobby and became addicting. My first costume, I remember, was really bad. Over the years I’ve created well over 50 costumes, but my favorite has been playing Barbarian from Diablo.”
How long does it take you to construct your costume for the different conferences?
“One to three days was the fastest I have created a look, with three months being the longest. Online tutorials have been helpful when I’m designing.”
As a cosplayer in high demand, you’re invited to host events and even judge the costume and cosplayer contests. What do you look for as a judge when grading cosplay costumes?
“I look for craftsmanship, beading – the details matter. I like when I can tell they’ve poured their hearts into their costumes.”
How many conferences do you attend a year as a cosplayer?
“At first, I only went to a couple a year, now I go to one or two a month. I consider myself to be a part of the ‘nerd culture’ part-time now.”
Dallas Comic Con Images give credit to Rachel Parker Photography. Mika Nicole Image credit Lyon Hart Photography.