Coming up this weekend is a local New Jersey comic convention called the New Jersey Comic Expo and I’m actually really looking forward to it. For a small venue they’ve accrued a great lineup of celebrities (like Amy Acker of Angel and Person of Interest, Chase Masterson of Star Trek Deep Space Nine, and Rob Bruce of Comic Book Men), artists (like Jim Lee, Walter Simonson, and Ethan Van Sciver), as well as writers, novelists and voice actors (FULL LIST HERE). Somewhat surprisingly, there’s also a long list of another type of guest: professional cosplayers.
Now I’m not looking to reignite the debate about whether cosplayers are ruining conventions or fandoms, nor do I want to insult the convention for their choice to include so many cosplayers on their guest list. I do how ever find it a bit odd that a convention of this size has recruited such a massive roster for their cosplay corner. The Facebook event has about 2,000 confirmed attendees which means we can safely assume at least double that will be in attendance (probably closer to 5,000 attendees), and at the moment there are 18 listed cosplay guests. Comparing this to Katsucon (yes I know it’s not a comic convention) where the American leg of the Cosplay World Championships takes place and over 13,000 people attend, there are a grand total of 4 listed cosplay guests.
So why the high focus on cosplay guests, NJCE? Maybe this is their attempt to gain more attention from the cosplay crowd (there is a contest with pretty sweet prizes at the con), or maybe this is just a sign of the direction conventions will be heading, placing focus on professional cosplayers as a legitimate crowd drawing guests. Either way, I think this just goes to show how much cosplay has rooted itself in the geek scene.
The current list of cosplay guests: Matt Bell, Brit Bliss, Bernie Bregman, Kit Candela, CosBaes, Hollyhocks, It’s Raining Neon, Princess Morgan, Mostflogged, Ms. Rae, New Jersey Ghostbusters, Destiny Nickelsen, Eric Sellin, Supergirl Smiles, Ashley Uncanny, Vegas Power Girl, Kay Victoria, and YuffieBunny
Check out our other cosplay features here
If you are a cosplayer and would like to be featured, please fill out our submission form