This month was Toronto Comicon, a wondrous place for all things fandom related to comic books, anime, graphic novels, television, movies and video games. One of the bigger aspects to any convention like Comicon is Cosplay. And, for those who are unfamiliar with the term, Cosplay is costume play where people dress like characters from books, TV shows, movies, comics and anime.

Had I known about cosplay a few years back I would have already taken part because it is an amazing world where people use their skills and creativity to bring characters to life. I am only now learning about how immersive this world is. The range and skill level in the cosplay characters that were seen at Toronto Comicon runs from amateur to professionals who travel from convention to convention. I was personally amazed at the level of craftsmanship that went in to some of the outfits only to find out that these people also have 9-5 jobs during the week. How does one find the time?

For anyone who is a super newbie to Cosplay, there are several panels that you can attend where you can hear from experts and others who have been doing cosplay for years. This is a great way to get started because there is a Q+A during each panel and tons of inspiration all around you.

So who did I see? I attempted to keep a tally but lost track of exactly how many Spidermans, Batmans and Wonder Women I saw. Let’s just say anyone that is currently popular in the media made an appearance. Lara Croft was another popular choice among women and there were plenty of Disney Princesses – you might say we were at a ball instead of a convention.

A few notable mentions include, Joker and Harley Quinn, Kylo Renn and all the Star Wars gang, Deadpool, The Stark Family, Storm Lord, Thor, Wolverine, Judge Dread, Loki, Two Face and Bob Ross. My personal favourites were video game-related; both Fallout and Bioshock were really well done.

There is no limit in Cosplay as to who you can dress as. If there is a character that speaks to you, then do it. Obviously, we would all love to be in a mechanized Iron Man suit or have professional hair and makeup done when Cosplaying, but that’s not realistic for everyone. The best thing is, it doesn’t matter. Cosplay allows you to express yourself and how you want to portray that character, and any effort counts and it’s all appreciated. There is a lot of positivity among Cosplayers and Non-Cosplayers; you see someone representing a character you love and you find yourself having mad respect for that person. Comicon is a very encouraging place to be.

The most enjoyable part about all of the Cosplayers at Toronto Comicon was seeing them become and act like the character they were dressed as. This gave the whole experience another level, it was more than looking like a character, it was being them. Ace Ventura was causing a ruckus all over the convention and interacting with people exactly how Jim Carrey acted in the film. Seeing characters interact with other characters not from their world was insanely entertaining.

As this was my first big convention, I was thoroughly impressed with the amount of people who were Cosplaying. I was hoping to see a bit more of a variety but still found everyone very enjoyable. Who knows, maybe at the next convention I myself will Cosplay… Leeloo Dallas from The Fifth Element anyone?