Superhero Hype Cosplay: San Diego Comic-Con Memories

Note From the Editor: As part of Superhero Hype’s recently launched cosplay coverage, our special corespondent, Ashlynne Dae, is sharing some of her memories from several years of attending San Diego Comic-Con. She’s also shared 10 pics in the gallery at the bottom of the post!

San Diego Comic-Con. The Nerd Destination, the ultimate pop culture event, the one and only place you can find hundreds of thousands of people all geeking out over the newest exclusive merch, or the most hyped panels, or the coolest afterparties. I have had a love-hate relationship with SDCC over the last few years. Every year there were more people, it was harder to get around, there were less opportunities to cosplay, and have professional photos taken of said cosplays. It was hotter, stickier, and more difficult to find lodging that wasn’t 50 miles away.

I used to go hard for SDCC, having a full line-up of new cosplays for all 4 days and usually a casual cosplay for preview night. But as my cosplay career progressed and I was attending 40+ events over the year, Comic-Con became more of a casual hangout and explore event. It was a catch up with friends event, and an afterparty hopping event, rather than a cosplay one. I didn’t even attend in 2018. And in 2019, I only went down for Thursday and Saturday. When I did, I barely took any photos, because my job consists mainly of posing for photos, and I just wanted a break.

But amidst the pandemic that we are currently experiencing, and the shutdown of pretty much every convention great and small in North America (let’s wear our masks so we can have some conventions next year, OK?!) I find myself desperately missing SDCC. They say you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. And I definitely didn’t know how much I loved it until I couldn’t go.

RELATED: Introducing Superhero Hype Cosplay With Ashlynne Dae!

I miss the press of the crowd trying to flow in one direction of the halls. I miss walking by the coolest cosplays I’ve ever seen every 10 feet. I even miss waiting in lines in the hot sun for some cool experiences or to get into some interesting outside event. I miss browsing the booths and shopping for knick-knacks, figures, and nerdy fashion accessories and clothes. I miss combing through Artists Alley to say hi to old artist friends and meet new talented folks to follow.

I miss walking around and everywhere you turn, no matter where you end up in the city, I’m still with my people. The comic book nerds, the gamers, the weebs, the cosplayers, roleplayers, LARPers, Ren Faire folk, the exclusive hunters, the all-day long panelers. I miss being around such a hum of excitement that you can feel the vibrations in your nerdy little heart. I miss walking through Gaslamp and seeing nerded up cars parked on the streets. I even miss the pedicab drivers constantly asking if you want a ride somewhere with an Iron Throne mounted on the back of their pedicab for the obvious selfie. I miss the whole thing, and I’m sad we can’t see each other at all until at least next year.

RELATED: Superhero Hype Cosplay: Creating Psylocke Part 1

I don’t have a particular favourite Comic-Con memory, all of my memories from my years attending are filled with fond interactions. I’ve seen some pretty cool things there in my time. I’ve seen a Viking funeral to honor Ragnar Lothbrok of the TV show. Vikings, complete with burning Viking ship in the harbour next to the convention center. That was probably the most metal thing I’ve seen there, I even got a Vikings branded drinking horn for attending. I’m not a big swag collector, but that was pretty cool.

Comic-Con has also been where I’ve debuted a great many of my cosplays. My all time favourite costume I’ve ever made was Jessica Rabbit, and I debuted that at 2016’s Comic-Con. I debuted my Cammy cosplay from Street Fighter the next year. I’ve also gotten some pretty fun gigs down at SDCC. In 2017, I helped Hyper X with their scavenger hunt contest as a casual summertime from Overwatch, as well as getting transformed into Madame Vastra by Keaghlan Ashley to walk in a Doctor Who fashion show at a massive Doctor Who after party thrown by Super News Live. Luckily I just happened to have Victorian wardrobe perfect for her because I made historical dresses before I moved into cosplay! I have also re-worn some of my older cosplays like Spider Gwen, Phoenix and Bombshell Harley at SDCC, even though I have a problem with re-wearing things. Haha.

RELATED: Even More San Diego Comic-Con Cosplay Pics!

I am sad that I didn’t take more photos at Comic-Cons years past. If I had ever known that there would come a time that I couldn’t go without even a choice, I would have gathered as many memories at the time as I could. I would have taken photos of more than just the cool newly released figures that I wish I could afford, which would later serve to be reference for my costume build for those characters. I always thought I would have SDCC, and I have learned my lesson not to take my favourite events for granted. If we are able to go safely next year, I won’t be making that mistake again.

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