Monday, September 18, 2017

Dragon Con 2017: The Best Cosplay, Pt 2

Our power may still be out [whimper], but Dragon Con cosplay waits for no one.

Well, except me for a few days. But I've started lugging my Mac desktop around to friends' houses and setting up on folding tables and nightstands to get working again, so on your mark...

get set...


Because how magnificent is this winged Maleficent? Complete with her own mini-me!

As I've been describing my favorite Dragon Con finds to friends this week, this one keeps making the list:

[Milo Wesley & virylduck as Jane] 

It's Jane's dad from Tarzan, Professor Porter!!

I've never seen him cosplayed before, and that prosthetic nose & 'stache is perfection - not to mention he even has the pose down with that little pot-belly stance, ha.

I'm so impressed by this Tom Servo of MST3K that I have to show you a comparison shot:

She's even wearing slinky bracelets to mimic his metal arms! Such clever design work.

Another awesome take on a character: warrior Jasmine from Aladdin!

I like Rajah's face on her shield - that's a nice touch.


(If so, just click the link for the SNL sketch. No way I can explain it.)

Best of all, someone told me these three were camping out around the elevators and doing the dance when the doors opened, which fills me with irrational amounts of nerd joy.

GoT's Aegon the Conqueror with Visenya & Rhaenys, sharing a few pints:

It turns out Lilo & red-headed Mertle STILL don't get along:

Mertle brought up the biting incident again, and I think Lilo's exact words were, "Because she's a poopy head."  :D

 This Wonder Woman was bopping along to one of the many dance-offs in the Marriott lobby, and I couldn't stop staring at her glorious cloud of hair:

Plus she had such a cool vibe about her, like she could take on every villain at the con while rollerskating backwards in a complex dance routine.

[Update: Ermagosh, looks like I wasn't far off; that's Damita Howard, a professional stuntwoman who worked on Captain America & Guardians 2!]

Remember that insanely creepy Pennywise from my last post? Here's the same cosplayer again as an incredible blue Djinn:

The Martian and Fallout: New Vegas:

These are another good example/contrast of my two photography techniques - both taken in the same place at the same time. I'm already adjusting the way I edit the blackout method in response to some of your feedback, and I plan to shoot a little differently in the future, too, to maybe include more of the background ala that Wonder Woman shot a few photos up. 

It's a tricky beast, trying to find the sweet spot between journalistic convention coverage (ie, making you feel like you're there with me) and doing the costumes justice with detailed beauty shots. Obviously the cosplayers prefer the blackouts - as do I, they're so fun to edit - but I promise to always have plenty of atmosphere and non-flash shots, too. 

Besides, where there's lots of light and minimal crowds, it's a no-brainer to go without flash:

Vi from League of Legends and Mantis from Guardians 2.

Day of the Dead couple & Croquet Harley.

This Cyclops had a video screen animation for his eye, which was suuuper cool and I'm so glad it shows up in this photo:
Also he is very tall.

I spotted this Harley/Belle and Joker/Beast sitting on the floor in the food court:
[Outsiders Cosplay]

I don't think I've seen this mashup done before, and they really nailed it.

Here comes my favorite father/daughter cosplay of the con:

Astrid with her dragon Stormfly!

I had a hard time photographing Stormfly because from face-on all you see is mouth, but he kept turning to follow my camera as I walked around him to get a side shot, ha. Later John went over to suggest a down-and-to-the-side head position, which worked loads better.

Sylvanas from WoW and a gender-swapped Aloy from the new Horizon Zero Dawn:

This Balthazar Blatt & his robot crony from the latest Despicable Me made me SO HAPPY:

The nose! The mullet! The shoulder pads!

Can't touch this.

An adorable Maz Kanata from The Force Awakens and a mini Maleficent:

Not sure of this character, but her makeup was on point:

Update: Aha, she's Salem of the animated show RWBY. Thanks, Lewis!

Then there was the Chipotle counter... as a cosplay:


I remember photographing this Groot a few Dragon Cons ago, but this year he got an upgrade:
Check out baby Groot eating candy on his shoulder! Squee!

The most popular green guy of the con had to be Pickle Rick of Rick and Morty, though, and this was the best one:

Plus some random Christmas cosplay, because Dragon Cooooooon!

Gaige from Borderlands with her XXX head variant:

That cell shading, though.

Oh! Here comes another of my top favorites: either a gender-swapped Wonder Woman or a Spartan/ Wonder Woman mashup:

Whichever, it is totally badass. Love how he incorporated her tiara design into the helmet.

This next warrior is a little less badass, but you guys: Samurai Hello Kitty.

Wha whaaaaaat. Love it.  Plus this is an Epbot reader, Chris Dimoff, who John and I got to chat with for a bit. It was really cool seeing all the detail he put into that helmet/head especially. So good.

Speaking of samurais, this Rorschach one had the coolest effect on his face covering: the ink blot changed from black to white as he breathed, I assume from a temperature-reactive dye:

And now... Yoshi!
Don't you just want to hug him?

Dramatic Storm and Jessie Quick, aka the DC Bombshells version of The Flash:

[Jessie Quick cosplayer is Amy of Multipass Productions]
And finally, I'll leave you with the cosplay group that almost broke the con. Two words, gang: LEGEND. ARY.

It's the goblin riders from Labyrinth! Plus Sarah & Jareth, and even a Jim Henson with Kermit for good measure.

You've seen that Jareth and Sarah here before (they're my friends Dana & Alexie), so I was mostly going gaga for the goblins. Just look at these details!

Alexie is pointing the little Easter Egg on the back: a Sarah "WANTED" poster!

Here one of the goblins has (temporarily) lost its mount:

And one more:

I am completely awestruck. And yes, maybe a teensy bit sad we didn't have our Junk Lady with us this year for a photo together. Mostly awestruck, though, and so, so happy these Riders exist. After the past couple weeks of Real Life worries and assorted Irma ickiness, this is the kind of stuff that reminds me life is pretty dang awesome, and I'm so lucky to rub elbows with the best community of nerdy nerds on the planet. ;)

Smooches to all of you, and stay tuned for plenty more.

P.S. Please do ID any cosplayers you recognize in the comments, so I can credit them!


  1. I believe the "Elves" are Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters/wives Visenya & Rhaenys

  2. The unknown character with very on point makeup is 'Salem' - the ultimate big baddy from Rooster Teeth's anime-esque cartoon RWBY


  3. Hey, The Flash is a friend of mine over at Multi-Pass Productions and she's actually Bombshell Jesse Quick. She also does a fantastic Black Widow (in my opinion)!

    1. Thanks for the heads up! I've amended the post and linked to her page.

  4. The Wonder Woman is Damita Howard, a professional stuntwoman. We were on the Atlanta Rollergirls derby team together many years ago, and she is just as cool and badass in person as she looks in that photo.

    1. That. Is. AWESOME. Thanks for letting me know, just credited her in the post!

  5. The Samurai Hello Kitty is Chris Dimoff. I could've sworn I gave you my card. Your new flash technique is really simple & effective. I'm glad you braved the weather. I managed to get out of your neck of the woods just in time.

    1. Chris! Hi! I'm sure you did give me a card, but we've been camping out at various friends' houses after Irma so I don't have the cards with me - so sorry about that. Luckily Google came to the rescue, and I've linked to your website with credit now!

  6. What I really want to know is how the first Maleficent, with those amazing wings, actually GOT them there? Strap them to the top of the car? Rent a van? ???

  7. Those Rorschach masks are cool, I bought one many years ago and I'm still trying to get the rest of the pieces for his cosplay.

  8. Did Bratt's cosplay have the bald spot in the back?

  9. I had much the same thoughts about those wings as Jennifer S. WOW -- those are something else!!! So much talent and creativity by all the cosplayers. Amazing!

    I totally wish I had come out of an elevator to DSP and gang! :)

    Thanks for finding creative workarounds to your lack of 'lectricity to bring us all this cosplay goodness, Jen and John!

  10. I love the new flash technique, it really makes the costumes pop and keeps me from being distracted by the stuff behind people. So many details!

  11. OMG, that male Wonder Woman is AH-MAZING!!! I love it!

  12. Your shots are beautiful! I love the technique with the backgrounds being muted. I am actually the male Aloy, easiest credit would be a link to my IG:

    Keep up the great work!

  13. Ahhhh I love your blog and I'm so excited you posted my pic! I am the Sylvanas (Jasmine and Rose Cosplay on FB and @jasminerosecosplay on Instagram). Thanks a bunch for the awesome shot!

  14. GASP! the labyrinth! those goblin riders are magnificent!
    all the !!!!!

  15. Thanks for featuring my Warrior Jasmine! Im honored.

  16. I'm the green Goblin Knight (the Kermit knight) :D J Randall Self, Oliver Kasiske, and Shana Lee Kim are the others. Our Jim Henson is D Warren Rose. I'm so happy you liked the WANTED poster. Randall came up with that the day before, and I whipped then up last minute! I also had a Labyrinth faerie in a cage on my saddle (I also carried it on my belt when I was walking around without my mount). They were so much fun to do. I'm pleased as punch that you enjoyed them and thank you so much for the images.

  17. Oh shoot nice ^_^ one of the better pics I've seen of my #wonderbroman :p ...

    Etsy Shop


Please be respectful when commenting; dissenting opinions are great, but personal attacks or hateful remarks will be removed. Also, including a link? Then here's your html cheat sheet: <a href="LINK ADDRESS">YOUR TEXT</a>