How to Bring Your Next-Level Cosplay Game to Comic-Con

Comic-Con cosplay - Dude Leia

The other day at the weapons check table, where costumed attendees must have their (mostly) fake light sabers and guns and knives inspected and tagged, a Comic-Con security officer summed up cosplay culture during the Con to me: Folks don their costumes at home thinking they'll stand out in the crowd, only to arrive at the Convention Center and see that uniqueness is almost pedestrian here in San Diego — if only for this one wondrous weekend in July. So what's the secret to crafting a truly Tweet-worthy, next-level costume?

You've got your easy jokes on a familiar theme (Retired Batman is lounging outside the Convention Center in a lawn chair as we speak, while a Sad Storm Trooper was spotted holding a sign that read "Need hug. Death Star destroyed.") but let's be real: if you've been to one Con, you've seen most of it all. So, a few humble observations from Comic-Con 2012:

Over the past few years Slave Leia has become one of the most overdone costumes at Comic-Con. They're everywhere. They look the same. Yawn. So props to the guy who made me pause on the street to take this Leia pic: It ain't Slave Leia, but it works. (Also kinda works as a nod to the stunt double scene in Spaceballs.)

Comic-Con - Star Wars cosplay - dude Leia

Meanwhile, subversive takes on Disney princesses have spawned their own meme category on the interwebs, and Sexy Fill-in-the-Blanks are a staple of any gathering of geek culture. (It's like Halloween for geeks. Walking down the street in a thong in broad daylight is a fanboy/girl prerogative!) Now, Hot Disney Princess is not a new concept in the cosplay world but this trio pretty much stopped traffic while walking toward the Convention Center the other day. And while they politely declined requests from the random dudes with cameras swarming them on the street, I watched them stop to take a photo with a kid. THE EPITOME OF THE DISNEY PRINCESS SPIRIT!

Comic-Con Disney princess cosplay

And yet the best cosplay I've seen all Comic-Con was one that you kinda had to be here to truly appreciate: The group of youngsters who, with just a few pieces of cardboard, a marker, and a sense of humor, parodied the Christian evangelists who've been clogging the crowded walkway between the Convention Center and downtown San Diego shouting about Jesus on soapboxes to disinterested Con-goers just trying to cross the damn railroad tracks:

Comic-Con2012: Bikes Satan cosplay

Well played, dudes. By today a band of paid marketers pimping some Stan Lee event were already biting your style, to far less compelling effect.

Read more from Comic-Con 2012 here.

Follow Jen Yamato on Twitter.
Follow Movieline on Twitter.