Fans pull out all stops with their Comic-Con costumes

“Cosplay” enthusiasts gather in full regalia at San Diego’s annual fan-fest, the Comic-Con Convention.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (JULY 10, 2015) (REUTERS) – Thousands of fans donning their best costumes and superhero t-shirts gathered at the San Diego Convention Center on Friday (July 10) for the second day of Comic-Con. For many, it is a social experience unlike any other, where self-proclaimed geeks share their love of everything nerdy, from anime to all-American superheroes to popular television shows.

“I think it’s huge, I think it’s huge for little kids up to old people, it brings everybody together, I think it’s awesome, I think it’s awesome seeing everybody in character, and people like me that have been closet nerds our whole lives, you get to come out and see a bunch of like-minded people and it’s really fun,” says super-fan Kyle Blehm, dressed like one of her favorite characters from the “Star Wars” films.

While Comic-Con is meant to be a convention centered on the world of comics, as its name suggests, the event has turned into something much bigger, often hosting blockbuster premieres and special events for television series. Some fans see this mixture of cultures as an evolution for Comic-Con.

It’s also the ultimate event for fans all around the world to don their favorite costumes, a practice known as “cosplay.”

“I got hooked, one year my sister dragged me down here, and I said ‘no way I’m going to a comic book convention,’ and then next thing you know, I see everybody my age and up are dressed up, so I got inspired,” said fan Nadar Muhammad, from Chicago, who joined the large crowd in his favorite cosplay gear.

Across the convention, characters from new movies like “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Captain America,” and “The Avengers” were seen throughout, but it was the age-old geek classic “Star Wars” that had the biggest presence.

“Everybody’s a ‘Star Wars’ fan, and I’m super excited for ‘Star Wars,’ it’s going to be a great movie, I’m going to have a good time, and it’s the new future for ‘Star Wars,’ it’s only the beginning,” says fan Eddie Lelma, who is looking forward to the release of the upcoming JJ Abrams-directed “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens,” due out in December.

The annual four-day convention, now in its 46th year, attract more than 125,000 people to the city of San Diego. The event runs from Thursday July 09 through Sunday July 12.