Sci-fi fans battle for most dazzling comic book costumes

Thousands of comic book fans descend on London in fancy dress to take part in one of the UK’s biggest celebrations of sci-fi and to compete in a masquerade competition at the London Super Comic Book convention.

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (MARCH 15, 2015) (REUTERS) – Thousands of comic book fans got decked out in their best fancy dress in London on Sunday (March 15) for one of the UK’s biggest celebrations of sci-fi culture.

The London Super Comic Book convention saw fans donning hugely elaborate costume in homage to their favourite comic, sci-fi and Disney characters.

The annual event is now in its fourth year and is the biggest comic themed event in the UK.

Fans call the dressing up ‘cosplay’ (a mix of the words ‘costume’ and ‘play’) and see it as form of performance art.

One man, Paul Labelle, dressed convincingly as a zombie said it was an ordinary way to spend the afternoon.

“Well, what else is there to do on a Sunday really other than dress up like a zombie?” he asked, tongue firmly in cheek, amid grunts and growls.

Many cosplayers highlighted the social element of their preferred pastime.

“Once you’re into it you make so many friends and so many interesting people that everytime there’s a convention and you don’t go and you see all your friends having fun and you’re not there you kind of miss out,” said Holly Allen, dressed as Sara Pezzini from Witchblade.

“I have made lots of friends through cosplay and dressing up and it’s been fantastic. Everyone has all the same interests. Everyone is geeky and it’s one place where we can all be geeky together,” added cosplayer Neil Hancock, who dressed as the Captain America villain Crossbones.

The climax of the event at London’s Excel centre was the London Super Costume championship, billed as the biggest independent cosplay competition in Europe.

It saw 52 entries from fans hoping to be judged as having the best costume and on-stage performance for a panel of judges chaired by professional American cosplayer Ya Ya Han.

The eventual winner was Ross Cobbold, a 25-year-old retail worker from Portsmouth in southern England, also known as ‘Ursula’ from the Broadway version of The Little Mermaid.

His prize is a trip to Dragon Con, the world’s premiere cosplay convention in Atlanta.

Speaking after his win he said: “I think cosplay is the ultimate form of fan expression. I don’t think there is any other way a fan can express how much he or she loves something besides cosplay.”