For most Americans, July is known for hosting barbecues, swimming in 100-degree weather and celebrating our independence. For geeks, however, July is the month of Comic-Con. Fans come to San Diego Comic-Con International (July 12-15 this year) from around the world to hear about their favorite movies, games, comics, and TV shows while dressed up in extravagant costumes.
In many ways, fashion has taken center stage at Comic-Con, says Josh Havlik, a former employee of Comics, Toons and Toys in Tustin, who has attended the event nearly every year for the past 20 years. Convention-goers take their costumes seriously; so much so that Comic-Con began hosting an annual masquerade to showcase some of the more creative and intricately designed outfits.
If you're reading this, there's a good chance you're not at Comic-Con and may not get to see the costuming in full glory… but there's no reason you can't get the next best thing.
We’ve spoken with several locals who frequent the annual event to paint you a picture of the hottest costumes for this year. Learn how to put the costumes together in time for Halloween.
Black Widow from Marvel’s The Avengers
A good predictor of what’s going to be hot at Comic-Con is to take a look at its Southern California predecessor, Wonder Con, says Havlik. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many Wonder Con guests were dressed up as characters from Marvel’s newest blockbuster, The Avengers. If the Anaheim event is any kind of indicator of what’s to come, we can expect to see more than a few Black Widows in San Diego.
How It's Done: The design is fairly simple – black leotard, black gloves, black boots, belt, bracelets, and red hair (or wig). Most of these items can be found around the house or nearby stores. If not, full Black Widow costumes are available at Costume Castle in Lake Forest.
Finn from "Adventure Time"
Comic-Con is all about the latest craze. “I think with the Con, it’s mostly stuff right here, right now,” says Havlik. One TV program that’s gaining popularity is "Adventure Time," a show on Cartoon Network about a 13-year-old boy and his magic dog, Jake.
How It's Done: Besides the hat, this costume is quite simple to put together. Finn wears black shoes, dark blue shorts and a light blue shirt. Any of these things can be found around the house or at a thrift store, but you’ll have to make Finn’s hat yourself.
Naga from "The Legend of Korra"
"The Legend of Korra" is a new show on Nickelodeon and a sequel to "Avatar: The Last Airbender." Since its launch on April 14, the series has already become a hit. A few of the show’s characters are sure to be milling about the Con, including Naga, a polar bear dog and animal guide.
How It's Done: Desiree Corey, an employee at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores in Laguna Hills, is attending Comic-Con as Naga. Her costume is very simple, she says. It consists of white tights and a big white shirt, which she cut and lined with fur trim. Other fabrics were used from around the store to add a tail and ears.
TARDIS from "Doctor Who"
While Corey dresses as a polar bear dog, her friend will be dressing as a London-style police box from the '60s named TARDIS, or Time and Relative Dimension in Space. In the TV series "Doctor Who," TARDIS is a time machine and spacecraft used by the Doctor to explore the universe.
How It's Done: First, a simple blue dress was purchased from a local Goodwill, Corey says. Then iron-on letters were attached, along with small bits of square fabric to resemble the pattern on the side of the police box.