Hundreds of Harley Quinns—bleached hair in high pigtails dipped red and blue, fishnet tights, “Puddin” jewelry and t-shirts proudly emblazoned with “Daddy’s Little Monster.”
Dozens of Jared Leto-style Jokers (far fewer brave souls sticking to the character’s Heath Ledger iteration.)
Scores of Stranger Thing’s Eleven in her various iterations: some with shaved head, some with a blonde wig, most accessorized with a box of frozen Eggo waffles.
Imagine a Halloween party where no one is dressed a lazy half-assed pun and there are no douchebags in penis-themed costumes and everyone you meet is just as eager as you to deconstruct whether or not Zack Snyder is the proper vessel for DC’s key titles. ComicCon is a celebration for people who want to find their people. It is an ecstatic, crowded, sweaty, exhausting entire universe pressed into a convention space by the the docks on the west side of Manhattan, and it is glorious. For the price of an entrance pass, people have the opportunity to put together a costume that will be not just accepted by those around them, but appreciated.
For all of the effort and energy people put into their cosplays—all of the glue, the fabric that had to be stretched and sewn, the wigs, the makeup—I say this: thank you. Thank you for being excited about Howl’s Moving Castle and the Fantastic Four and Steven Universe and sharing it with the rest of us. 2016 has been a scary and stressful and terrible year. For a few hours, the respite was earnest, nerdy joy.