Cosplay is one of the highlights of Dragon Con. Everyone gets involved—young and old, some of them serious costumers, others just out to have fun. And cosplaying with a buddy seems to double their enjoyment. This reporter stopped a few of these gutsy, creative, awesome cosplaying pairs to discover a little more about them.
The first pair I found was Harley Quinn from Arkham Asylum (Katie Ledbetter) and Poison Ivy (Andrea Peng). Katie, a six-time veteran of Dragon Con, shared her expertise with her friend, first-timer Andrea. Katie’s favorite thing about Dragon Con? The costumes and people watching. “I’ve had a lot of Jokers winking at me,” she confided with a grin. What did Andrea think about the con? “It’s awesome,” she said. “Everyone just accepts everyone. It’s great!”
I stumbled across Belle (Eva Delaplane) and Gaston (Jairus Elerbee) early one morning in the Westin. This adorable girlfriend/boyfriend pair have been to Dragon Con before and make the most of the cosplay opportunities. “Yesterday we were Cinderella and Prince Charming from the new movie,” Eva said, “and that was a lot of fun.” Jairus added, “Friday we were Bert and Mary Poppins.” They made it to the top 20 in “The Chôsen” costume contest at the Georgia Aquarium on Saturday night. They love being recognized by people and hearing panels with experts that would be hard to find elsewhere.
Husband-and-wife team Lars and Christie Cade dressed up as Blaine and Liv from iZombie—and brought their two-month-old daughter, Eleanor, along for her first Dragon Con. Although Eleanor was a little too young to dress up this year, she seemed eager to snack on brains with mom and dad. Lars also enjoys the cosplay and the panels. A highlight for him this year was getting a high-five from the real-life Blaine (David Anders).
Dragon Con isn’t only for the young, however. It’s also a blast for the young-at-heart. Just check out the fabulous Queen Elizabeth I (Toni Horvath) and King Henry VIII (Alan Horvath). This is Toni’s fourth Dragon Con, but she only started cosplaying last year. She talked her husband, Alan, into sharing the experience with her. Toni made both of their exquisitely detailed costumes herself, drawing on her experience making Halloween costumes for her kids. She used to sit with her mom and watch old movies, and after seeing Queen Elizabeth portrayed in a beautiful costume, she decided to make her own. She got to share the process with her mother, who was dying of cancer.
How long did it take her to make her costume? “I kept saying one more day,” she confided, “but it was about three months, on and off, because we have children.” Then it was another month for her husband’s costume. As they beam and smile at everyone, it’s easy to see that they’re both delighted to be here. Toni thinks the attendees are “lovely kids,” and she enjoys “just chatting with everybody” at Dragon Con.
So find a buddy and get busy on next year’s costume. You only have 361 days to prepare your cosplay magnum opus.