CCI: The Fashion, Art & Culture of Comic-Con

Thu, August 4th, 2011 at 11:58am PDT

Comic Books
Sonia Harris, Contributing Writer

When you attend Comic-Con International in San Diego, there is a lot to see. With all of the eye candy flashing by you from all directions no matter which way you turn, there is always something interesting to look at. Honestly, it just isn't possible to see it all. In terms of a perfect melting pot of pop culture genres, you could hardly ask for a more diverse and rich environment. Here are just 50 of the photos I took to represent the art, design and fashion of Comic-Con.

Fine print: This is my personal view of Comic-Con. I don't draw many lines between real life and pretend, between costume and clothing, between art and toys, between disposable and precious. These photos and observations are simply my attept to capture the essence of the show. I took about 1000 photos, about half of which will probably end up in a big batch on my flickr at some point. For now, I hope you enjoy these.

EDITOR'S NOTE: To fully appreciate the images and Sonia's observations, click the thumbnails below to see the full photos

This photo hits all the classic targets of half-naked female cosplay; Adrianne Curry on the left as a dominatrix interpretation of a "Star Wars" imperial guard, on the right a slouching slave Leia, and in the center is an uncomfortable Leeloo from "The Fifth Element" trying to untuck her underpants.I'm a sucker for old cars and I love all of the exposed wiring and unpainted chrome of the "Back to the Future" DeLorean.
There are so many lovingly crafted toys and figures at Comic-Con that it gets hard to choose what to show. Neil Winn's little monster sculptures are so detailed that they photograph excessively well.The inflatable Smurf was about 15' high, but in my memory it is looms 50' high, like some kind of crazy homage to Claes Oldenburg.
Glasses are to be one of the few things that even the most conservative of people will use to express their personal style. Here are just a few of them (See if you can spot the comic book creators).This Zira from "Planet of the Apes" costume is impressive because of her expressive features. The mask is glued to her face, so it showed every grin and frown.
An incredibly detailed "Swamp Thing" toy from Mattel, it is beautiful and I want one. More than that, I like that there is a market for this kind of bizarre "toy."I love how into the Lego displays this kid was! Check out his styling headband, too.
Everyone interprets their heroes the way they want to. Who's to say, maybe Batman could get away with a van dyke? The airbrushed muscles aren't really working here (especially from the side), simply because the guy has enough of his own muscles already. How can you not love the insanity of a velvet jacket, red ruffled shirt, cigarette pants and silver velcro sneakers? (Taken at the "BOOM! Studios" meet up.)
Late at night, passing Dr. Girlfriend (of "The Venture Bros.") as she complains to her friend on the steps of the convention hall.You aren't really doing the zombie thing right unless you throw in some extra dead babies on your head.
The suit Two Face wore in "The Dark Knight." Until I saw this I didn't notice that they'd used a red lining, so that when it got damaged it looked like an open wound. Clever.Not only is this an amazing female Galactus costume, but it is worn with such relish. Check out that grin -- she's really enjoying eating planets.
The creators of "Blue Estate" made these character sculptures to maintain continuity when working with a variety of artists. Clever stuff, these are made with one of the impressive new "3D printers."The simplest, most effective Silver Surfer costume imaginable. I did worry that he might die from what looked like silver spray pain. Is that stuff toxic?
Everyone is talking about Superman's jeans, but no one is talking about how sexy he looks in the preview artwork.This graphic striped dress looks extra ‘60's paired with the fellas in shirts and ties. (Whitney Matheson, Conor Kilpatrick and Gordon Strain at the "Popcandy" party.)
Superman bumps into Sally and Oogie Boogie from the "Nightmare Before Christmas." Only at Comic-Con.Elaborate blueprints of the spaceship which crashes in "Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes," the prequel book by Andrew E. C. Gaska.
Redhead wearing a fantastic green dress with octopus details.Not all figures are child-friendly, but luckily there is painters tape to protect our fragile little minds.
The range of tattoos at Comic-Con is fantastic. While a lot of them are pretty standard, you do get the odd example of true geeky love from writers and fans alike. Sometimes you see really weird things on the walk back to your hotel late at night. This strange photo shoot I stumbled on was one of them.
Kids just look better than adults in spandex. Maybe it's easier to imagine them as cartoons. Art for everyone.
If you're a little kid and you who always wanted to hang out with a scantily clad barbarian, this is definitely the place to go. Frank Kozik's own brand of pop art.
Sometimes a costume is less of a costume and more some sort of disturbing performance art. Aren't the Teen Titan's meant to be full of energy? Apparently no one is immune from con-fatigue.
At every convention there are plenty of slave Leia's, stormtroopers and even a few Darth Vaders, but you rarely see a Wookie, especially not one as good as this. This year I saw more slim guys with floppy mohawk manes than ever before.
The giant Bart Simpson statue has a weirdly vigilant look to it, bringing gravitas to the "Bongo" booth. The leprechaun and the princess aren't actually together, I just happened to catch them posing. This kind of odd mixture is typical of Comic-Con and part of what makes it so visually rich and silly.
A quality movie-reproduction suit, improved by the goofy grin of the guy who's loving wearing it. If you're too shy for a silly costume or haircut, you can always grow a "Game of Thrones" style silly beard.
Old school Catwoman costume. I'll always remember this drawn by Alan Davis in "Detective Comics." Even back then, I thought it was probably impractical. Some fan art toys of S. Steven Struble's character, "Li'l Depressed Boy."
While X-23 and Harley Quinn might not partner up in the comics, they made a great team running around the convention floor together. Men in costume need to learn what women wearing tights and leggings have known for years – beware the baggy bottom.
"Suckerpunch" looms large.While their parents art directed them, tiny Iron Man and Spider-Man attempted to mimic movements they didn't understand. The confusion was pretty great.
Wherever there is a scantily clad anime costume, there will be five or six men with cameras close by.This would be a flawless costume if not for the shopping bag. This is why people in costume either need a handler to carry their stuff, or a bag which matches their costume.
Some people dress in costume, other's create their own costume. James Sime always does the latter. The hairy man in bad Pikachu drag is like a modern take on the "Monty Python" women.
He said he wasn't in costume. What you can't see is the 6-inch platform.The tragic necessity of using a cell phone will mess up any nearly perfect costume.
Demonstrating the upcoming custom Judge suite, this guy had to wear his through the entire con, suffering through the heat in head-to-toe vinyl. Still, it was worth it. At about five feet high, this has to be the sweetest, oddest, little person in costume at the con.

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