Comic-Con may not be a hub of high-profile gaming announcements like E3 but that’s actually what is so fantastic about it – there’s a greater variety of things to see. The magical event brings fans from around the world to satiate all of their geek tastes in one place. Where else can you play the Assassin’s Creed 3 demo, buy a S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier and see the cast of Firefly, all while dressed as Freddie Mercury?

Comic-Con has moved well-past simply being a comic book convention, and it takes a second to disregard the irony, now that it has incorporated everything from movies to TV, games, and more. Of course, you can rationalize it – pointing out the fact that just about everything has a comic book adaption nowadays but, regardless of personal feelings, Comic-Con now caters to every species of geek. The show is like the superbowl of non-sports conventions and fans celebrate their love in every way they can – especially cosplay.

In case there are Comic-Con newbies reading, cosplay is short for “costume play” and is a “performance art” where fans dress up as their favorite characters and, man, do they go all out. The event enjoys some of the strongest cosplay in the business – due to the melting pot of geek cultures and shear variety of media to choose from. Marvel‘s Black Cat might be hanging with Fem Shep or Doctor Who – might just photobomb a picture of Pikachu. It’s all entirely, and ridiculously, possible.

The annual Masquerade is a chance for cosplayers to strut around to a self-choreographed performance complete with musical cues, pre-recorded dialogue and sound effects – all while dressing up in often extremely elaborate costumes. Anyone that has seen the documentary Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope saw the crazy good Mass Effect costumes, complete with an animatronic Grunt that was nothing short of stunning. This year, the show’s 38th Masquerade filled Ballroom 20 and beyond – roughly totaling 7,000 viewers – who watched 35 entries and 80 total costumes. The morale of the story is: even those who are totally lost at Comic-Con can enjoy the phenomenal people watching. This year had some incredibly creative, clever, and, dare we say, beautiful costumes – especially if the person inside it filled it out nicely… ahem.

Take a peek at some of the cosplay from Comic-Con 2012 and let us know what you thought. Impressed? Inspired? Frightened? Tell all!

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tags: SDCC 2012