More than 150,000 fans are expected to descend (some will even be wearing capes) on the Javits Center to attend the 10th annual New York Comic Con event. A blockbuster event for comic book publishers like Marvel and D.C., it has in recent years seen increased popularity as more films and television shows star characters that got their start in comic books. This year, world-premiere screenings are planned for X-Files, Jessica Jones and The Walking Dead. Some high-profile attendees include actors Bryan Cranston, Rashida Jones, Eliza Dushku and Sean Bean.
Photographer Fred Conrad photographed the contestants of The NYCC Eastern Championships of Cosplay. The contestants donned costumes from five different categories, Comic Books, Movies & Television, Video Games, Anime and Fantasy. They are judged on the authenticity, technique and fit of their costumes. The cash prize is $5,000 and the winner will also be automatically qualified for the final round of 2016 C2E2 Crown Championships of Cosplay in Chicago, the final stop in the Quest for the Crown.
Below, take a look at a few of the contestants. (And for more on the subject, read “How did NY Comic Con become such big business?” and “Fortune’s 27 most fantastical comic book businesses.”)
Robbie Martin, Garruk Wildspeaker
Dan Willis, The Thing
Willis is from Glens Falls, New York. The costume is made of couch foam and took him 10 months to make. He started collecting comics at age six and then sold his entire collection to buy his first house.
John Hartigan, Barf
Hartigan is from Westchester, New York. He is an actor, cosplayer, scientist and nerd. It took him 30 hours to make his Barf costume from the movie Spaceballs. You can follow him on Instagram as @TheRealJohnnyH
Dhareza Maramis, Spartan Batman
Melanie Braverman, Honey Lemon
Vanya Yount, Maedhros Feanorian
Yount is dressed as an elf named Maedhros Feanorian from “Histories of the Middle Earth,” a prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It took her two years to make and the entire outfit is handmade. She is from Buffalo, New York. You can follow her on instagram at @rattle_and_burn.
Ruby Taki, Anubis
Taki is originally from Nagoya, Japan and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is dressed as Anubis from “Zone of the Enders” (costume too tall to be fully dressed). It took her eight months to put together and is made of foam. The costume in its entirety makes her 9-feet tall.
Emma Castro, Batgirl (in black and white)
Erie Vitale, The Usurper King Zant
Vitale is dressed as The Usurper King Zant from the video game Legend of Zelda, Twilight Princess. It took him 4 months to create and is made out of Warbla craft foam and EVA foam. He is from Manhattan.
Anita Phanthikane, Ariel
Eva Birch, Alchemist Poison Ivy
Jillian Wilms, GUTS
Adrian Aroche, Ganondorf
Joanna Miranda, Headhunter Caitlyn
Jessica Miller, Lucy
Sarah Jean Maefs, Angela
Katherine Chavez, Lightning
Julian Keller, Kratos
Elisa Forysinski, Zelda
Amanda Caswell, Sally
Rovolfo Chiari, Leoric
Paula Vasquez, Queen Amidala
Michael Baaden, Vision
Tom DePetrillo, HulkBuster
DePetrillo with Extreme Costumes took 10 months to make this massive costume. It has an aluminum frame and is made of EVA foam and cardboard. All together it makes him 9 ft 6 in tall. He has been doing stilt work for 19 years.
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