I was introduced to the awesome & fascinating world of Cosplay last year -
Sure I had seen people dressing up at movie premiers and the occasional costume at some nerdier events I've attended but seeing it so mainstream, in full force as an art form, sometimes even competitively so was an unexpected turn of events that led me to attending events & photographing cosplayers on both coasts in everywhere in the middle this year.
Cosplay has influenced the advertising industry, in which cosplayers are often hired for event work previously assigned to agency models. Thus, new variant of cosplay has developed in which cosplayers attend events mainly for the purpose of modeling their characters for still photography.
Some cosplayers have since transformed their hobby into profitable, professional careers thus introducing the Pro Cosplayer,.
Regardless of your an amateur, pro or just a first timer I wanted to recognize the people we met this year.
This is in no way some sort of comprehensive list or we think that we know best, just a fun list of fun people we ran into this year that we ranked based on traffic on our site & across our social media platforms.
10) Star Dust (Dallas, TX)
Where we met her: Dallas Comic Con Fan Expo (Oct)
Stunning & awesome, I was blown away by Star's powerful presence & loved seeing her bringing diversity to Wonder Woman.
Had a great time shooting & hanging together all weekend at Dallas Comic Con Fax Expo in October.
9) Veanna Nunley (Arlington, TX)
Where we met her: Quarter Lounge Arcade Grand Opening Party
Vee, a fellow DJ who goes by the name DJ Veonix is a very talented cosplayer that combines her love of EDM & Cosplay with her skills to produce both wonderfully. I tapped Vee to help me judge a cosplay contest at the grand opening of this awesome retro arcade in Bedford that I was also DJn at called Quarter Lounge - check out both Vee & the arcade - their both awesome!
8) Katrina George (Ardmore, OK)
Where we met her: A-Kon 27
Anime Fest 2016 (Fort Worth, TX)
Katrina is an extremely talented cosplayer from Oklahoma who literally OWNED A-Kon this year. If you were there you probably saw her or saw the mob around here. Her Inori cosplay was one of, if not THE best of the convention & is the best Inori I've ever seen.
7) Charlotte Dolan (Dallas, TX)
Where we met her: Dallas Comic Con Fan Expo (Oct)
Mad Magazine Comic Show
I sang Charlotte's high praises on the podcast today - Since the release of the Suicide Squad movie & every year there is always that one cosplay that is the most popular, this year being unquestionably Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn - And while their were lots of them, Charlotte stood out with her amazing talent & attention to detail. Lucky us.
6) Desert Rose (Lewisville, TX)
Where we met her: Dallas Comic Con
Stefany Torres, better known as Desert Rose in the cosplay world has risen to be one of the most featured girls at cons across the country this year.
She also has a killer car that's almost as popular as she is! haha But after you see her cosplay, it's hard to imagine any vehicle could remotely compete with her.
5) Marla Massey (Dallas, TX)
Where we met her: Dallas Comic Con (June)
Richardson Comic Con
Mad Magazine Con
Nerf Battle World Record Attempt
It would be easier to list where we didn't meet Marla from MCubed Cosplay this year - This amazing talent was seemingly EVERYWHERE this year, slaying the masses each time with her super impressive cosplays & friendliness.
4) Kevin Lewis (Dallas, TX)
Where we met him - Dallas Comic Can Fan Days
Nerf World Record Attempt
Full disclosure, Kevin is an old friend of mine, but regardless of that Kevin more than deserves to be on this list. His cosplay is next level business and because of such he's a major player in the Cosplay world. Judging major contests & kicking ass in a high-profile way. He is the rare talent that can become completely unrecognizable when he's in character.
3) Kelsey Topper (Dallas, TX)
Where we met her - All-Con (March)
Dallas Comic Con
Second year we have done this list and both years the amazing Kelsey Topper has been on it & looking at her cosplay,it's not question why.
Especially this year as she raised her game so exponentially she just might be #1 next year.
It's not just Kelsey's talent, she has one of the most infectious laughs & instantly likable personalities of anyone your likely to meet.
In a word Kelsey simply rules - She has the DIY work ethic to match her punk ethos and the results KILL everytime.
2) Ashlynn Starbuck (Amarillo,TX)
Where we met her - Dallas Comic Con Fan Days (Oct)
I was blessed this year to have met one of the most talented cosplayers & just a masterpiece of a human being in Ashlynn Starbuck.
Completely by happenstance, it the final hour on the final day of Comic Con in Dallas this past October.
I joke about this on TrickyKid Radio Podcast but I literally (& purposely) went the wrong way down an escalator to photograph her jaw dropping Psylocke. As a rule I NEVER chase cosplayers - If they are in my line of sight & aren't being mobbed than we coo & nothing besides.
It's a strict rule I follow as quite frankly I loathe most of the unfuckables with cameras I see at these things & take extra care to never be lumped in with that lot in no uncertain terms.
So, as a testament to Miss Starbuck's appeal, I made an exception (& to date the only time I've done so) because she's just that damn magical.
In the time since, we've become great friends, she's appeared on our weekly TrickyKid Radio twice now (including the audio episode of this post).
Don't miss the TrickyKid Radio Podcast episode of our Top 10 Cosplayers of 2016 on which Ashlynn appears as well as more photos from our Goblin Queen shoot here -
1) Joanie Brosas - (Salt Lake City, UT)
Where we met her (this year) - Dallas Comic Con Fan Days (Oct)
Quite simply - the Queen.
For the second year in row Joanie has taken our #1 spot & if you've ever been in her presence it would come as no surprise to anyone.
This girl is a true nerd who also just happens to be impossibly attractive. Her Twitter feed is a delight of socially engaging inquiries, inspired photos & body/image positive messages that promote acceptance of all. Seriously, no one is doing cosplay this legit, this hot, with such a fun, positive attitude.
A Goddess & in the truest & every sense of the word.
I first met Joanie Brosas in her hometown of Salt Lake City last year at the SLC Comic-Con Fan Xperience.
That con & meeting Joanie both set off a chain reaction that has led t me attending about a half a dozen events each year that helped me really get to know the Cosplay community & develop a deep appreciation for this art form.
I finally got to tell her that & catch up with her at her first (& only to date) visit to Dallas back in October where we filmed an episode of
TrickyKid TV live from the convention that you can see here!
More to add here