Click here to download the Comic-Con International 2013 Masquerade Contestant Information and Entry Form.
The deadline for advance entry is July 1, 2013, but the Masquerade fills up quickly, so submit your entry ASAP!
Anyone who’s ever attended Comic-Con International can attest to the wide variety of great costumes that can be seen, worn by attendees in the corridors and Exhibit Hall, on display in glass cases, in miniature form on collectible figures, and in countless images on posters and books. Costuming is a vital ingredient of nearly all the popular arts and has been an integral part of fan conventions for many decades. Comic-Con’s Saturday night big event is a unique evening of fun and amazing costume creations: the stage lights brighten, the music swells, the spotlights focus center-stage, and the audience of 4,000-plus who have lined up for many hours in advance takes their seats for the annual Comic-Con Masquerade costume show.
Why is it called a Masquerade and not simply a costume contest? Because it’s more than just posing on stage: it’s about portraying characters too, a show full of spectacle, beauty, awe, comedy, light-saber battles, and song and dance, an event where you never know what’s going to happen next. The Masquerade proves that among Comic-Con’s attendees are plenty of amazing talents with creativity worth showcasing. More than a few times, contestants go on to professional costuming careers.
The Masquerade is an event in the style of a talent competition, with a master of ceremonies, a panel of guest judges, and impressive awards in various categories. The large, elevated stage has theater-style lighting and four giant high-definition video screens providing great close-up views gathered by multiple cameras. The audience fills Ballroom 20 to capacity, and over 2,000 additional people watch the show on large video screens in the nearby Sails Pavilion and other ballrooms.
Some entries are solo costumes, while others are groups with a shared theme. Many are re-creations from movies, TV, anime, computer games, history, and of course comic books, but some completely original designs are presented as well. All costume genres are welcome, but no purchased or professionally sourced ones allowed. It’s a celebration of imagination and craftsmanship, and fun is the main objective!
And our winners get valuable prizes indeed: Entries that win one of the Comic-Con trophy categories will also win free 4-day badges to Comic-Con 2014! No need to worry about buying a badge, you’ll already have yours for next year (if a group wins, up to 4 badges will be given; all badges are non-transferable). It’s Comic-Con’s way of saying thanks for all the hard work and dedication of our costumers.
The most outstanding costumes in the event will win beautiful Masquerade trophy medallions, custom designed for Comic-Con by artist and illustrator Sue Dawe, whose prolific art resume includes being selected by the Franklin Mint for her own series of collectable art plates as well as 3D art sculptures. Award categories will include Best in Show, Judges’ Choice, Best Re-Creation, Best Original Design, Best Workmanship, Best Presentation, Most Beautiful, and Best Young Fan.
In addition to the beautiful Masquerade trophy medallions, several companies and organizations will be bestowing generous cash and merchandise prizes of their own, presented to winners selected by their representatives:
• Frank And Son Collectible Show, of the City of Industry, CA, will present to the entry they deem the audience favorite a prize of $1,000 cash, plus a very impressive trophy.
• DC Comics representatives will present a special DC Direct collectible valued over $300 to the finest entry portraying a DC Comics character or characters.
• Lucasfilm Ltd. will reward the best Star Wars costumers with fabulous items from their Licensing Archives. The finest entries from the Star Wars universe will be selected by a Lucasfilm representative to receive very special limited-edition collectibles.
• TME That's My Entertainment will award $100 cash to the best Movie Representation, plus $100 for what they deem the People's Favorite. Courtesy of their parent company, The Testmarket Evolution.
• Geek magazine, the bestselling magazine devoted to popular culture, technology, music, gadgets, films, comics and everything geek, will award to the best movie or TV character a digital subscription to Geek, plus a prize package worth $500 from Geek magazine advertisers and sponsors!
• Century Guild, the company offering “the finest art of three centuries”, will present $200 cash or $400 booth credit to the costume entry they select as best portraying the elements of Archaic Technologies or Art Nouveau.
• The David C. Copley Award for Most Innovative Costume: Oscar-nominated costume designer and David C. Copley Center director Deborah Nadoolman Landis, costume designer of Raiders of the Lost Ark, An American Werewolf in London, Coming to America, Michael Jackson's Thriller, the 2010 horror-comedy Burke & Hare, and UCLA's David C. Copley Chair in Costume Design, will present to her favorite entry the UCLA Copley Center for The Study of Costume Design Award of $500 (check), plus a copy of her beautiful book: Hollywood Sketchbook: A Century of Costume Illustration, (cover price $75).
More companies will join this list as we get closer to Comic-Con. Check back for additional prizes and updated details
For the rest of the year you are dressed as yourself. For Comic-Con, come be someone else for a change! Join in the celebration of costuming, an art very old and yet always with fresh ideas and new techniques, and always fun. Get to work on that costume, and be a part of the popular arts!