More Comic-Con@Home Masquerade Prizes Announced!

The UCLA David C. Copley Center for The Study of Costume Design will generously present $500 in Amazon gift cards as The David C. Copley Award for Most Innovative Costume, as judged by Copley Center Director Deborah Nadoolman Landis.

The Costume Designers Guild IATSE Local 892, representing Hollywood costume designers, assistant costume designers, and costume illustrators working at the highest levels of expertise in motion pictures, TV, commercials, music videos, and new media, will again be presenting to their favorite Masquerade entry a Costume Designers Guild Spotlight Award of a costume design book, a copy of CDG Magazine, and a $100 gift card to Mood Fabrics, the large online fabric store for designers and anyone who sews. The CDG is part of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (I.A.T.S.E.).

Comic-Con@Home Masquerade Prizes Update!

The Frank and Son Collectible Show, of the City of Industry, California, will present to one outstanding costume entry in our Comic-Con@Home virtual Masquerade a generous award of  $1,000.  Frank and Son is a giant one-stop show for all things collectible at their bi-weekly mini-cons and has supported fan costuming at our conventions with generous cash prizes for many years.

Celebrating Costuming in the Popular Arts and the Creativity of Our Attendees:
Comic-Con@ Home presents the 2021 Masquerade@Home, our virtual Cosplay Competition!
Comic-Con@Home 2020 Masquerade Best in Show: Astra, Queen of the Frostborn

Best In Show 2020 Winner: “Astra, Queen of the Frostborn”, an Original Design crafted by Sara Kruger. 
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sara Kruger

Calling all costumers, this year as in 2020 a page shall be our Masquerade stage - a San Diego Comic-Con Tumblr webpage of costume entries that virtual attendees from around the world can view and enjoy. You can share your crafted costume via a series of photos, or a video and sound presentation, or both, showcasing your cosplay crafting and presentation talents. Last year this event on the Tumblr platform worked quite well, among its 50 entries were amazing and entertaining costumes from a dozen countries, many utilizing clever and unique presentation ideas that prove you need not be a professional to create impressive costumes!

Why is it called a Masquerade rather than just a costume contest or cosplay competition? Because “to masquerade” means to portray someone other than yourself, and our contestants do more than just pose, they often bring costumes to life by including elements of character, story, and mood, sometimes dramatic moments, mock battles, or humorous surprises. For decades costuming has been an important and fun element at our in-person conventions, as it is throughout the popular arts, so we always provide a venue for our talented and dedicated fan-costumers to share with style their crafted creations. And as always, awards will be given in several categories as judged by professional costumers and others in the costume-related arts.

Your entry can be a solo costume, or a group entry. Each entry is allowed on their Masquerade Tumblr post up to 10 photos and 1 minute of video time, and groups are allowed an additional 30 seconds. A series of only photos is perfectly fine, but for those of you who enjoy video production, this is your chance to feed two passions at once. You may even include some photos of your design and construction process if you like. Musically inclined? Create your own music or choreograph a dance. Whatever you include should be suitable for all ages of viewers, or our Tumblr page will not be able to display it.

The Tumblr website containing all the accepted entries will go “live” for viewing Saturday during the virtual con, easily accessed from the Comic-Con@home website and will remain available on-line for a few months afterward for viewers the world over to enjoy. Your entry will be judged prior to the convention by our panel of guest judges, and winners will be announced on the Tumblr page later on that day, and then also after on Comic-Con’s website.

We expect most entries will be solo costumes; others will be groups with a shared theme. Many will be re-creations from movies, TV, anime films, Broadway shows, computer games, history, and of course comic books, but there will also be completely original designs, some never seen before anywhere. All costume genres are welcome, but no purchased or professionally sourced ones are allowed.


Beautiful Comic-Con awards, featuring our custom-created Masquerade medallions, will be presented in categories of: Best In Show, Judges’ Choice, Best Re-Creation, Best Original Design, Best Workmanship, Most Beautiful, Best Group, and Most Humorous. We may expand these categories depending on the costumes that are submitted. Our Masquerade award medallions were designed by fantasy artist and illustrator Sue Dawe, and custom crafted by the same maker of the Emmy and Golden Globe awards.

Plus! any costumed entry winning one of the above Comic-Con award categories will also receive a FREE 4-day membership badge to our in-person 2022 San Diego Comic-Con! No need to deal with the challenge of online membership registration, if you are a winning costume, you will have your badge, Comic-Con’s extra thank-you for all your hard work and talent. Complimentary badges are non-transferable, and if a group wins, up to four free memberships will be given.

In addition to the awards listed above, some professional organizations and companies will be participating with their own prizes, and they will be announced in coming days.


Participants must create a Tumblr blog/account (or use an existing account) by July 7 and share the URL with San Diego Comic-Con. There will be a maximum of 50 entries in the show, and you will need to reserve your contestant spot in advance by filling out and sending the downloadable entry form, or make your own facsimile of it with your information, along with one or more evaluation photos, to no later than the deadline of July 7 (the sooner the better, as we expect to fill up again.). Your mail should use the subject "Masquerade Entry for [Name of participant]: Tumblr account" and include within your mail your first and last name, your Tumblr URL/Account, and attach your Masquerade Entry Form, plus evaluation photos of your costume (or costumes, if a group entry). If a group, list their names also. You will be notified by July 9 if accepted, earlier if you submit your entry earlier.

You can submit an entry form right now to reserve your spot and submit evaluation photos later, by July 7. Your photo(s) need not be the final ones you provide for the show and need not show your costume fully completed. If we deem your costume meets the rules and quality criteria for the event, then you will be notified that you are accepted and provided more instructions.

We suggest you read the complete, illustrated, and very friendly Tumblr guide specifically made for our Masquerade contestants, and it is included here for you to download, and it gives detailed step-by-step instructions.

Accepted participants will be required to share with us a completed Tumblr draft blog post of their photos and/or video costume entry no later than of July 12 so it can be reviewed for content (this will be a private post to be shared only with Comic-Con for approval). Videos can be no more than 100MB in size, in MOV or MP4 formats. Participants will then be instructed when to convert their draft post to a public post for Comic-Con to re-blog.

In the text window of your Tumblr photos/video blog post, include:

  • Your full name, or fan name, or Tumblr identity if you prefer.
  • Costume Entry Title:
  • Costume Description: (Original design, or Re-creation, or Other. If a re-creation please name -the source - the movie, comic book, video game, anime series, artwork, etc.)
  • Bio: (List your country of residence, and anything else about yourself you would like people to know.)
  • (Be sure to tag: #Comic-ConAtHome, #Comic-ConAtHome2021, and #Comic-ConAtHomeMasquerade)

If you wish you can include music in your video, however while normally we pay performance fees for copyrighted music heard at our conventions, our licenses do NOT cover Internet use. This means you will need to use “free to use” or “public domain” music only. There are Internet sites where you can download music to add to your video with no royalties or fees involved. Some sites grant free use of their music as long as you credit the composer or source in your video, so be sure to credit them or we will not be able to accept your video. Also, some websites claim royalty-free music, but charge fees to download them, so we suggest searching for “free to use” or “public domain” for any music needs. For those of you musically inclined, feel free to compose your own. Audio elements of your submission may contain narration, music, interviewing and sound effects, but NO copyrighted music (unless it is your own).

While most of our in-person con and virtual con content focuses on panels of professionals in the popular arts, sharing their work, knowledge and insights, the Masquerade reminds us that the creative arts reside in ALL of us, and that among our attendees there is plenty of amazing talents and creativity worth showcasing. More than a few instances over the years we have seen our cosplaying contestants go on to professional costuming careers.

Entry Rules:
  1. Costumes must be of original construction or show significant modification of pre-existing materials. No costumes are accepted that are purchased or otherwise obtained from a commercial source. The event is about creativity and craftsmanship, not shopping ability. It is expected that some costumes may include as minor elements some purchased items. As a general rule, at least 75% of your costume must not have been purchased. If it could pass for street clothes, it is not a costume. You need not have made the costume yourself, perhaps a friend or family member did, or was a group effort, but it cannot be purchased from a professional maker.
  2. Category definitions: Re-Creation: A costume copied from a pre-existing design, such as from a movie, comic book, famous artwork, history, etc. Original: A design original to the maker/wearer.  It may be inspired by some work of fantasy, science fiction, mythology, etc., but is not a copy. You must be at least age 18 to participate in this Internet-based event.  A group entry is 2 or more persons in costumes.
  3.  Due to the limited number of entries that can participate, costumes accepted for the event must have appropriate quality as determined by our evaluation team and must show a significant amount of one or more of the following: Quality crafting, innovation, originality, beauty, storytelling aspect, and characterization. Entries may be declined for reasons of inappropriate content, or due to too many purchased items, or because the construction materials or techniques used do not meet the criteria of quality for the show, or from reaching the limit for entries.
  4.  Each entry is allotted up to 10 photos and/or 1 minute of video time, and group entries may have an additional 30 seconds. Keep in mind shorter can sometimes be better than using the full time.
  5.  Costumes that have appeared in previous San Diego Comic-Con and WonderCon Masquerades (in-person cons or our previous virtual cons) or as “Hall Costumes” at our past cons are not allowed, however, costumes that have participated in the past at other fan conventions are welcome in this event. Note that participating in this virtual Masquerade will not disqualify you from participating on stage in the same costume at our in-person conventions once they return.
  6. Your Masquerade entry cannot also be also entered in Comic-Con@home’s Cosplay Challenge photo contest (intended for what is usually seen at the con as walk-around “Hall Costumes”). However, contestants may enter a separate costume(s) into the Cosplay Challenge from their Masquerade costume entry, thereby participating in both events.
  7. You are not required to wear your costume yourself; someone else can present it in the virtual contest.  But if it is worn by someone other than you, that person should not be a paid individual, nor may your soundtrack, narration or costume include content that advertises an actual product, service, or website. Music utilized may not be copyrighted material.
  8. Entrants agree to allow San Diego Comic Convention, Inc. to keep and reuse images that you provide for subsequent promotion of our conventions and other future events, and you will be asked to sign an on-line release form if accepted for the event.
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