From Trekkies to Potterheads, fandoms of all kinds gathered to share their passion with like-minded people at Toronto Comicon, a three-day convention that ran from March 18 to March 20.
After a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic, Comicon’s highly anticipated return to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre had fans big and small dressing up as their favourite characters in costumes known as cosplay.
Extravagant cosplays from stormtroopers to giant Pikachus paraded throughout the convention, leaving crowds of onlookers in awe wherever they went.
One of the most popular cosplays that could be spotted throughout the event was the countless characters from the game Genshin Impact, a Chinese action-role-playing game.
Other popular cosplay picks included a variety of characters from the Star Wars, DC and Marvel universes.
As a first-time visitor to Comicon, I didn’t know what to expect before I stepped inside, but what I was welcomed to was beyond my nerdiest of dreams.
Cosplayer Jillea summed up the feeling of walking into Comicon perfectly while discussing her first-time convention experience during a panel on cosplay and social media.
“I opened the door, and I went down the escalator, and I just saw a bunch of versions of myself in different people. People who enjoyed being here, people who enjoy cosplaying, people who enjoy the love of crafting.”
“I was immediately hooked, and I have been cosplaying ever since, and that was 10 years ago.”
Whether you’re a cosplay pro like Jillea or a newbie like myself, nobody felt left out of the festivities.
“Something that I really appreciated about stepping into the cosplay community was, for the most part, everyone will welcome you with open arms,” Jillea said.
Alvin Chau and his family said they have been doing cosplay for a year but have not been able to go out due to the pandemic. This year’s Comicon is the first time the family has had the opportunity to go out in public, debuting their cosplay from the anime Demon Slayer.
Chau said it’s “exciting” to finally go to a convention in person.
While the pandemic may have prevented people from attending conventions in person, cosplay is more popular than ever.
During a panel, Aaron Vindua from the cosplay duo Married Makers said that people were more eager for different cosplay content throughout the pandemic.
“People wanted to know more from us personally. Our working process. How we did things, tutorials, and stuff like that.”
The growing love of cosplay was clear to see at Toronto Comicon as cosplayers, new and old, gathered under one roof to share their passion with fellow fans. A welcome change after two long years.
Fan Expo, Toronto’s next Comicon event, will take place from Aug. 25 to Aug. 28.