Frankie Stein (Monster High: Ghostbusters edition)
Real name: Cassidy Wells
Why this character? I always wanted to do a complete Monster High costume.
How was the commute? A couple of people asked me what was going on. Apparently I scared one of the commuters. But it’s early Thursday, so usually everyone is asleep. Too asleep to ask for pictures.
What superpower would you want to have in New York City? Shape-shifting. Say someone’s catcalling you—you can change into a creepy old dude.
Red Hood (left, from the Batman universe)
Real name: Armando
Why this character? He’s a vigilante for justice who bends the rules.
What superpower would you want to have in New York City? Super speed.
Deathstroke (from the Batman universe)
Real name: Jacob
Why this character? I wanted to be a villain. And he has a sword, but I didn’t bring one because I was afraid it wouldn’t get through security.
Why do you love cosplay? It’s fun to be someone else for a while.
Annie (from League of Legends)
Real name: Christine
What’s with the bear? In the game, this tiny bear grows into an enormous beast.
What do you do when you’re not in character? I’m a receptionist.
What are you looking forward to at Comic Con? I’m excited to see Stan Lee. I won’t be able to get an autograph—I just want to see him from afar.
Joker (from The Dark Knight)
Real name: John Butler
Why do you like the Joker? He’s always looking for chaos and causing trouble—my kind of guy.
Batman (from Batman Forever)
Real name: Evan
Why Batman? He’s my childhood hero. I always idolized him. Nice car, nice mask, Batcave, nice suit.
Black Jack (left, from Black Jack)
Real name: Jonathan Costa
Why this character? The comic Black Jack is the father of all manga, and this character is a black market surgeon who takes big money from the rich to help the poor. I relate to Black Jack.
Pinoko (from Black Jack)
Real name: Alessandra
Any fun interactions on the ride over? A lot of people don’t know the comic, and they’d be talking to each other and trying to remember the name of the character, and we’d answer from three rows away.
Aldrich (left, from Dark Souls 3)
Real name: Sophie Moskop
You made this costume yourself? We made the skirts, the scaffolds and the mask. It was trial and error—this was my third or fourth attempted mask.
Luke Skywalker (center, from Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Real name: R. J. Moskop
What do you do in your everyday life? I’m an anesthesiologist.
General Leia (right, from Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Real name: Susan Moskop
What superpower would you want to have in New York City? Magic cab-hailing.
Real name: Harrison
Who’s Arctic? He’s from a series I’ve been working on about werewolf superheroes.
How do they become werewolves? They get chemical transfusions at a government facility.
Real name: Russell Fagelman
Who’s Frankie Dude? He’s a crimefighter and dancer.
Is he also from a series you’re working on? No, I just like creating characters.
Lady Deadpool (from Deadpool)
Real name: Luisa Ruiz
Why Lady Deadpool? She kills for money and other reasons. She’s just like Deadpool, except she’s hotter.
Is this your first Comic Con? I’ve gone for years—I go all four days, in a different costume every day.
What do you do for a living? I’m a special effects and makeup artist.
Ursula (left, from The Little Mermaid)
Real name: Hannah
Why Ursula? I’m a makeup artist, and I’m obsessed with Divine.
What do you like about Comic Con? You can be who you want to be. It’s Halloween on steroids.
Prince Eric (from The Little Mermaid)
Real name: Jacqui
What do you do when you’re not in character? I’m a chef at El Colmado in Gotham West Market.
The Toxic Avenger
Real name: Jesse Griffin
Hi. You guys are getting my good side, right?
Tell us about yourself. I’m like Captain Planet, but better looking.
How did you get here? I walked from the toxic waste dump where I live, then took a couple of trains.
More than 150,000 people flock to New York Comic Con annually, making it the largest event of its kind in North America. And while there is plenty there to entertain hardcore and casual nerds—including VR demos, an absurdly large selection of collectibles and appearances by the likes of Stan Lee—there may be no bigger attraction than the attendees themselves, who create a festive atmosphere with their enthusiasm and creative costumes. Here are some of our favorites from day one of the 2016 convention.