If you're a hardcore enough cosplayer to enter the Masquerade, you already know all this - but here it is anyway.
The Masquerade, Comic Con's major Saturday night event, is now accepting entries. The deadline isn't until 1 July (kind of surprising) but of course the people who take part in this have been getting their costumes together for months.
If this year is your first Comic Con, you might think "Masquerade" sounds like some decadent Edgar Allan Poe-esque ball but it's actually a talent competition for cosplay. Or as CCI poetically describes it: "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."
Most people dress up as characters from film, TV, comic books and so on, but some are completely original. This is all homegrown; no professionally-sourced costumes are allowed, although more than a few of the winners go on to professional careers in costume design and makeup.
The Masquerade has never been my thing, but I will admit the prizes are pretty sweet: