Stuff

We Went to London Super Comic Con in Search of Love

It was time to to find out why people go through all the effort of dressing up with the person they're fucking.

by Tom Usher
21 February 2016, 5:32pm

Finding true love is no easy task. I've lost count of how many times I've been on Tinder dates so bad that afterwards I go home and have a little cry over some Katie Melua. Then, even if I meet a person I like, it's easy to hang around with them for a month before they're just like, "Wait, this guy is actually really irritating to hang around with," and I'm forced to head home. To listen to yet more Katie Mulea – possibly "Nine Million Bicycles In Beijing", that's a good one.

So maybe I just didn't have anything in common with these women. But what if you did share the same passions as the person you're with? What if you found love and built a relationship in the very conference centre in which you were at your happiest? I went down to London Super Comic Convention on Saturday to find out, talking to couples dressed up together in their cosplay finest about why they'd bothered and asking what it's like to find love when where you can't be totally sure what anyone really looks like.

Photography: Jake Lewis


Heather and Taz as Victorian Rouge and Gambit. Met at the panto

VICE: Did you meet at Comic Con?
Taz: No we actually met at the theatre, I saw a picture of her doing Rogue and she saw me doing Gambit and it went from there.

Who is the biggest con fan out of you two?
Heather: The costume side is all from me, because when I was working in the theatre I loved doing costume design. My boss told me that there was these places that people went and dressed up and I was like, "You're fucking shitting me, I need to go to these right now." So for the last two years I've been doing these.

Is that why you've come together, to bring him along?
Heather: Yeah I make all of his costumes. If you're by yourself and one of you has a costume then the other person just has to stand by the side, awkwardly, while the other always gets their photo taken. So it's about finding costumes he really likes to wear as well.
Taz: For me I just get to feel hugely proud of what she does.

So it's like a bonding exercise?
Taz: Exactly.

Brice and Vicky as Ivy and Joker. Met at Comic Con

So you met at Comic Con?
Brice: Yes, we did!
Vicky: It's kind of complicated ... We both met doing this, and even though we are together we're both still technically married and are helping each other through our divorces.

Oh wow, okay. How did you meet, then?
Vicky: I put up a picture of my Catwoman cosplay and he put up his Batwoman costume, then we started talking on Facebook and met up in real life and got on.

Why do you like dressing up as a pair?
Vicky: It's nice to do something as a couple because we don't get to spend time much time together cos of work.

Why do you put so much effort in to it?
Brice: I get a lot out of it. Earlier today I was being broadcast to two children in Hong Kong, waving and saying hello and threatening them. Last year I was dressing up as Spiderman and a little child ran up and threw his arms around me. I was crying inside, it was a perfect moment.

Alice and Andy as Tank Girl and Steampunk Joker. Met at Comic Con in 2014

How did you guys approach each other?
Alice: Well, he was dressed as Joker and I was Harly Quinn. Then he was standing behind me and I just sort of groped him.
Andy: It's the genuine story. She turned around and said: "Ooh, a Joker who's taller than me."

Who's the biggest cosplay fan?
Alice: He's been doing longer but I do it better.
Andy: I've been doing it about four years and she's been doing it for two.

What makes you guys do all this each year?
Alice: It beats sitting at home watching a film.
Andy: I like getting into the character. I like it when little kids run up to you and think you're this character, it's really rewarding.
Alice: Yeah also I hate dressing up normally, like for work. I hate that and find it so boring.

Andy and Liora – Princess Mononoke and Wolf Guy. Didn't meet at Comic Con

Whose the biggest cosplay fan?
Andy: She got me into it. I'd never done it before I met her.
Liora: I've been doing it for about two years. I just really like anime and always dressed crazy, so I thought 'why not?' It's just an excuse to do something different.

Do you drag him out to these things, though?
Liora: No he loves it – he comes along of his own accord.

What makes you want to dress up?
Andy: I just think it's kind of cute really.
Liora: It's quite romantic in a weird fantasy sort of way. Its nice to be someone different, to escape reality with each other.

How long have you been together?
Andy: About four months.

Steve and Clare – Batman and Catwoman. Met at the BBC, apparently

Who's the biggest cosplay fan between you two?
Steve: Probably me.

Do you like doing it together?
Steve: Yeah, we're a part of the UK Garrison, a cosplay group that mainly does Star Wars stuff as part of the 501st Legion. And I really liked Batman and one day just said to Clare, "Well maybe you should do Catwoman," and she went for it.
Clare: After a lot of dieting.

Why do you like dressing up as a pair?
Clare: For charity events they are quite strict on the characters you can play, so we always dress in things that go together. And also at large events like this it's always better to have someone with you because you can get lost and separated.

So who makes the costumes?
Steve: I make the most of them. I'm a sculptor and designer whereas Clare is in a more normal office job.

How long have you been together?
Steve: We met when we were working at the BBC, not at a con. But we've known each other for about 20 years.

We took in the other sights after making people tell us about their coupled-up costuming. Enjoy.

The writer, in costume as himself