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The Most Extreme Costumes We Saw at Comic Con

Michael Marcelle

Photographer Michael Marcelle documents the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

New York Comic Con is, hands down, my favorite weekend of the year. As a photographer whose work can otherwise be intensely isolating and emotionally draining, NYCC is a fantasy dreamscape come to life: multiple realities crashing together in an insane-looking building, being acted out by thousands of people who want to be photographed. It's fun, challenging, and very extreme. My legs are sore for days afterward because I spend the whole time running around chasing things I can't believe I'm seeing.

Because I'm not trying to "document" this visual chaos so much as synthesize it into pictures about fantasy, commerce, obsession, and community, there's always a bit of a disconnect between myself and what's going on around me. I'm not only a fan of a lot of the cultural references being cosplayed, I also have a deep love for the depths of this kind of fandom. NYCC-goers have built a community that's inclusive while also being wild and unique. Yes, there are a lot of Rick and Morty costumes. But in each one you see someone using a collective cultural touchstone to fulfill their own fantasies—and everyone who sees it loves it. It's incredibly inspiring, and it's why I go back every year to run around like a maniac.

Michael Marcelle is a New York–based photographer. You can follow his work here.