SDCC: Work Hard, Cosplay Hard

For some, the convention circuit is a way of life. For others, it’s the gateway into an entirely new life.

“I always liked dressing up,” said a man with a chalk-white face, lime green hair and an evil grin. “I’m a performer in general.”

Tom Noe has been attending the San Diego Comic Con since 2004, but went to several smaller cons before that. An actor with the Barely Legal troupe in San Jose, Noe dresses to the nines every time – and this time came in a distinctive Hawaiian shirt wearing a camera to snap back at all the shutterbugs eager to take his picture.

“The Joker’s one of my favorites,” he said, adding he updates and improves costumes often. “If it’s progressing, I’ll always wear it. … I like the appreciation of a job well done.”

That was a feeling Arturo Pacheco wanted in on, so after attending various cons for 12 years, he decided to dress up for the first time.

With a stark crimson body suit, heroic yellow short pants and distinctive fuzzy antennae, he was proud to be Chapulin Colorado.

“I came from Mexico and I’ve been watching him since I was a boy,” Pacheco said. “I’ve never seen anybody dress as him.”

Enjoying his newfound popularity, Pacheco was impressed by how many recognized the Mexican icon.

“They laugh, not to make fun, but because they remember their childhood,” he said.

Noe’s costume was also recognized, though he was disappointed that many people who stopped him at the event couldn’t identify the specific  – and very significant – story his costume came from.

“Only four people knew which story,” he said, explaining the event has become less about die-hard comic fans and more about pop culture. “It’s one of the things I’ve kinda’ grown a distaste for.”

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