Comic-Con@Home 2020 Virtual Masquerade Costume Competition

Comic-Con@Home 2020 Virtual Masquerade Costume Competition


Comic-Con@Home Virtual Masquerade Winners

Comic-Con@Home is pleased to announce the winners of awards and prizes of the 2020 Masquerade Costume Competition! The event had 50 entries and was staged on the social networking site Tumblr, and included submissions from the USA, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Scotland, England, Italy, Germany, Lithuania, Egypt, and Australia.

Best In Show: “Astra, Queen of the Frostborn” an Original Design crafted by Sara Kruger

Judges’ Choice: “Cinderella With a Twist” an Original Design by Mandy Pursley, with Ryan Pursley

Best Re-Creation: “Iron Man Mark 85” from Avengers: Endgame, made by Frank Pillar

Best Original Design: “ACK! The Kenku Monk” designed and made by Breanne Cremean

Best Workmanship (tie, two awards given):

  • “Mercy (classic skin)” from the Overwatch game, made by Birdy Cosplay
  • “Arturia Pendragon” from the anime & game Fate/stay night, crafted by Daniella Lo Presti

Best Presentation: “Ready For The Fight!!”, consisting of assorted recreations, from Noe Enersto Cruz Vargas

Most Humorous: “Sally”, from The Nightmare Before Christmas, crafted by Liz Gotauco

Best Group: “Luke Skywalker, C3P0, & R2D2”, from Star Wars. Made by Tim O'Sullivan and JT Stevens

The above winners will receive Comic-Con Masquerade Trophy Medallions, crafted by the same company that makes the Emmy Awards and People’s Choice Awards. Plus, they will receive free 4-day attendee badges to Comic-Con International 2021!

Honorable Mentions:

  • Adrienne C.: “1740’s Elizabeth Swan” from Pirates of the Caribbean.
  • Jennifer YI: “Keesha's Hungry”, from Star Wars.
And donating their own generous awards to our contestants:

Since 1851 the name Singer has been synonymous with sewing. SINGER® Sewing Brand is carrying the spirit of creativity and innovative design into the cosplay and costuming community with a prize of a new SINGER® Heavy Duty 6800 computerized sewing machine and a SINGER® Heavy Duty 0400s Serger to the entry that best demonstrated exceptional sewing techniques, to Mandy Pursly for “Cinderella With a Twist”.

From The Costume Designers Guild IATSE Local 892, representing Hollywood costume designers, assistant costume designers, and costume illustrators working at the highest levels of expertise in motion pictures, TV, commercials, music videos, and new media, $500 in gift cards to JOANN Fabrics & Crafts is awarded to its CDG Spotlight Winner: “Astra, Queen of the Frostborn”, made and worn by Sara Kruger, in recognition of her creatively, craftsmanship and overall presentation.

From the Frank & Son Collectible Show, in the City of Industry, CA, a bi-weekly mini-con for everyone’s collectible needs, a generous award of $1,000 cash is awarded for the best character recreation: “Iron Man Mark 85”, crafted by Frank Pillar.

Comic-Con@Home Masquerade Guest Judges
Laura Jean Shannon

Costume Designer Laura Jean Shannon's recent television credits include serving as Superhero/Specialty Costume Designer on DC’s Black Lightning, Titans, Doom Patrol, and Stargirl. Her film credits include: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Two Guns, and Scott Pilgrim vs the World, as well as The Jungle Book, Chef, Elf, and Iron Man; the latter earned Shannon a nomination for the Costume Design Guild Award for Excellence in Contemporary Film Design.

Gigi Bannister

An experienced producer, director, writer and special effects makeup artist and coordinator for a wide variety of independent feature films, TV shows, and live events, she’s been in the film industry for 45 years, and when between making films is often a guest speaker at conventions, film festivals, seminars, and appears regularly at the San Diego Comic-Con: International where she donates her time and talents with professional make-up assistance for Masquerade contestants.

Allan Lavigne:

Costumer, make-up special effects artist, sculptor, and painter with 40+years with credits from Lucasfilm, Sony Pictures, Disney, and more, his work has been exhibited around the world in museums, film premieres and numerous conventions. His Bronze Armory studio is in the San Francisco Bay Area where he creates, lectures, and teaches. Formerly a top winner for many years in fan costuming at many conventions, he brings with him great insight from having learned and honed his costume skills as a contestant himself.

Comic-Con@Home gives a very appreciative thank you to everyone that participated!


Comic-Con@Home Masquerade Prizes Added!

Since 1851, the name Singer has been synonymous with sewing. SINGER® Sewing Brand is thrilled to carry the spirit of creativity and innovative design into the Cosplay and costuming community where they strive to inspire and delight artists of every level. For the first time at San Diego Comic-Con, they are thrilled to present a prize of a new SINGER® Heavy Duty 6800 computerized sewing machine and a SINGER® Heavy Duty 0400s Serger to the Masquerade costume entry that best demonstrates exceptional sewing techniques.

The Costume Designers Guild IATSE Local 892, representing Hollywood costume designers, assistant costume designers, and costume illustrators working at the highest levels of expertise in motion pictures, TV, commercials, music videos, and new media, will again be presenting to their favorite Masquerade entry an award of $500 worth of gift cards to Jo-Ann's Fabrics & Crafts. The CDG is part of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (I.A.T.S.E.).

The Frank & Son Collectible Show, of the City of Industry, California, your giant one-stop show for all things collectible at their bi-weekly mini-cons, will as it has for many years for our conventions present to one outstanding costume entry in our Comic-Con@Home virtual Masquerade a very generous Cosplay-supporting award of $1,000.

Comic-Con Awards

Beautiful Comic-Con awards, featuring our custom-created Masquerade medallions, will be presented in categories of: Best In Show, Judges’ Choice, Best Re-Creation, Best Original Design, Best Workmanship, Best Presentation, Best Group, and Most Humorous. We may expand these categories depending on the costumes that are submitted. Our Masquerade award medallions were designed by fantasy artist and illustrator Sue Dawe, and custom crafted by the same maker of the Emmy and Golden Globe awards.

Plus: Any costumed entry winning one of the above Comic-Con award categories will also receive a FREE 4-day membership badge to Comic-Con 2021! No need to deal with the challenge of online membership registration, if you are a winning costume, you will have your badge, Comic-Con’s extra thank you for all your hard work and talent. Complimentary badges are non-transferable, and if a group wins, up to four free memberships will be given.

Calling all costumers, this year a page shall be our stage—a webpage that is, a Comic-Con@Home Tumblr webpage of costume entries that our virtual attendees can access and watch your Masquerade entry as a video presentation or a series of photos showcasing your cosplay crafting and presentation talents. We know many of you likely crafted costumes this year for Comic-Con or WonderCon Anaheim or other fan conventions and were extremely disappointed at those cancellations. Comic-Con@Home this year is your opportunity to share your costume creations with Comic-Con viewers all over the world who love to see great fan-made costumes presented with style, character, and imagination. As always, awards for entries deemed the most outstanding will be given in several categories as judged by professional costumers.

Your entry can be a solo costume, or a group entry. Each entry is allotted up to 10 photos or 45 seconds of video time, and groups (remember to practice social distancing) get 15 seconds additional time for each member in the group (maximum of 2 minutes).  A series of several photos are fine, but for those of you who have a hobby of video production, this is your chance to feed two passions at once. You may even include some of your construction process if you like. Whatever you include should be suitable for all ages of viewers.

The Masquerade website will then go “live” on Tumblr for viewing Friday evening, July 24, during the Comic-Con@Home dates (July 22–26), and will remain available online for at least a few months afterward for viewers the world over to enjoy. Your entry will be judged prior to the convention by our panel of guest judges, and winners will be announced on-line on Comic-Con Saturday, July 25.

As per our decades of previous live events, we anticipate that many entries will be solo costumes; others will be groups with a shared theme. Many will be re-creations from movies, TV, anime films, Broadway shows, computer games, history, and of course comic books, but there will also be completely original designs, some never seen before anywhere. All costume genres are welcome, but no purchased or professionally sourced ones are allowed. Our event is a celebration of imagination, creativity, and crafting skills, and fun is the main objective as we recognize the impressive talents and dedication of our convention attendees.

But like our live Masquerades, entries are limited, and we are planning for a maximum of 50 entries, You will need to reserve your contestant spot in this year’s virtual show. To apply for a reserved spot please click here to download, fill out and send the Masquerade Entry Form, or make a facsimile of it with your information, along with one or more evaluation photos, to no later than July 13 (the sooner the better). You can submit an entry form now and submit evaluation photos later, but evaluation photos must be received no later than July 13.  Your photo(s) need not be the final ones you provide for the show and need not show your costume in fully completed form.  If we deem your costume meets the rules and quality criteria for the event, then you will be notified you are accepted and provided more instructions.

Selected, confirmed participants must create a Tumblr blog/account (or use an existing account) by July 13 and share the URL with San Diego Comic-Con.

Accepted contestants will have until July 15 to upload your show-ready video or photos to our Tumblr site. Selected participants will be required to draft a blog post with Masquerade info (this will be a private post to be shared only with Comic-Con for approval). 

A complete, illustrated, and very friendly Tumblr guide specifically for our Masquerade will be sent to those confirmed for a spot in the contest. Uploaded costume videos can be up to but no more than 100MB in size, in MOV or MP4 formats. You can select up to 10 pictures to create a photoset. Each entry is allotted up to 10 photos or 45 seconds of video time, and groups may have an extra 15 seconds additional video time for each member in the group (maximum of 2 minutes). 

Music Usage

If you wish you can include music in your video, however while we pay performance fees for copyrighted music heard at our conventions, our licenses do NOT cover Internet use. This means you’ll need to use “free to use” or “public domain” music only—and there are several Internet sites where you can select and download music to accompany your video entry with no royalties or fees involved. Note that some sites grant free use of their music as long as you credit the composer or source in your video, so be sure to credit them or we will not be able to accept your video. Also, some websites claim “royalty free” or “copyright free” music, but charge fees to download them, so avoid those sites, and search for “free to use” or “public domain” as your best chances for selecting music we can use. For those of you musically inclined, feel free to compose your own. Audio elements of your submission may contain narration, music, interviewing and sound effects, but NO copyrighted music (unless it is your own).

Why is it called a Masquerade and not simply a costume contest or fashion show? Because it is more than just posing on stage, it is about capturing the persona of the character, creating moods, and sometimes a sense of story. The Masquerade reminds us that the creative arts reside in ALL of us, and that among our attendees there’s plenty of amazing talents and creativity worth showcasing. More than a few times over the years we have seen our cosplaying contestants go on to professional costuming careers.

Entry Rules:
  1. Costumes must be of original construction or show significant modification of pre-existing materials. No costumes allowed that are purchased or otherwise obtained from a commercial source. The show is about creativity and craftsmanship, not shopping ability. It is expected that some costumes may include as minor elements some purchased items. As a general rule, at least 75% of your costume must not have been purchased. If it could pass for street clothes, it is not a costume. You need not have made the costume yourself, perhaps a friend or family member did, or was a group effort, but it cannot be purchased from a professional maker.
  2. Category definitions: Re-Creation: A costume copied from a pre-existing design, such as from a movie, comic book, famous artwork, history, etc. Original: A design original to the maker/wearer.  It may be inspired by some work of fantasy, science fiction, mythology, etc., but is not a copy. You must be at least age 18 to participate in this Internet-based event.
  3. Due to the limited number of entries that can participate, costumes accepted for the event must have appropriate quality as determined by our evaluation team, and must show a significant amount of one or more of the following: Quality crafting, innovation, originality, beauty, storytelling aspect, and characterization. They may reject an entry for what it deems inappropriate content, or due to too many purchased items, or because the construction materials or techniques used do not meet the criteria of quality for the show, or from reaching the limit for entries.
  4. Each entry is allotted up to 10 photos or 45 seconds of video time, and groups may have an extra 15 seconds additional time for each member in the group (maximum of 2 minutes). 
  5. Costumes that have appeared in previous San Diego Comic-Con Masquerades or as “Hall Costumes” at our past cons are not allowed, however, costumes that have participated in the past at other fan conventions are welcome in this event. Note that participating in this virtual Masquerade will not disqualify you from participating on stage at San Diego Comic-Con or WonderCon Anaheim in 2021 with the very same costume.
  6. Your Masquerade entry cannot also be also entered in the Comic-Con@Home Cosplay Challenge photo contest (intended for what is usually seen at the con as walk-around “Hall Costumes”). However, contestants may enter a separate costume(s) into the Cosplay Challenge from their Masquerade costume entry, thereby participating in both events.
  7. You are not required to wear your costume yourself; someone else can present it in the virtual contest.  But if it is worn by someone other than you, that person should not be a paid individual, nor may your soundtrack, narration or costume include content that advertises an actual product, service, or website. Music utilized may NOT be copyrighted material!
  8. Entrants agree to allow San Diego Comic Convention to keep and reuse images that you provide for subsequent promotion of our conventions and other future events and will be asked to sign a release form if accepted for the event.

QUESTIONS?  Write to