Cosplayers are gluing and sewing the final details on their wearable personas for today's opening of Reno Comic Con.
Getups can be super-elaborate or not, but one thing is necessary, according to Reno cosplayer Mel Hoppe: Fun.
"If you're enjoying yourself while you're in costume, that's the perfect form of cosplay," Hoppe said Thursday. (The word "cosplay" is a mashup of "costume" and "play.")
Hoppe, known online as Wind of the Stars, will appear at this weekend's event as several characters from steampunk, anime and video games.
She has traveled as far as Sweden for a "con" to show off her costumes, network with other cosplayers and sell prints of herself as various characters. Two rooms in her north Reno home hold sewing equipment, boxes of costumes and accessories.
It can take several hours to get into costume, character and makeup for a convention, but Hoppe said it's all a good time.
"It's my form of expression for things I really enjoy," she said.
At PolyEsther's Costume Boutique in Midtown Reno, costume specialist Tara Davis takes care of the more serious costume fans.
"Typically, when people approach us (for custom work), they have a vision in mind," Davis said. "They want to do the original costume, or they want an artist's variation."
Sometimes, a customer wants an outfit from a particular TV episode or video game scene right down to the buttons, she said.
The casual Comic Con goer can express super-hero-ness in a simpler way.
At PolyEsther's, the staff took a vote on what to put on the shelves.
"We did the Batman crew, everyone voted for that," said owner EstherDunaway. Other votes led to Star Wars and Star Trek costumes. There are togs for Thor and Green Arrow, Superman and Wonder Woman.
Wizard World Reno Comic Con begins at 3 p.m. Friday and runs through Sunday at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. Admission ranges from $35 to $45, depending on the day. You can get more information at WizardWorld.com.