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Cosplayers, fans to descend upon DeVos Place for Grand Rapids Comic Con

If you are looking for a family friendly event to showcase your artistic skills or favorite costumes, or you just like to explore favorite and new fandoms, then the Grand Rapid Comic Con Costume Contest is for you!
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Comic Convention Vocabulary

Anime - A Japanese style of animated films or shows.
Comic Cons / Cons - Comic Conventions
Cosplay / Cosplayers - Cosplay is the act of dressing up as a character from an anime, book, movie or other media source. Cosplayers are the individuals who cosplay.
GRCC - Grand Rapids Comic Con
JaFax - A comic convention based in Grand Rapids every summer, the next one is in June of 2019.
RWBY (Pronounced like ruby) - An American anime-style show authored by Monty Oum.


*Prizes will vary on the placement in the event and on the event itself. Not every winner receives a trophy, cash or the weekend passes.

Every year, the DeVos Place hosts the Grand Rapids Comic Con, an event where thousands of cosplayers and fans of various shows, movies, books and more come together to celebrate their fandoms and art forms. This year, the event begins on November 9th and continues through November 11th. GRCC, Grand Rapids Comic Con, showcases various fandom memorabilia like Brazen Monkey’s Iron Giant, voice actors, comic book authors and artists, or authors like Christopher Paolini (only attending on November 9).

Comic Conventions, or Cons, are home to many cosplayers. Cosplayers are individuals who make or buy costumes that represent their favorite fandoms and characters from movies, anime, comics or other fandom sources. Every day of the event, GRCC hosts a Costume Contest where cosplayers can compete in a variety of categories. The contests on Friday and Saturday are open to all cosplays, including steampunk versions, crossovers or other interruptions for ages 13 and up.

Children 12 and under are welcomed to showcase their abilities on Sunday, November 11th for the Kids Costume Contest. Also, Sunday is home to the themed contest, this year being RWBY. For the official themed contest rules, check out their Costume Contest page.

Groups of 2 or more individuals are welcomed to compete in the Costume Contests. Each group will count as one participant.

Since there is no pre-judging in any of the contests, the judges will only have the 45 seconds that each participant is on stage to view the cosplay, where they will briefly chat with the cosplayer or ask a quick question of them.

Winners of the contest categories have the opportunity to win trophies, certificates, weekend passes for the following year or cash prizes*.

Any cosplayers who wishes to display their skills at crafting intricate cosplays or their favorite costume can sign up at the registration booth located in the main lobby of the DeVos Place the day of the event (please see the official contest website for sign up times). To register, contestants must provide their name, the name of the character they are cosplaying as and the media source the character is from. Costume Contest Manager, Michelle White-Burgess, encourages hopeful contestants to sign up early because each contest has a limited number of slots available!

White-Burgess, a cosplayer since 2007, started off as a judge for the Costume Contest when a few of the predetermined judges backed out last minute. Since her first year with Grand Rapids Comic Con, she has become the Costume Contest Manager, a position she thoroughly enjoys and describes as “rewarding.” When she is not working with the GRCC, Michelle puts her Biology degree from GVSU to work at DJ’s Landscape Management where she cares for the health of trees, flowers, and other plants.

Michelle started to volunteer at Comic Conventions through the Anime Club at Grand Valley State University. At the time, the Anime Club members helped with JaFax, a then-free comic convention located on Grand Valley’s campus. Although her job titles are different, Michelle enjoys the unique atmosphere of JaFax and GRCC. JaFax has since cut ties when the convention moved to Grand Rapids due to safety concerns of Grand Valley.

Although she is not a judge this year, Michelle still loves seeing all the cosplayers excited to showcase their talents and can be found at the registration table.

For those looking to work at a Comic Convention, Michelle suggests volunteering at a local convention. A lot of the Comic Conventions pick their staff through the volunteers that shine or through other events in the area.

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