Gen Con 2014 Photos, Part 1 of 6: the Costume Contest Winners


Toothless! America’s new favorite reptile (sorry, Godzilla), the star of the How to Train Your Dragon series. Winner of this year’s Staff Favorite award.

This weekend our starstruck hometown of Indianapolis hosted the 47th edition of Gen Con, one of America’s oldest and largest gaming conventions. Whether your gaming mode is RPGs, tabletop games, TCGs, dice games, family board games, or video games, Gen Con has its sights aimed in your direction. Try a new game, pick up supplies for your current campaigns, network with gamers from faraway lands, or just wander the premises and gaze upon the wonders. Attendance in 2013 exceeded 49,000, an impressive 20% increase over 2012. Judging by how overcrowded the main exhibit hall became by mid-afternoon Saturday this year, I’d say they’re on target for another increase.

This was my fifth GenCon and my wife’s fourth, even though we’re not certified pro gamers. Some of our personal geek interests intersect with enough of the available exhibits, dealers, and special events that we’re rarely bored except in the occasional line, but those come with the territory. I have somewhat obsolete working knowledge of the early days of gaming. In my youth I used to spend dollar after dollar on the original Advanced Dungeons and Dragons hardcovers and modules, as well as various other TSR RPGs (Top Secret!, Star Frontiers, Marvel Super-Heroes, et al.) and a subscription to both Dragon Magazine and Dungeon Adventures (starting with issue #1!) until all my childhood friends moved away and took their Player Characters with them.

Anyway: we took too many photos because too many people did interesting things. Our photos will be paced out in a six-part series that I hope to post on a slightly-more-than-daily basis over the next few days, Lord willing and if non-internet responsibilities don’t interfere. We begin with the easiest place to start: the winners of the 29th annual Gen Con Costume Contest.

Caveat for newcomers to MCC: some of our photos aren’t the greatest ever. The 500 Ballroom is poorly lit at all times whether any conventions are using it or not. Flash photography was forbidden, which is just as well because using the flash from the non-Press-Pass, non-VIP seats produces even worse results. This is something my wife and I enjoy doing, to show our appreciation and awe for those with the flair for this particular aspect of the scene. We apologize in advance for the costumes we missed, and for the opportunities we blew because of our limitations and hindrances.

Comments and especially corrections are always welcome and appreciated. (That’s my standing policy for every MCC entry anyway, not just the Gen Con six-parter.) I’m not plugged directly into every single geek scene out there. Very few geeks are, even the famous ones with their own YouTube channels. If you notice any wanton acts of mislabeling, please don’t hesitate to call me out. I enjoy learning about new worlds and universes, giving credit where it’s due, and dispelling my old man’s ignorance.


Iron Man!

Sci-Fi and Super-Heroes, second place: Iron Man! We caught him while roaming the Convention Center earlier in the day.

Battletech Warhawk!

Sci-Fi and Super-Heroes, first place: a Battletech Warhawk. A member of that special breed of costume not meant for walking up staircases to a stage. Totally understandable, but I started having flashbacks to ED-209 and worrying a little.


Children, first place: Ruffnut and Tuffnut, also from the How to Train Your Dragon series. Bonus points to Tuffnut for doing a top-notch brainless-face.

Midna the Twilight Princess!

Games and Media, second place: Midna the Twilight Princess from the Zelda game subtitled after her.

The Avatar of Grenth!

Games and Media, first place: the Avatar of Grenth from Guild Wars. The Avatar won two of the Special Awards handed out this year by the guest judges: one for Gloomiest Costume (yes, that was a thing), and one of three awards for Coolest Archetype (ditto).


Pot Luck, second place: “Dad and Daughter of Evil”. Original characters, presumably. Also won the Special Award for Weirdest Costumes. I promise I did not make that up.

Colonel Quick Stitch!

Colonel Quick Stitch, International Cosplay Corps, who in real life cheerfully assists with cosplayer wardrobe malfunctions and can even be reached online.


Professional, second place: Smaug, who also won Best of Show at this year’s Indy Pop Con.

Warhammer 40K

Professional, first place: a squad of three characters from Warhammer 40K. This is one of them…

Warhammer 40K

…and here’s all three of them, retaking the stage for the final results while our cameras were confounded…

Warhammer 40K

…and here’s a lovely shot of their weapons. Incidentally, this trio also won overall Best of Show, as determined by audience applause-o-meter.


Anime, second place: Kirio Hikifune from Bleach.

Black Bullet!

Anime, first place: Rentaro and Enju from Black Bullet


Group division, second place: Bat-villains! Harley Quinn, the Riddler, and Poison Ivy.

Madoka Magica!

Group division, first place: Mami Tomoe, Madoka Kaname, and Homura Akemi from Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

Parasol Geisha!

Fantasy and History, first place: the simply named Parasol Geisha.


Gandalf was another Special Award Winner for Coolest Archetypes. Those particular awards were devised by Costume Contest judge and former Star Wars Expanded Universe author Troy Denning.


Special Award for Character of Most Literary Significance: Bilbo! (Again: don’t look at ME.)

Elspeth Tirel

Winner of the Golden Needle Award for outstanding achievement in overall craftsmanship (okay, this one’s a long-standing Gen Con tradition): Elspeth Tirel from Magic: the Gathering.

Listed for the sake of completeness are the other winners in these categories who successfully evaded our cameras. MCC management sincerely regrets the following omissions:

* Fantasy and History, second place: Ajani Goldbane from Magic: the Gathering, who was also the third of the three “Coolest Archetype” Special Award winners.
* Children, second place: Maka Albarn and her partner/weapon Soul Eater Evans, from Soul Eater.

To be continued!

* * * * *

Other chapters in this very special MCC series:

* Part Two: More from the Costume Contest
* Part Three: Costume Contest, Last Call
* Part Four: Costumes Around the Show Floor
* Part Five: Last Call for Costumes
* Part Six: Things Besides Costumes

5 responses

  1. Pingback: Clever Move – All The Gen Con 2014 Photos You Can Handle

  2. Pingback: The Game Aisle: Game Reviews » Blog Archive » Gen Con 2014: I missed it but here’s what other folks had to say…

  3. Pingback: MCC’s Top 15 Favorite Cosplay Photos of 2014 | Midlife Crisis Crossover

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