Another FanX is in the books, having delivered an extremely high turnout and some fun moments for fans—from celebrity photo-ops and Q&As, panels, art and so, so much merch. In particular, we have to mention FanX cosplay. It’s one of the things the show is known for—the sheer number of attendees that show up in cosplay just because they love it. In addition to FanX cosplay, there were some new features this year that made the con for fans.
“Best cosplay” is pretty subjective, but in our wanderings around the exhibitor floor and artist alley at the Salt Palace Convention Center, we found some cosplay that stood out from the crowd and offer a little insight into what makes them special.
Two cosplayers dress as The Sisters from Kubo and the Two Strings. They posted about the “behind the scene” making of the cosplay on their Instagram, @camilla_art_247, showing how they captured the unique style of the stop-motion animated film.
Big cosplay builds require a fusion of artistry, imagination, engineering prowess and time—lots and lots of time—like this B73-NS from Overwatch cosplay, capable of mobility with articulated joints.
Some cosplayers make armor from materials like craft foam, leather fabrics and thermoplastics (such as Worbla or Sintra) and make it look like the real thing, like these Star Wars Mandalorians hanging out in Jabba’s Palace.
It looks like a full-body prosthetic mold was used to make this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cosplay that looks like it could have walked right out of one of the 90s movies.
In addition to being a fun and loving take on the character, this Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street cosplay utilized puppetry to bring the beloved character to life as they do on the show itself.
While some cosplayers aim for accuracy, others like to put their own spin on a character, like these steampunk Disney cosplayers.
Of course, classic Disney characters (here we see Lady Tremaine from Cinderella and the Evil Queen from Snow White) still show up in force.
Fans of fantasy, Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), other tabletop games got to have a rest-up and enjoy a drink at Evermore Park’s (the fantasy-themed adventure park in Pleasant Grove, Utah that Salt Lake magazine wrote about previously here) booth, where they could also meet TikTok, Twitch and social media stars like Quincy’s Tavern, Critical Dice, and The Smoking Barrel.
It’s not the last collaboration between Evermore Park and the tabletop-savvy TikTokers. They’re planning an upcoming event called The Convergence. The Convergence is an immersive D&D getaway that will take participants into the once virtual-only world of Quincy’s Tavern, which will be transported to this material plane at Evermore Park for the event. Convergence: Quincy’s Tavern at Evermore Park is coming May 2-6, 2023, and tickets are on sale now.
Cosplay Meet-ups are scheduled events at the convention that set aside a time and place for all of the people cosplaying as characters from a particular intellectual property (think Marvel Cinematic Universe, Harry Potter or Doctor Who). They are a cornerstone of FanX and FanX cosplay. It gives fans a chance to get together at the convention (which can be difficult, given the crowds), show off their handmade costumes and props and geek out about the thing they all love. It’s hard to find time on the schedule for a cosplay meet-up for every fandom, so some fans took things into their own hands this year. As part of a grassroots started by a local Facebook group, then spread by word of mouth at the convention, fans of the online streaming phenomenon Critical Role, organized their own unofficial cosplay meet-up with a much bigger turnout than some of the official cosplay meet-ups.
This year, a well-known local cosplayer took the top prize at the FanX Cosplay Contest: 1st Prize in the Cosplay Contest Masters category. We interviewed Gayle Dowdle for our September 2021 issue of Salt Lake magazine along with other talented local cosplayers making couture-level cosplay. Dowdle creates beautifully accurate recreations of Queen Elizabeth I of England’s infamous gowns. She came to FanX with her latest, a lovingly rendered “Armada” portrait gown. Her victory at the FanX Cosplay Contest comes on the heels of another victory—her battle with cancer. (See more of how she made her award-winning Armada gown on her Instagram, @dowdledesign.) Congratulations, Gayle!
Salt Lake FanX will return to the Salt Palace Convention Center September 21-23, 2023.