No fan convention is more associated with costuming than Dragon*Con, held every Labor Day weekend in Atlanta. Attendees often spend a year or more dreaming up their costumes, designing them to near-perfect screen or illustration accuracy, and painstakingly constructing each detail. Characters range from the classic to the completely original, and hotel lobbies and hallways are clogged with admirers taking photos and marveling at the craftsmanship of the costumes.
Perhaps the most striking thing about Dragon*Con is seeing people from all walks of life and all over the world transform into their characters. Shy teenagers become superheroes; the sweetest moms and dads become evil villains. At CNN iReport, we wanted to document those transformations and all the work that goes into them. So we had 2012 Dragon*Con attendees send us photos of what they look like in everyday life, and then we captured portraits of them in their costumes during the convention. Here are a few of the most striking before and after shots.
Photos by Kenneth Uzquiano and Merv Teo | Story by Rachel Rodriguez
Sabrina Maizland as Emma Frost ("X-Men")
Sabrina Maizland says she enjoys becoming "part of the spectacle that is Dragon*Con."
"I am a homemaker and real estate investor and I dress very conservatively," said the Fairfax, Virginia, resident. "You don't really expect your landlord to go home at night and be working on a superhero outfit, but that is what I do."
Costuming also serves as Maizland's motivation to stay fit. "You have extra incentive for hitting the gym when you know you are going to be squeezing into some spandex," she said.
Maizland brought five different costumes with her to this year's Dragon*Con -- and the convention only lasts four days!