Anaheim Convention Center hosted a sold-out crowd again in 2018. As always, the con never ceases to amaze. From cosplayers to demonstrations, attendees experienced a sense of Wonder. What’s old is new again. Retro vibes were trending high. Whether it’s a Saturday morning cartoon or an eight-bit video game, the cosplay scene was all about feel-good throwbacks.

WonderCon: Meg Reilly creating a street rat with long creepy nails
Meg Reilly creating a street rat with long creepy nails

“WonderCon is an encourager free-for-all,” says veteran cosplayer TW Falls (@TWFalls), who stars as Green Arrow in the upcoming YouTube series Flash: Origins. He says that an evolving sense of cosplay community as a safe space encourages all types to confidently participate.

WonderCon: A regal pose from Princess Ruto
A regal pose from Princess Ruto

MUD’s team of Tara Rey, Rachel Ehrlich and Heidi Hagan pulled their inspiration from The Legend of Zelda. Created in the ’80s and having grown into a video game juggernaut, The Legend of Zelda inspires many cosplays; however, their idea represents another trend of WonderCon 2018: the rather obscure. In Ocarina of Time, Link is tasked with rescuing an underwater creature and heir to the throne, Princess Ruto, in one of the game’s notoriously difficult levels. The Princess Ruto make-up was a stand-out design of the weekend, as it performed well in front and side profile and featured an elongated cranium and fin on the back. MUD also hosted Cat Paschen and Niko Gonzalez who applied rows and rows of Keloid scarring to complete their Killmonger make-up—a character from the recent Marvel Studios movie Black Panther.

WonderCon: Princess Ruto in process
Princess Ruto in process

No comic con would be complete without a zombie or two. Over at Cinema Makeup School, a crusty zombie make-up came to life. Artist GB Zeng created a Walking Dead-style zombie. Upon completion, model Rebecca Vandervort had a great time interacting with other cosplayers including a zombie picnic on the grass outside of Anaheim Convention Center. CMS also hosted a demo by Meg Reilly creating a street rat with long creepy nails. Gabi Gonzalez applied a new con favorite: Arkham Asylum Joker.

WonderCon: A zombie picnic featuring Rebecca Vandervort as a Walking Dead zombie by GB Zeng
A zombie picnic featuring Rebecca Vandervort as a Walking Dead zombie by GB Zeng

Prosthetics, while popular, gave way to the art of body paint. A few residents of The Simpsons’ Springfield found their way to Anaheim to help with this. Nana Bear (@NanaSushiBear) painted herself and her friend Gina (@MioPotatoChan) as Patty and Selma. In addition, she painted a third Simpsons character (@MetalSlimer) as Snake. A rarely seen character on the cosplay scene, Springfield’s resident criminal was complete with his trademark tattoo—a painted snake down his arm. A successful cosplayer, Nana wanted to expand her looks with airbrush body paint.

WonderCon: @MetalSlimer as Snake from The Simpsons
@MetalSlimer as Snake from The Simpsons

“There was yellow paint all over my house,” says Nana. ProAiir airbrush was her product of choice to achieve the trademark yellow skin. “We started early. It was hard work, but I’m here!”

Brigitte Beedle (@BBBFineArt) knows a thing or two about the effort it takes to body paint. She’s a body-paint model in Las Vegas, and for WonderCon, she flew out and painted herself and her friend. “Make-up artists, we go through a lot but it’s worth it.” She chose to wear a flashy Wonder Woman body-paint design. To achieve this, she “used a ton of Mehron Paradise, their glitter paints are the best.”

WonderCon: Brigitte Beedle as Wonder Woman, with her Mystique creation (@MerMace)
Brigitte Beedle as Wonder Woman, with her Mystique creation (@MerMace)

Another entry into the animated and throwback category was the protector of the environment himself, Captain Planet. Zane (@ZanesWords) has frequently cosplayed the captain in the past. Using M.A.C. Chroma Cake to achieve his blue skin year after year, Captain Planet is always a popular photo opportunity. Other popular intergalactic denizens such as Guardians of the Galaxy characters were heavily represented at WonderCon. Courtney Baze (@CookieBazey) dressed as female Thor with smoky eyes and war paint. Baze also made up another fellow popular character: Yondu. The surly space Ravager was completed with 3rd Degree Silicone Modeling Compound for scarring and a 3-D-printed mohawk she purchased online. This make-up was one of the best at WonderCon.