It is quite something witnessing hundreds of fictional characters flocking off the Docklands Light Railway for the London Comic-Con convention.
I would be lying if I said it wasn’t slightly unnerving: a wave of super heroes and villains sent to destroy East London.“I couldn’t imagine not being here,” is a statement voiced by all the attendees or should I say characters at London’s Comic-Con, betraying the real passion that epitomises the growing subculture that is cosplay,the donning of exquisite costumes to become your favorite fictional character.
You cannot avoid the sheer wave of excitement that hits you when entering a space that enables all the characters of world to come to life through the people that worship them.
As a photographer, capturing a unique moment in time, a moment that even the eye doesn’t see because it’s so fleeting, and capturing a person at a point where they flourish on film and in doing so present an image that reaches out beyond the confines of the everyday, is what drives me on and gets the camera out of my bag.
And I can quite honestly say that I have never found more interesting and arresting subjects than at Comic-Con, where people seem to transcend their own limitations as human beings. I have seen the shy and reserved, the brave and the bold, the shop assistant and the CEO, united and transformed into heroes and the superhuman.
For me these photos are a glimpse into another world, where the real meets the fantastical.

Self Created Pirate Character

Self Created Pirate Character

< In the words of the man somewhere within this costume,
“I am a tattered sailor that has been bloodied and has got a claw made from a part of a forest. I am a wild beast!”
Having been to Comic-Con five times, Sidney loves the freedom and creativity that cosplay represents.“I have gone loopy,” he exclaims with a big smile on his face.

Ellie From Borderlands 2

“I have come as Ellie from Borderlands 2. I think she’s a brilliant character and I wouldn’t not want to be her if that makes sense, i think she’s brilliant.”
Ellie – because that is who she is today – has been coming to Comic-Con for ten years and loves the fact that in her opinion it is the easiest place to make friends as not only do cosplay enthusiasts have something very special in common : their love of cosplay, but the characters that attend this convention want to talk about their costumes about their costumes and the passion that has gone into creating them.     >

Mina Chen

< Mina Chen has come as Japanese Geisha and is in her final year of high school. Studying in London, Mina usually attends Comic-Con in Japan.
Comic-Con is a significant part of her life. The colours are absolutely fantastic.

Apocalyptic Wizard of Oz is how all these friends describe their look.
They wanted to make their collective kick-ass. “We made the costumes ourselves.”
Great friends from school, they all describe the thought process behind their unique take on traditional characters that we all know and love, particularly the choice of weapons, which very interestingly complement the attributes of each character. >

Snake and Snake

These guys met at Comic-Con only yesterday, at a Metal Gear Solid meet up, and have now become good friends.
The costumes seem to betray a much longer friendship, which just goes to show what a melting pot Comic-Con is. The fact that they are both studying game design adds another element to this fascinating pairing. A very arresting image.

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By Ben Meadows and Edited by Sophie Cameron
All Photographs by Ben Meadows,  Interviews By Gerard Giorgi Coll and Ben Meadows