Can I wear a costume to the Grand Rapids Comic-Con? Of course!

photo/Jacky Petters

The Grand Rapids Comic-Con encourages its guests to wear a costume (known as cosplay) of their favorite superhero, movie hero or villain at every event. Costuming adds to the atmosphere of the show as well as gives photo opportunities for the other patrons. Even more, having numerous people cosplaying will contribute to the fun and creativity to the event for everybody in attendance.

Each Grand Rapids Comic-Con show will have a costume contest to reward the best costumes on the Saturday of the event. We also have a retro costume contest on Sunday and a kids costume parade on the same day. For more information click here.

Cosplay Tips

photo/Troung Lam

Here are a few items to consider when preparing a costume for cosplaying at a Grand Rapids Comic-Con event:

  • The Grand Rapids Comic-Con show is a family-friendly event, so keep your costume PG-13 or cleaner. In other words, nothing overtly violent or sexual in orientation will be allowed. If it would be considered illegal on the street then it isn’t legal here either.
  • Naked is not a costume, nor is body paint to replace shirts and/or pants. Overtly sexual costumes will not be allowed into the event. Cover up the bathing suit parts, no exposed butt cheek. Ladies: keep cleavage to a minimum, no underboob or sideboob. Guys: if you are wearing spandex wear a cup.
  • Shoes of some sort are required.
  • If your costume includes some sort of weapon, please make sure that the weapon is obviously fake. No steel swords, sharpened or not. Weapons should be made of plastic, foam, rubber, softer wood, or some other form of softer material. All guns must have an orange tip and are not allowed to shoot any type of projectile (darts, water, etc.); if your gun is not tipped orange you will either have to take it back to your vehicle or we will put orange tape on the end. No weapons made of steel or some other type of metal will be allowed. Weapons that were real at one point (for example, BB guns with the firing pins removed) are not allowed under any circumstance. No baseball bats of any size made of wood or aluminum, plastic ones are OK. The Grand Rapids Comic-Con does have the right to not allow certain weapon props into its events at their discretion.
  • No gas-powered props of any kind, even if they no longer function.
  • Absolutely no cosplay that is inflammatory, racist or discriminatory in any way.
  • photo/Jacky Petters

    We are not allowed any balloons because they cause havoc to the HVAC systems at the DeVos Place.

  • If you are attending the Grand Rapids Comic-Con event as a group or a family, why not costume as a group? Themed group costumes are especially popular at comic, anime, and science fiction events and are more than welcome at the Grand Rapids Comic-Con.
  • Why not pick a costume that has more of a retro theme? How about Flash Gordon, a character from The Wizard Of Oz, a 1980′s movie maniac, or a retro superhero? Be original and let those creative juices flow!
  • Make sure to wear something that is actually comfortable! Remember that you may be wearing that costume for as many as eight hours, so make sure that it isn’t too hot, not too bulky, and functions well.
  • If you are wearing a costume it will be commonplace for people to ask you to pose for a picture. This is part of the fun, but please ask cosplayer’s permission before taking a photo.

Are You Part Of A Cosplay Club?

Are you part of a cosplay group that is a 501(c)3 organization that does some sort of charity work? If you are please contact Mark Hodges at and he will get back with you with a special deal for your club or organization to make an appearance at the Grand Rapids Comic-Con!