Pictures, videos and articles from the convention center

Local Woman Designs Award-Winning Looks for Comic-Con

A look inside the wacky world of elaborate Comic-Con costumes

By Christina London
|  Tuesday, Jul 16, 2013  |  Updated 1:19 PM PDT
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Comic-Con 2013 Cos-Play Ideas

Catherine Fisher

Costume designer Catherine Fisher is unrecognizable as "Lady Chewie" at last year's Comic-Con.

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At this year’s Comic-Con, fans are sure to see all the usual suspects: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman. But how do the most elaborate costumes come to be?

Meet Catherine Fisher, a local costume designer who lives for Comic-Con.

Fisher began designing for Comic-Con in 2005, but her passion for costumes started long before that. Fisher said she started making her own Halloween costumes at age 9 because she didn’t like what she found at the store.

Now, she’s winning awards for her Comic-Con creations.

Fisher said there are two main categories of Comic-Con costumes: Floor costumes and Masquerade costumes.

Floor costumes are worn in common areas throughout the conference. Fisher said the key is keeping it simple.

“The more restrictive your costume is, the more trouble you’re asking for on the floor,” she said.

Check it out: Comic-Con Survival Guide

At Saturday night’s Masquerade, individuals and teams will show off elaborate costumes they’ve been working on for months. Participants range from children to people in their 70s. Fisher said many designers start on their costumes six months in advance.

“I’m usually working right up to the Con,” she added.

In 2011, Fisher’s “Return of the Jedi” costumes won “Best Recreation” and the Lucasfilm award. Fisher said Chewbacca was the most labor-intensive costume she’s ever created.

“I was latch hooking that fur for 12 to 15 hours for probably 10 days straight,” she said. She used the same technique used to create the original Chewbacca costume in “Star Wars.”

So how much do one of these costumes cost? Fisher said that depends. For something like Chewy, “you’re looking at $3,000 for a good recreation.”

When it comes to costumes, Fisher predicts Comic-Con 2013 will feature lots of “Game of Thrones” characters and steampunk, a genre that combines history with the futuristic.

“It’s just going to be a mishmosh of really awesome costumes, as always,” she said.

So what does Fisher have planned for this year’s Masquerade? That’s a closely guarded secret. But she did reveal her skit involves six people and is based on a 2011 movie. Also, she said this is the first time she's using electronics in her costumes.

“That’s all I can give away right now,” she said.

For Comic-Con attendees interested in costume design, Fisher and other designers will speak at two panels: Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m.

Check out the rest of the Comic-Con Schedule here.

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