It's not a shopping contest, it's a costume contest.
The Masquerade is a big Comic-Con tradition. Thousands of people wait in line each year, just to get a glimpse of the spectacular costumes.
This year, Carlos Noguez and his friends were first in line for the masquerade.
"We got to the Convention Center at 6AM," Noguez said.
There were already 500 to 600 people waiting to get in line for the costume contest Noguez said, but with nine Comic-Cons under his belt Carlos said he knew exactly where the line would begin to form. He said he asked a guard if the line would be in the same place, after confirmation Noguez said he and his crew headed out to claim the very first 11 spots in line.
Noguez said the Masquerade is what Comic-Con is all about.
"It is a party," he said. "It is this big mass gathering, [it] shows you the real spirit of Comic-Con."
A personal assistant by trade, Noguez made sure his Comic-Con campout was extremely organized. He set up a shift for each of his friends to watch their place in line. Noguez said it became a place for them to rest after visiting all of the different activities in the convention center.
This year, Masquerade Coordinator Martin Jaquish said the costume contest has 36 entries with 126 performers.
"[We] always hope every year will be better than the last, Jaquish said.
Each contestant has to submit an entry form, if the costume meets the criteria they are allowed to enter the contest, Jaquish explained. The rules state contestants are not allowed to enter costumes they have worn to Comic-Con before or won a prize for during a previous contest.
Each costume must be an original piece. Participants are required to send in photographs of themselves making their costumes, Jaquish said. The day's newspaper must be in the photo to verify the date, he added.
The costume contest takes many months to prepare for, Masquerade staffers said every year they get excited to see what people have come up with.
"Until you see them all together, you don't know how it will be," Jaquish said.
There is no theme for the contest; entrants are allowed to enter the costume of their choice. Sometimes the costumes are a hit Jaquish said, but other times it’s a miss, it just depends on the audience.
There are definitely assorted tastes at Comic-Con, if you like robots but not anime and there are anime costumes, you may not think too highly of the show, Jaquish said.
Perhaps that is why Comic-Con is so great, because of the variety of tastes.
Event organizers expect the 4,200-seat ballroom to be filled to capacity. There will be a live playback in the Sails Pavilion and in other areas of the convention center.