Virtual Cosplay Contest

Although Planet Comicon Kansas City will no longer have an in-person show for 2020, we’ve still got all the fun and excitement from our cosplay contest in a virtual format! 

This is a lighter version of the Cosplay Competition that you can participate in from the safety of your own home! While the content has been trimmed to more accommodate our virtual program, as always, participants are eligible for a variety of wonderful prizes!

How can I participate?

  • Read all of the rules carefully.
  • Submit your entry materials via registration link between July 17, 2020 at 6:00pm and August 7, 2020 at 6:00pm CT. No entries will be accepted after August 7, 2020 at 6:00pm CT.
  • Watch the Cosplay Contest August 15, 2020 at 7:00pm to find out who won the array of fantastic prizes!

Required Submission Materials

All entries will be judged on craftsmanship and presentation of their costume. All entrants must submit:

  • Entrant registration form including entrant questions.
  • Up to five (5) progress photographs (Do not submit more. You will only be judged on 5!).
  • Up to two (2) reference photographs of the character you are cosplaying.
  • One (1) photograph of you or your model in your complete costume. This photograph will be used as a display photograph during the contest.
  •  A video of up to thirty seconds of you or your model in costume. 

Rules

The following information details rules of entry.

General Rules

  • A single entry can be an individual or a duo.Unfortunately, group entries are not allowed. If entering as a duo, please be considerate of COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines.
  • You may only enter the contest once (i.e. no individual may enter multiple costumes, nor appear in multiple entries).
  • All costumes, regardless of class must be at least 50% handmade by at least one member of your entry. “Made” refers to the elements of your cosplay that have been fabricated from raw materials. 
    • Please note that this is different from “altered” items, which are elements of your cosplay that have been purchased or fabricated by someone other than the contestant and modified in some way, such as painted or embellished. If you are altering a piece of your costume, only the portions of the item that have been altered count toward your craftsmanship points and required craftsmanship percentage. 
    • It is also important to note that a costume that consists only of alterations does not meet the 50% craftsmanship requirement. 
  • Convention staff and crew members may not enter the Cosplay Contest.
  • All entries must submit all required submission materials as detailed above. Failure to submit a complete set of materials may result in the disqualification of your entry.
  • Only entrants 15 years of age and up may enter the Cosplay Contest. Children 14 and under are not eligible to enter unless they are part of a duo entry with at least one member who is at least 15 years old. That person must be the individual filling out the form.
  • All costumes and stage walks must adhere to a PG rating. No nudity, profanity, anything deemed racially or culturally offensive will be allowed. No politically charged or discriminatory cosplays or props will be allowed. When in doubt, ask! 
  • Contestants understand that the published contest awards may be adjusted, changed or withheld pending complaint resolution or for any reason deemed appropriate by the Cosplay Contest Directors.
  • Contestants must enter a class level that best suits their skill/awards (See class levels for more details). To maintain the integrity of the contest, you may be placed in the appropriate class at the discretion of the judges and Cosplay Contest Directors without prior notice.
  • You may not enter with a costume that has previously won Best in Show or a major award at PCKC, but you may enter a costume that has won at any other convention/cosplay contest. This is to prevent sandbagging. 
    • A major award is a first place in skill class or category award at PCKC, such as Best Novice Needlework, Best Journeyman Foamwork, Best Master Mixed Media, Best in Show, etc. This does not include a Judge’s Choice award or a runner up award. 
    • Given the circumstances, individuals who win awards at the PCKC Virtual Cosplay Contest may re-enter their costume during the 2021 show. 
    • Entries in the PCKC 2021 show cannot have won any awards prior to PCKC 2021 (at PCKC or otherwise), unless it was an award won through the PCKC Virtual Cosplay Contest.
  • Cosplays must be recreations or fanart of licensed characters to be eligible for Best in Show. Original characters are eligible for other awards, however.
  • Entrants must prepare to answer the following questions on their entry form with 100 words or less:
    • What materials did you use to make your cosplay?
    • What elements of your cosplay did you make?
    • Is there anything else about your cosplay you’d like the judges to know?
    • What text would you like our MCs to read about your costume during the live stream?
    • Please note that the MC text may be edited for time and content.

Photo/Video Rules

  • Since the “stage walk” portion of judging will not take place on our expensive stage, you are welcome to use whatever special effects, glitter, confetti, or razzle dazzle that suits you! That said, no videos containing dangerous, unlawful or reckless acts will be allowed.
  • Videos should be no longer than 30 seconds.
  • Contestants agree to their photographs, videos, and likeness of their entry materials for current and future promotions of Planet Comicon Kansas City.
  • Progress photos, reference photos and display photos must be submitted through a web link such as Google Drive, Dropbox, etc., so make sure your link has proper permissions granted so that the judges may review your work. You will not be able to attach images to your entry form. Images will not be accepted through email.
  • Videos must be submitted as YouTube links. Just provide a link to the video in your entry form. Please make sure your links work and proper permissions are given on your links.
  • If your photo/video links do not have proper permissions granted, we will not be able to judge your work!
  • Please take your photos and videos in clean spaces, as your display photo and video will be displayed during the contest. Do not submit videos or photos that may accidentally contain personal information like bank information, credit card numbers, the innermost thoughts you’ve written in your diary, etc. 
  • Photos should also be clear enough for the judges to see your work.
  • There is no particular setting requirement, but please keep social distancing and Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines in mind.
  • All videos will be played with stock music provided by Planet Comicon Kansas City. No pre-recorded audio or dialogue from the entrant(s) will be allowed.
  • Please do not submit any heavily edited photographs. That makes it difficult to gauge your work. We’re judging you on your ability to craft, not your photo editing skills.
  • You may, however, add as many edits to any video submissions you wish. You will still be judged on your ability to portray the character, but since you won’t have access to our fancy stage, you’re welcome to get creative with your video editing.
  • Make sure to credit any photographers or videographers on your photo or video!

Participant Class

You must enter at the class of the individual who has the highest class in your entry (e.g. if you are in a duo and one person is a Master and the other is a Novice, you must enter in the master class).

  • Novice (15 spots) – If this is your first time entering a costume contest, or you have never won a major award before at any other convention, this is the skill class for you! 
  • Journeyman (15 spots) – If you have won 1-2 major awards at any convention, this is your skill class. 
  • Master (15 spots) – If you have won 3 or more major awards in a cosplay contest, if you have taken Best in Show at any cosplay contest of similar or larger size to PCKC, or if you make or sell cosplay props/costumes professionally, please enter this skill class. 

Judging 

  • Contestants will be judged virtually by a panel of talented crafters from a variety of backgrounds. You will be judged on technique, finish, how well your costume stays together, overall impression and your “stage walk” submission video. 
  • Since the judges do not have the opportunity to get up close and personal with your costume, the work in progress and reference photos are essential. If you submit more than 5 work-in progress photos, only the first 5 will be considered in judging. 
  • Contestants will be judged on their ability to recreate the character reference. Factors that will NOT be considered for accuracy include the cosplayer’s race, age, ethnicity, height, size, use of mobility items, corrective vision or lack thereof, socioeconomic status, and other health, cultural or religious identities that the cosplayer has that may differ between the cosplayer and the character. See Glossary for complete “accuracy” definition. 
  • If you are entering any of the categories with more than one person, each of you will be judged on craftsmanship/participation individually, and the scores will be averaged. 

Awards

Contestants can win awesome prizes packs from US Toy Magic and Costume Shop  and Nebraska Furniture Mart! Awards include Best Novice, Best Journeyman, Best Master and Best in Show!

Registration 

  • Contestants can sign up using the online registration form below beginning on July 17 at 6:00 pm CT. Contestants may not register before this time!
  • Registration will close on August 7, 2020 at 6:00pm CT. No entries will be accepted after August 7, 2020 at 6:00pm CT.
  • Within one week of your submission, you will be contacted via email with your entry status. If your entry is accepted, this email will confirm any details about your entry. 
  • Once the caps have been met, there will be no further entries allowed in those slots. The Virtual Contest does not have a wait list.

Register by filling out the form available here.

Glossary 

Accuracy: This term is in reference to how closely your costume and/or stage presence matches your character and/or reference images in terms of color, choices and overall character essence. If you deviated from the reference, is the deviation sensible? Areas NOT considered for accuracy include: race, age, ethnicity, height, size, use of mobility items, corrective vision or lack thereof, socioeconomic status, and other health, cultural or religious identities that the cosplayer has that may differ between yourself and the character. . 

Entry: Participant(s) registered in any of the cosplay contests. May include more than one person.

Fanart: Cosplays that have characterization rooted in existing, licensed characters, but have been reworked artistically. This includes reworks of licensed characters and licensed character interpretations (e.g., Pokemon gijinka, your interpretation of a podcast character etc.) Fanart also includes mashups of licensed characters (e.g., Deadpool Sailor Moon).

Made Cosplays: “Made” refers to elements of your cosplays that have been fabricated from raw materials and count toward your craftsmanship points. For the Virtual Contest, all entries must be at least 50% made by at least one person in the entry. Please note that this is different from “altered” items, which are elements of your cosplay that have been purchased or fabricated by someone other than the contestant and modified in some way, such as painted or embellished. If you are altering a piece of your costume, only the portions of the item that have been altered count toward your craftsmanship points and required craftsmanship percentage. It is also important to note that a costume that consists only of alterations does not meet the 50% minimum required craftsmanship percentage.

Major Award: This is an award that has won a first place class or category award at Planet Comicon Kansas City, such as Best Novicer Needlework, Best Journeyman Foamwork, Best Master Mixed Media, Best in Show, etc. This does not include a Judge’s Choice award or a runner up award.

Minor Award: Awards that are not category specific, or first place awards in those categories. Examples would include a Judge’s Choice award, a runner up award, best prop award, etc.

Offensive Cosplays: “Offense” is a somewhat subjective term, but we are functioning with the following definition: cosplays that incite violence, racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, transphobia, ageism, and bigotry. This includes race-facing (e.g. Blackface/Brownface) as well as costumes that replicate historic or current international or national tragedies. The goal is to make sure our attendees feel safe, included, and appreciated, so cosplays should reflect this intent.

Original Characters: Characters that are not licensed characters. Original characters may be submitted but they are not eligible for Best in Show.

PG Rating: No nudity or coarse language will be permitted on stage. Simulated violence and thematic situations are okay. 

Progress and Reference photos: Progress photos are images that document the elements of your costume that you made and highlight anything particularly interesting/difficult about your costume. Reference images are images of the character you are personifying.

Skill Class: Your rank within a contest based on the number of awards you have received: Novice, Journeyman and Masters. Each contest and convention has different ratings, so please make sure you read the information carefully

Sandbagging: Sandbagging has two meanings in the cosplay community, and both may disqualify you from the Virtual Contest and bar you from competing in the Cosplay Contest at Planet Comicon Kansas City in future years: 

  • Intentionally placing your costume in a skill class lower than yours to increase your chances of an “easy win.” For the integrity of the contest, you may be placed into the appropriate class at the discretion of the judges and cosplay contest directors without prior notice.

Re-entering a cosplay for which you have already won a major award at Planet Comicon Kansas City.