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Cosplay Craftsmanship Contest

We built this city on props and clothes! Cosplay Keep returns to the Durham Convention Center! Now located in Meeting Rooms 1 and 2, drop by for more costume goodness than you can shake a wand at! Then join us for the annual and legendary NCC Cosplay Contest, now located in historic Fletcher Hall in the Carolina Theatre!

Our Craftsmanship contest is for the cosplayers with a knack for creations of all kinds! In this contest, contestants must have built, fabricated, sewn or otherwise hand crafted at least 3/4ths of their costume. Youths must have handcrafted at least ½! We welcome every type of cosplay- from entirely original concepts to stitch for stitch recreations. While we love to see all kinds of cosplays, commissioned cosplays may only be entered in this contest by the commissioner. Contestants must also plan to be at the convention Sunday, the 10th so they can be present for the winner’s announcement. 

​Prejudging will take place on Friday from 3pm to 7pm, Saturday from 10am to 1 then 2pm to 5pm, and Sunday from 10am to 12:30pm and will be on a first come first judged basis.

Each contestant that places will receive a certificate marking his or her accomplishment, as well as a prize.

All Prizes and awards for the Cosplay Craftsmanship Contest will be announced after the Cosplay Showcase

Cosplay Craftsmanship Contest Rules

  • The Cosplay Craftmanship Contest is broken into two categories for adults, and one category for youth.
  • The age groups are for the person that created the costume, regardless of the model.
  • Commissioned cosplays may not be entered unless the commissioner is entering them.
  • Kid costumes must be no less than 50% made by the contestant to qualify.
  • Teen/ Adult made costumes must be no less than 75% made by the contestant to qualify.
  • Costumes that have previously won an award and professional cosplayers are ineligible to win the Cosplay Craftsmanship Contest, but MAY participate in the Cosplay Showcase.
  • Pre-Judging will be held on Friday from 3pm to 7pm, Saturday from 10am to 1pm, and 2pm to 5pm, as well as on Sunday from 10am to 12:30 pm.
  • All Contestants must be attending Sunday, November 10th.
  • Contestants must be present during the awards ceremony to receive prizes.
  • All ages are welcome to participate
  • Props must adhere to the NC Comicon Weapons Policy
  • Be Kind! Harrassment is never allowed.

Cosplay Craftsmanship Contest Categories

  • Best in Show
  • Armor First Place
  • Armor Second Place
  • Armor Third Place
  • Armor Honorable Mention
  • Tailor First Place
  • Tailor Second Place
  • Tailor Third Place
  • Tailor Honorable Mention
  • Youth First Place
  • Youth Second Place
  • Youth Third Place
  • Judge’s Favorites

Cosplay Showcase

Our Cosplay Showcase is for cosplayers of every kind! There’s no registration, just bring yourself, your costume and some star power! Line up for participants will begin at the Carolina Theater at 2:30pm. Youth (12 and under) will be given the option to line up separately, going first so we can judge them in their own category. Those cheering them on can join us on at 4pm. Whether you made your own costume from scratch, thrifted it together, bought it from a pro, or had your mom steal it from Party City, you can show off your look, strut your stuff, and be proud in your second skin at the Cosplay Showcase!All those who wish to participate may! 

The contestant(s) winning the Showcase in their category will receive a super nifty certificate!

The Cosplay Craftsmanship Contest Winners and Showcase Winner(s) will be named at the end of the Showcase!

Showcase Titles: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Honorable Mentions/ Judge favorites.

Showcase Youth Titles: 1st, 2nd, 3rd , Crowd Favorite

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Please read this entire policy before attending NC Comicon: Bull City. Failure to follow this policy may result in your removal from the convention without refund.

At the discretion of Security onsite, the following may be allowed:

  • Plastic and Metal Shields
  • Lightweight Plastic/PVC Props/Light Sabers
  • Toy guns as long as they do not look like real ones, cannot function or shoot projectiles and have an orange tip on the barrel.  The barrel of all prop firearms must be covered with brightly-colored caps. Prop bows will be allowed providing all arrows have soft tips made of foam or cardboard.

If any of the above items are deemed unsafe by NCC Security, they will not be allowed inside the building. They will only be allowed as long as they are deemed safe and will not cause harm onsite.

If you’re bringing, buying or selling something that could maim, damage or cause bodily harm, we’re going to take issue. The following items are forbidden at NCC: Bull City:

  • Functional firearms (including air soft guns, BB guns, cap guns, paintball guns and pellet guns)
  • Realistic replica firearms (including reproduction, fake or toy guns that can be confused for functional firearms)
  • Functional projectile weapons (including blow guns, crossbows, long bows, silly string, slingshots, water balloons and water guns)
  • Sharpened metal-bladed weapons (including axes, daggers, hatches, knives, kunai, shuriken, swords, sword canes and switch blades)
  • Explosives (including firecrackers and fireworks)
  • Chemical weapons (including mace and pepper spray)
  • Blunt weapons (including brass knuckles, clubs and nunchaku)
  • Hard prop weapons (including props made of metal, fiberglass, PVC, wood and glass)
  • Instruments that cause excessive noise levels like vuvuzelas, grenade whistles and grenade horns
  • Whips
  • Aerosol canisters
  • Drones
  • Selfie sticks
  • Dink Donk Spikes


NC Comicon is dedicated to providing a safe, harassment-free experience for everyone. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Harassment includes offensive verbal comments, deliberate intimidation, stalking, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of panels or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome attention. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

The event organizers reserve the right to sanction or expel participants violating these rules. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the conference staff immediately. NC Comicon staff will be happy to help contact venue security or law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the convention.