First and foremost, PAX South is a fun con. If you’ve never been, it’s definitely one I’d recommend going to at least once. Plus, downtown San Antonio is gorgeous; it’s filled with so much culture and life. If you get bored of the con, or are just waiting for your next panel to begin, a jaunt down the river walk is never ill-advised.
I’ve been going to PAX South since its beginning back in 2015. As such, I’ve seen the convention grow and change over the past few years and I’m glad to say that it’s only gotten bigger and better. One of the changes that I’ve noticed has been in the cosplay community: specifically, in the sheer amount of people who cosplay at this con and how widely respectful everyone is.
This year, many of the attendees were in costume. I would even go so far as to say that this year had the highest number of attendees that cosplayed. As usual, Saturday had the highest turn out while Friday had the lowest. These trends aren’t shocking; many of the other conventions I’ve been to work the same way. So, if you have only one day to cosplay, the best day is surely Saturday. There will be more people to see and be seen by.
The most impressive part, for me, about the con was the huge amount of people who were out and cosplaying. On top of that, most of the cosplayers I managed to talk to made their costumes from scratch (which is pretty awesome in my book). It was amazing to see how creative and talented people can be. With so many people cosplaying, there was a lot of diversity represented not only in the genres people cosplayed from but also a huge diversity in the race, sex, gender, age, etc of the cosplayers. It really goes to show that anyone can cosplay. Age, sex, and body type are all just excuses stopping people from trying cosplay out. Cosplay is for everyone, and PAX South really proved that point.
The general acceptance I saw for cosplayers was also awesome. I didn’t see anyone being made fun of or harassed for what they were wearing. Unfortunately, I’ve been to some conventions where these sorts of inappropriate behaviors run rampant. This decrease in harassment is probably just a result of the general trend seen in the American society where nerd/geek culture has become more mainstream and, as a result, cosplayers are viewed in a more positive light. Despite this, it was refreshing to see everyone being respectful and, in turn, being respected.
On the lines of respect, everyone I encountered was very respectful when asking for pictures. One of the big no-nos in the cosplay community is not asking before taking a picture of someone. If you really want a picture of someone, it’s not that hard to walk up to them and ask for one. Plus, by doing so, you’ll insure that you get a really good picture of their cosplay. People can’t pose for a picture if they don’t know you’re going to take one. Another rule is don’t touch someone or someone’s costume without their explicit permission. I’ve been to a convention where someone broke part of my costume because they hugged me without permission. I’m proud to say that everyone seemed to be on their best behavior at PAX South when it came to cosplayers.
Overall, it was a pleasure cosplaying at PAX South and also seeing and talking to other cosplayers at the convention. My only regret is that I didn’t get more pictures of cosplayers strutting their stuff. As such, here are just some of the cosplays we encountered: