MEXICO CITY – The worldwide cult of cosplay is seeing a boom across Latin America, spread by increasing legions of fans of comics and video games.
Many of the 17,000 people who attended Mexico's most established comics convention over the weekend wandered the halls dressed in a riotous variety of costumes, from Spiderman to the video elf Sylvannas Windrunner.
The costume play trend, which emerged in Japan and the United States several decades ago, features people who dress up as fantasy figures from films, anime, comic books and video games.
It can get very elaborate. And expensive.
Andrea Garcia, Angel Flores and Ricardo Villanueva roamed the La Mole Comic-Con International as figures from "The Legend of Zelda": the princess Zelda, the villain Ganondorf and hero Link. They spent a month and about $315 each working on their costumes.
Jacqueline Corona, who is a physician by day, dressed as a gothic version of Little Red Riding Hood. She said the hobby isn't just for kids.
"It's done by adults, people with good professions, very serious careers," she said. "It's a pastime that helps us relieve stress in a very healthy way."
"It's a lot of fun," Corona added. "For one time we can leave our personality and do things that we don't usually do. We get out of the routine. Every time we go out in the street they see as something pretty strange."