Where would conventions be without the incredible costumes? While we know deep inside that our favorite characters aren’t real, seeing them in person is always a thrill. Costuming has come a long way since my very first comic book convention in the 1980s. The talented folks behind many of the costumes you’ll see below spent months toiling over hundreds of screen shots and pieces of concept art in order to make their creations look as realistic as possible. I’ll go out on a limb and say that conventions wouldn’t be what they are today (see: awesome) without the hard work and dedication of these creative misfits. I didn’t have the time to take as many pictures as I would have liked at PAX:East 2012 (busy is an understatement), but did manage to capture a good number of the costumes at the Bioware base, as well as some from the convention floor. If you needed further clarification of how hard these artists work to bring us such fun costumes, please check out Morgan Spurlock’s new film Comic Con: Episode IV a Fan’s Hope, with some incredible footage of Holly Conrad’s trials and adventures at SDCC. Also, if you’d like the high-res versions of any of the photos below please don’t hesitate to ask.