The Coolest Costumes and More From Hudson Valley Comic Con

As you might have seen if you follow our Instagram story (and why wouldn’t you?), we took a lovely drive up to Poughkeepsie this weekend to visit Hudson Valley Comic Con and totally geek out. Check out photos from our trip below, along with profiles from a few of our favorite local cosplay communities!


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Photos by Dave Zucker

The Simpsons‘ “Comic Book Guy” Jeff Albertson. Best. Costume. Ever.

A living Abe Sapien bobblehead. (No, it’s not the fish man from The Shape of Water, though actor Doug Jones did portray both characters as directed by Guillermo del Toro.)

Comic Con is basically a Where’s Waldo? of franchise characters.


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Cosplay Spotlight: Kim and Chris Filardo

Hometown: Nanuet
Characters: Luna Ta-To, Tarco Domon
Affiliation: Saber Guild: Empire Temple, Naboo Outpost
(For non-Star Wars Nerds: New York State, Pleasantville sub-group)

How did you get into saber-wielding?
Chris: “We decided to go to NYCC [New York Comic Con], and we should put together some Jedi gear. We were approached by an existing member who thought we looked great and invited us to join up.”

What do you love about dressing up as Jedi/Sith?
Kim: “It’s really fun dressing up and being our own characters, working with charities and raising money for events. [Organizations like] Ronald McDonald House and St. Mary’s.”

Where do you buy your fabrics locally?

Chris: “This is actually something that ends up being a bit of a challenge. Locally, most of our members end up using JoAnn Fabrics. They have a fair selection and their prices are not bad. (Plus there’s usually a coupon available.) Beyond that, there are a smattering of local shops with varied selections.” [Ed. note: We’re big fans of Fabric Mart in Yorktown Heights, as they’re always willing to teach and help you through learning to sew.] “If that doesn’t work for some special needs, some folks have tried shopping online at Eaglefabrics, Mood Fabrics, or — in NYC — Dharma Trading Company.”

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Stan Winston School of Character Arts alum Bill Diamond (formerly of Peekskill and currently based out of Cornwall) is an Emmy-winning master puppeteer and crafter whose work you’ll recognize from Sesame Street and Little Shop of Horrors productions, among others.

Escape Rooms were provided by Headless Horseman Escape Rooms of Ulster Park and the USS Henry Hudson, a Poughkeepsie-based Star Trek fan community. (We counted at least two “battle damaged” redshirts throughout the con.)

You’ve got to appreciate couples who color-coordinate.

Michael C. Maronna (A.K.A. “Big Pete”), now a professional Hollywood electrician/tech is also a graduate of SUNY Purchase’s Theater Arts and Film Conservatory. He recently revisited his alma mater during production of Mozart in the Jungle. His The Adventures of Pete & Pete costar Danny Tamberelli has never seen Dragon Ball Z. Their podcast, “The Adventures of Danny and Mike” is about to hit Episode 69. “Nice,” said Maronna.


Cosplay Spotlight: Oana Rosenthal

Hometown: Middletown
Affiliation: Hudson Valley Ghostbusters

How did you get into busting?
“Matt (Bennett) started it. He loved the film, put decals on his truck … eventually he got all of us into it.”

What do you love about Ghostbusters?
“The movie’s a classic. A grandpa and their grandson or granddaughter can sit down and watch it together. It’s something that’s just recognized worldwide. W call ourselves ‘Ghostheads!’ … It’s just one of those things that can unite everybody, and it’s great for fund aising.”

Where can I get my own proton pack?
“Matt’s is a homebuild. Others are kits that we customize.”

Rogue Aresenal was selling custom-made lightsabers to Jedi and Sith alike, ranging from $60 basic stunt sabers to one- and two-of-a-kind $2,500 movie accurate replicas with hidden lights, sounds, and crystals.

Elias Ainsworth of the anime The Ancient Magus’ Bride.

Dragon Ball Z was many a fan’s introduction to anime, even if American television only aired the first three seasons on repeat for what felt like a decade.

Venison Joe of Middletown intrigued us, but honestly the bag of edible tarantula gave us both the heebies and the jeebies.


Cosplay Spotlight: Christine Evans

Hometown: NYC
Character: General Leia Organa
Affiliation: Rebel Legion: Echo Base
(e.g., “Star Wars good guys from New York”)

How did you get into costuming?
“Obviously I’d been a Star Wars fan all my life and I’ve been cosplaying for years. One of my friends was a Leia for Rebel Legion.… She moved to D.C. and said, ‘NYC’s gonna need a Leia. Bun up.’”

What do you love about being a Rebel?
“Great community, charitable work, [and] it’s a small world, I’m always meeting friends and fellow rebels out at other events.”

Where do you get your gowns?
“I’ve sewed for years, but you’re always still learning. I buy my fabric in NYC and my favorite place is in midtown on 39th Street called A&K Fabrics. They are really nice and have a great selection.”

Oh Tormund, Brienne will love you one day.

Height-differential-appropriate Xena and Gabrielle might win the sibling(?) costume contest. That we just made up. (For these two.)

Yes, we nearly spent $15 on an “Alec Guinness Pint Glass.” Genuine class.


Flook, a snowtrooper, left; an officer right

Cosplay Spotlight: Joe Flook, Gerrit S. Overeem

Hometown: Columbia County, Rockland County
Character: TS-63917, TK-7186
Affiliation: 501st Legion: Empire City Garrison
(A.K.A. “We like playing the bad guys.”)

If you haven’t figured it out yet, Star Wars has a lot of fan groups. Whether you’re a rebel, a Jedi, an Imperial, or even an armor-clad Madalorian Merc, there’s always a tight-knit community ready to help you build your costume and attend Disney & LucasFilm-licensed charity events.

How did you get into “trooping”?
Joe: “Obviously I’m a Star Wars nerd and I loved the idea of being able to become the characters, but then I found out about the 501st and their charity work. So using a passion to help others sold me on it.”

What do you love about trooping?
Gerrit: “I get to be the Star Wars character I never saw in the movies as a kid, make people smile, and do good for charity.”

Interested in your own armor?
501st garrisons have local detachments and message boards to help build quality and member-qualifying armors/costumes for wannabe Imperials. Joining up has its perks: by donning movie-accurate costumes, fans can partake in official Star Wars events around the world! (The 501st is one of the oldest costumed fan troops, totally about 30,000 costumes spread out over 12,000 active members.)

It’s amazing what you can do with cardboard boxes these days.

Alucard and Seras Victoria from Hellsing.


Have a blast at Hudson Valley Comic Con? Tweet us your photos to share them with our readers! Have a great local crafts store for cosplayers? Send us that too!

Our Wine & Food Festival returns June 4-9!

Our Wunderkinds event takes place on May 23!

Our Best of Business Ballot is open through May 15!

Our Healthcare Heroes Awards event takes place on May 9!

Our Westchester Home Builders Awards take place on April 4!

Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Forum is March 14!

Unveiled: A Boutique Bridal Brunch is February 25!

Our Best of Westchester Elimination Ballot is open through March 6!

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