For religious reasons, Jennifer King never got to celebrate Halloween as a kid. You could say that she has been making up for lost time ever since.

"As soon as I became old enough," said King, an award-winning competitive costume designer and the co-owner of Space Cadets Collection Collection, "I decided I would dress up every other chance I could.” 

A native of The Woodlands, King has been costuming for the last 15 years. She started competing at the San Diego Comic-Con, considered the world’s most prestigious show for the performance art of costume play, or cosplay. Here in Houston, “Comicpalooza is growing,” King said. “It’s gonna get there. It’s probably a quarter of the size [of San Diego’s Comic-Con], but it has the right attitude to get there, for sure."   (See our slide show to judge for yourself.)

King is self-taught and has won three audience favorite awards in San Diego. She says she appreciates a wide range of genres in developing her own style. “I really do whatever I’m inspired by: movie recreations, cartoons, just everything." The design up top is based on Mothra from Godzilla vs.The Thing (1964); at right, inspired by the animated show Futurama. The latter design won Audience Favorite at San Diego Comic-Con in 2011. 

As King tells it, it's not just about the costume; it's about the person underneath. "I appreciate the tenacity of the people who have to wear the really hot costumes, where you know they cannot breathe or move, but they are into their character and they don’t leave it, no matter what.”

Her favorite superhero?

“Wolverine, by far,” King said.

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