For the third year Wizard World hosted the New Orleans Comic Con, and this year it seems to have hit its stride.

The first Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con debuted in 2011. There were technically two cons in 2012 (January and the end of November), and the dates have already been set for the next event: Feb. 7-9, 2014. If its exponential growth continues, and there’s no reason not to believe that it will, next year’s con shouldn’t be missed.

This year featured more celebrities, more Q&As, more breakout sessions, more parties, more screenings, more writers and artists, and many more costumes. It’s that last point, the costumes, that personally sets the bar of a con for me. I follow all sorts of blogs that compile galleries of the best dressed at cons all over the world. From the easy – a suit over a Superman T-shirt, for example – to the amazingly complex – a full suit of Iron Man armor – most of the best cosplay is limited only by the creator’s imagination.

The lack of a lot of truly good cosplay at our con has always stupefied me. New Orleans is a city that’s known for costuming, we dress for Mardi Gras, Halloween and every other chance we get. So why haven’t we stepped up for our con? (Maybe that’s the answer in itself: Since we have so many opportunities to dress in costume, maybe another one isn’t so important to us?)

This year, however, many attendees amped up their game (see the photo gallery below) and I was excited to see some of my favorite characters portrayed – Hi Ulala!

In addition to the costumes present on the exhibitor floor, friends of mine said that the Stan Lee Meet and Greet and those present for The Boondock Saints Q&A, especially Sean Patrick Flannery, were warm, funny and entertaining.

A neat addition that I want to bring a little attention to was a “fan community” – they even won “Most Spirited” – called Geek Girls with Guns, officially the Geek Endowment Krewe, a nonprofit organization that schedules fundraising events for children with special needs.

Each year I say that I want to spend more time at the con attending more sessions, seeing more people and experiencing more of what Wizard World has brought to (and out of) New Orleans. Is there anything in particular I’ve missed?

If you couldn't make it to Comic Con this year, please check out my photos below. Thanks to Jesyka Bartlett and Jared Holden for providing a few.