DLR trains to Custom House were packed to capacity with colourful characters from comic books, video games and anime as MCM London Comic Con landed for its second showing of 2016.

Darth Vader and his Stormtroopers were present and keeping order as the likes of Belle, Rorschach and Harley Quinn posed for pictures with adoring fans outside Excel .

And some of them took time out to reveal the person behind the costume and try to put into words what the occasion means to them.

Sarah Taylor as Undead Queen Elizabeth I

Sarah is a graphic designer and has travelled all the way from Glossop to attend all three days of the convention.

How did you get into cosplay?

“I’ve always loved dressing up and I’ve got friends who work behind the stalls so they said ‘why don’t you come along’.

“I saw the people dressed up like it was normal and I thought ‘I want to get in on that’. So I started coming up with ideas.

“It was about two years ago so I’ve been to a few different ones but this is the first time I’m here for the three days and have three different outfits.

How did you make your costume?

“With this one I bought the dress because it was cheaper and I just got the majority of bits together. I did a search on Google and saw what other people had done.

“I always have a look at the characters and try and fit it into my style.

Why do you cosplay at Comic Con?

“It’s really fun but I’m always dead nervous on the first day. I always get dressed at the venue because commuting with this would not be much fun.

“I love the fact that you get people all day coming up and asking for a photo.”

What advice do you have for aspiring cosplayers?

“Always search on Google and Ebay because you don’t need to spend a fortune, you can do it on bare basics. Start with something you’re comfortable with as your first one and then progress from there.”

Shaunna O’Brien as Harley Quinn

Shaunna is a teaching assistant by day but, somehow, she manages to find enough time to cosplay as her favourite character Harley Quinn.

How did you get into cosplay?

“I’ve always been massively into DC and Marvel and anything kind of in that direction. I went to my first Comic Con back when I was about 15.

“So obviously back then it was like ‘yes, I get to dress up, I have an excuse to dress up,’ and then I got into it. I love it!”

How did you make your costume?

“Every year you want to top yourself and obviously this year the hammer is my new topper. It was a lot smaller last year.

“The costume has been bought off Amazon but it has had some tweaks and some different bits added to it over the years.

“I bought the boots and then the harnesses and other bits I put on myself. The hammer is my baby currently because I only had two months to make it so I’m quite proud it actually made it here.

“I made it completely from scratch. It’s a flag poll, which is luckily collapsible for when I have to drive. It’s handy when there’s four of you in a car, all their bags and a giant hammer.

“The head of the hammer is two baskets drilled together, filled with expanding foam and paper mache and then just spray painted.

“This was done over the last month because it took me a month to get all the materials together and then a month to assemble it.

“It’s not actually finished yet, it’s meant to have other little bits but it’s nice to have a little project.”

Why do you like coming to Comic Con?

“It’s not even just the coming here, it’s the build-up and having small projects to work on that builds up the excitement to coming here.

“I just love it, everyone gets so into their costumes and I’ve always found people lovely here they’re always polite people.”

What’s your advice for aspiring cosplayers?

“If you want to start doing stuff like this, give yourself a decent time frame because it will take a lot longer than you think.

“Buy a costume first and get a feel for what you like. Start small, work your way up and make sure you know your time frames and everything.”

Harriet Rogers as The Mad Hatter

Harriet came all the way from Shropshire but is lucky to be here at all after she nearly died from meningitis in 2014.

How did you get into cosplay?

“I always used to watch the London Comic Con videos. I used to dream about the tree area and then I nearly died in 2014 from meningitis.

“So after that I thought ‘I’m going to cosplay’. The first ever one I did was the Mad Hatter in February 2015. Then I got more into it and started building things bigger and bigger and it became more elaborate.”

How did you make the costume?

“This costume took about two weeks in the end. The hat took two days to build because it was just being a pain in the bottom.

“This costume is a revamp of the old one so I’ve used the old clothing from there and then I have tights given to me from someone in America who does bright coloured things.

“The hat is made from cardboard, recycled material and bobbins.”

Why do you cosplay at Comic Con?

“It’s when someone else appreciates it other than yourself. It’s when they say I love that costume, I love this about you, I want a hug, I want a photo.

“I’m so glad that, after putting in all the effort to do it, someone else loves it as much as I do.

“It’s wonderful being here, sadly I can’t do a lot of what other people do because I’m still in recovery for about five years and this is only my second year.

“So just being able to be here is enough for me and being in costume. I just love any chance to be in costume.”

What advice do you have for aspiring cosplayers?

“Just do it! There will be people who say ‘you’re not accurate’ but that doesn’t matter. A lot of them won’t be making the effort to come up to you and say ‘that’s not made right’.

“You are there, you’ve had the confidence to make the costume, put it on, come to the conventions and do it. That’s more than a lot of people can say.

“If you don’t want to make it straight away then buy things and adapt them or modify them like I did. That’s how you learn.”

Follow The Wharf on Twitter @the_wharf

Keep up to date with all our articles on Facebook