A string of superheroes and villains lined the streets yesterday as Glasgow Comic Con hosted its seventh 'cosplay' conference.

Winding round the front of the Royal Concert Hall down to Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow grannies cheered the colourful display of crusaders on offer, and the event was a sell-out.

Cosplay is a shortened term for 'costume play' and refers to a kind of performance art where someone dons a costume to publicly portray the role of a comic-book character.

Mums, dads, teenagers and children were kitted out in their best, some simply sporting a mask or a cane, while others painted their faces blue like Hercules animation and comic villain Hades, ready to defend the underworld for a day.

Sam McGettigan, 23, did precisely that, saying that she would never miss her local cosplay convention. “I always make a big effort to come, because you always meet new people and the vendors are great. I’m really looking forward to the cosplay showcase and looking at the costumes - it’s amazing what people create for themselves.”

Glasgow Comic Con was brought back to life in 2011 after a 15-year hiatus and has gone from strength to strength ever since, from 600 comic enthusiasts gathering at the humble Mackintosh Church hall in Maryhill, to selling out The Royal Concert Hall for its second consecutive year.

There are a wealth of Comic Cons across the UK but Glasgow specifically focuses on comics as opposed to big-name actors and DC and Marvel films. This commitment to graphic novels ranges from amateur self-published efforts to favourites from big authors, and this year artists and writers were flown in from New York, Montreal and Marseille.

As well as showcasing comic art there was a range of panel discussions, art and book stalls and the much-anticipated cosplay competition.

Tammy Jackson, 16, thinks that people don’t realise how popular cosplay is and that events like this showcase it in exactly the right way. “It is so inspiring to see a wide range of cosplay at a local convention, it should really make people realise how big this is.”

Comics have a reputation as being a male domain, and as cosplay is often centred on sex appeal, you would be forgiven for thinking that the Glasgow convention would be brimming with big guns ready to save the day, with a few Batgirls ready in the wings.

But Glasgow Comic Con was more diverse than a ride on the New York subway. With inclusivity the theme of the day, a welcome sight was a woman and her baby dressed as Roller Grrrls’ breastfeeding superhero, her look echoed on a giant poster of a woman standing feet apart, her latched-on infant wearing a babygrow with ‘Wee Yin’ embossed on its back.

Suprisingly, there was no sign of recent blockbuster superhero Wonder Woman, but the character was described disparagingly in a panel debate as being drawn with a "tiny waist, massive breasts and child-like face".

Instead, alongside posters of our breast-feeding superhero was Human Rights champion and gay icon Rebel, and a series of black and Muslim superheroes.

In a discussion on LGBTQ comics, panellists spoke of writing queer character set in the 1950s, and the need to represent diversity in stories and images.

Event manager and panel host Nicola Love said: “Our audience in Glasgow is quite diverse. In comics of the past, women, people of colour and differing sexualities were not treated well.

“But comic creators now are doing more, better. Their comics can be super progressive and facilitate discussions about diversity in real life.”