For this year's Best of Charlotte issue, the staff of Creative Loafing decided to go with a "cosplay" theme. We got excited about the idea of dressing in costumes that channeled our inner heroes and villains, as well as storybook characters (although some of us were left squealing from the heat of a full body suit while out in the heat). There's something about dressing up — and not in the typical sense — that feels like CL. Thanks to Morris Costumes for helping us find the perfect oddball assortment of costumes and for putting up with us as we roamed the store, fascinated by the many options and cracking jokes along the way. It should come as no big surprise that when it was time to do the BOC photo shoot, most of us were eagerly raising our hands and volunteering in the name of team spirit. The result was a photo shoot with the talented and very patient Grant Baldwin. Baldwin shot us in several spots in our office and around the AvidXchange Music Factory (big thanks to the folks at La Revolucion and The Underground for allowing us to freakishly stomp in their quarters). We hope that anyone who attends this year's BOC Party at McColl Center for Art + Innovation on Oct. 7 will dress in costume. We're even hosting a costume contest in the hopes that you will all take it to another level.
As always, we'd like to thank everyone who helped put this issue together — including our regular writers, our graphic designer, sales staff, photographers, printers and distributors. We'd also like to thank all of our readers who pick up CL on a regular basis and who took the time vote on the people, places and things that make Charlotte such a great city to live in.
— Anita Overcash, editor
Critics' Panel: Anita Overcash, Ryan Pitkin, Jeff Hahne, Matt Brunson, Perry Tannenbaum, Dana Vindigni, Madeline Lemieux, Pat Moran, Page Leggett, Chrissie Nelson, Alison Leininger, Aerin Spruill
Design: Dana Vindigni
Cover and Section Lead Photography: Grant Baldwin