I am so incredibly proud of my little town because we have a growing geek community and our local comic book shop decided to host a mini comic convention. It was great because they got enough community support to hold the con with free entry!
I went with Geek Baby for just a little while and there was so much going on. Unfortunately I was not able to participate in a lot of the happenings, but I did get to walk through the “hall” and look at all the comics and artists that were participating. There were a lot of people there and a lot of people showed up in cosplay even, which was amazing. The number of artists that they got to come to Juneau was pretty amazing. Here are some of the best parts of the event.
Selection of Artists
They got a wide range of artists to come to the con. A couple that I already knew were Kazu Kibuishi and Kate Beaton, which was super exciting to get them to come. It was also really neat to get introduced to some new writers and artists such as Tony Ciff (Delilah Dirk), Jon Klassen (I Want My Hat Back), Dylan Meconis (Bite Me!), Karla Pacheco (Inspector Pancakes), Katie / Steven Shanahan (Silly Kingdom), and many more. One of the really cool things is that they had various artists from Laika studios (Coraline, Boxtrolls) who even brought some of the figures from the Boxtrolls movie. It is always fun to look at what people are creating and to find new comics and artists.
Variety of Events
Now finding and buying new comics is great, I mean who does not enjoy that, but they also planned a host of other events. The artists were there to sign books and talk to people in the hall, but then there were a variety of events around town. They had some of the artists participate in a drawing hangout for all ages where you could see how the artists do their drawings and ask questions as well as draw yourself.
Then there were artist presentations throughout the day by Kazu Kibuishi, Raina Telgemeir, and Ryan North. It just gives a great opportunity to hear from those that have made it and gotten published. Then they also planned reading times of some of the artists’ works at another location. It was great because events were happening all over town and really giving people a chance to meet some people who have found a way to use their creativity to really make something.
One of the things that was really great is seeing the Library involved in the mini con. Not only did they help support the event they actually had a table there where you could check out comics and graphic novels. They took down your library card and the book information allowing you to check them out as though you were at the library. It just really made a great experience for people who might not be able to buy stuff or allow you to check out an option before purchasing. It also showed how many options are available at the library, which itself is very exciting.
Mini Con Go
This is a great example of what could be done in other small towns. It was really about trying to keep things small, but still get a good quality group of people to come to town. The event does not have to be a big affair, but sometimes simple can still give people a connection to a larger world that they might be interested in.