Everybody has a little geek or nerd in them, according to Lola Snyder, head of youth services at the Jackson County Public Library in Seymour.
Whether it’s Star Wars, video games, comic book heroes, board games, Japanese animation or even Disney princesses, the library’s third annual Minicon fandom convention had it all on Saturday.
“We wanted to have something to offer people who have interests that might be out of the mainstream,” Snyder said. “And there’s a lot of us out there.”
The event was geared towards fan of science fiction, fantasy and many more genres.
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The day started early with a Dragon Trainer Academy obstacle course for young children, discussion groups and a demonstration on how to create hairstyles for cosplay characters. Cosplay is where people dress up and act like their favorite fictional characters.
Sierra Perry of Seymour led the anime discussion. She agreed to get involved with the event after one of her friends volunteered last year. Her mother also enjoys cosplaying.
“Anime has started to become very popular, but there are a lot of underestimated anime that aren’t the ones that you see on TV or Netflix,” she said.
One of the reasons she enjoys Minicon so much is that it creates a closer community, she said. She also really liked taking part in the afternoon murder mystery activity.
“If you come, you get to talk about stuff you like with people from the area,” she said. “I think some of the bigger (conventions) can be kind of scary, but here you don’t feel like a loner because it’s your hometown.”
And that is one of the goals of Minicon, Snyder added.
“We’re not Evansville, or Indy or Louisville, where the big (conventions) are at and we’re free, where as those cost money,” she said. “It’s a chance to convince people to come to the library and see us as more than just books.”
One of the newest activities that took the convention by storm was the Dungeon Crawl, where teams of four were given foam weapons and armor and escorted through a dark room, fighting their way through “monsters” as they played the role of intrepid adventurers.
“I really liked the Dungeon Crawl. I did it with my sister,” said Liam Combs, 15, of Seymour. “It was a bit scary at one point and I got ‘paralyzed’ by a bad guy and had to pretend to be stuck.”
Combs also said he enjoyed the chance to try the Nintendo Switch, a game console brought by a volunteer from GameStop. The Seymour business also provided a PlayStation 4 with games for attendees to try.
“It’s just such a good time,” said Monica Hartung, who attended with her children. “We voted on artwork, got pictures with a Mario background and dressed up as Star Wars characters.”
Minicon also offered a Minion craft from the Despicable Me/Minion films, a makeup demonstration and face painting by Fear Fair, Pathfinder, which is a variation on Dungeons and Dragons, costume and cosplay contests and more.
“Darth Vader came and walked around, the Star Wars cosplayers from the 501st Bloodfin Garrison, Spider-Man, Cinderella and others,” Snyder said of some of the characters at the event.
This year, the library offered an adults-only Minicon on Friday night featuring the dungeon crawl, the strategy game War Machine, mature video games, “Are You a Werewolf,” and Cards Against Humanity.
“We wanted to try something new, and a lot of people seemed to like it,” Snyder said. “We also had story time with Deadpool.”
The adults-only event is something that Snyder wants to do again next year, along with making improvements for Minicon.
“We get lots of suggestions and we take them all very seriously, trying to make the event the best we can,” she said.
Minicon takes lots of volunteers, each offering their own interests to the overall event.
“That was how we got War Machines and several of the discussion groups; people just came and said, ‘I want to volunteer, here’s the things I’m interested in,’ and we figured out how to make it work,” Snyder said. “I have my own fandoms, and I like that we have an event that we get to share that.”