Natalie Chimelir of Juneau’s Imagination Station paints someone’s face at the Alaska Robotics Mini-Con on Saturday, April 27, 2019. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

Natalie Chimelir of Juneau’s Imagination Station paints someone’s face at the Alaska Robotics Mini-Con on Saturday, April 27, 2019. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

‘A very nerdy town’: Mini-Con breeds creativity for those near and far

Locals, out-of-staters mesh at annual Alaska Robotics Mini-Con

Dik Pose shook his head as Justinian Sutton’s creation came to life.

“That’s so smart,” Pose murmured. “That’s so funny.”

Sutton, 10, had put together a stop-action movie (about rescuers trying to save people from a fire) with the help of Pose, a storyboard artist who has worked on shows such as “Big Mouth” and “Disenchantment.” Sutton has made stop-motion videos at home and left Pose and others impressed.

The stop-motion movie workshop was one of many options for attendees young and old at this past weekend’s Alaska Robotics Mini-Con. The event included more than 60 artists and vendors who taught, presented, sold their work and chatted with attendees passing through.

[Photos: Mini-Con brings together comics fans young and old]

Natalie Chimelir, who works at Juneau’s Imagination Station, has been at every Mini-Con. Dressed as Pikachu, Chimelir painted faces and bonded with attendees. She said the event allows them another chance to interact with community members, and the event gives people a reason to come from all corners of town and embrace their inner nerd.

“It’s a very nerdy town,” Chimelir said. “This town loves games. That’s why we have (board and card game event) Platypus Con. I think it’s so great that we can have something like this here because a lot of us don’t get to travel to Anchorage or Seattle for the bigger comic conventions.”

Dik Pose, right, and others celebrate the completion of a stop-motion movie by Justinian Sutton, left, at the Alaska Robotics Mini-Con on Saturday, April 27, 2019. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

Dik Pose, right, and others celebrate the completion of a stop-motion movie by Justinian Sutton, left, at the Alaska Robotics Mini-Con on Saturday, April 27, 2019. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

Part of the fun of the event, organizer and Alaska Robotics owner Pat Race said, is seeing locals set up next to people who come from all over the country. Michael Grover, for example, came up from Tampa, Florida, to participate and to show off his comics. Grover said he visited two years ago when he lived in Utah, and wanted to come up for it again even after moving to the opposite end of the country.

The three-day event included events and presentations all around downtown, and Grover said he was impressed to see many of the same faces from day to day.

“It’s cool that the people here seem committed,” Grover said. “They’re coming to multiple events in one weekend and seem really excited about everything.”

[Juneau drag heads to national stage]

The main event took place at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center on Saturday, where hundreds of attendees streamed through and looked at books, zines, artwork and ate Coppa ice cream. Some were dressed as their favorite fictional characters. Race said the event typically draws between 800 and 1,000 people, and as of 2:30 p.m. Saturday, those working the front table at the JACC had counted 825.

Even as hundreds of people attend, the event still has an intimate feel — just like the town itself, Chimelir said.

“We’re a small town,” Chimelir said, “and a lot of us are like family.”

Attendees stream through the Alaska Robotics Mini-Con on Saturday, April 27, 2019. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

Attendees stream through the Alaska Robotics Mini-Con on Saturday, April 27, 2019. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


More in News

A Princess Cruise Line ship is docked in Juneau on Aug. 25, 2021. (Michael Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for the week of Aug. 14

Here’s what to expect this week.

Supporters of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski wait for an opportunity to talk to her at her newly Juneau campaign headquarters Thursday evening at Kootznoowoo Plaza. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Murkowski opens up at Juneau HQ debut

Senator chats with supporters about U.S. vs. Belgium voting, moose chili and Project Veritas

(Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

U.S. Senate candidate Shoshana Gungurstein stars in a campaign sign within view of the Alaska governor’s mansion. Gungurstein, an independent, got exposure this week for being a Hollywood actress under a different last name after questions about her past went unanswered throughout the campaign. She is one of 19 candidates seeking to be among the four selected in next Tuesday’s primary to compete in the November general election. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Senate candidate sheds more light on background

Shoshana Gungurstein responds at length to recent report on past film career.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Drug arrest made in Skagway

Police say a suspicious package was intercepted.

This late-April photo shows a damaged sticker on a door at Thunder Mountain High School reminding people to social distance and wear masks inside the building. Masks will not be required in school buildings this year. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
No mandatory masks or COVID-19 tests for new school year

No mandatory masks or COVID-19 tests for new school year

(Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Friday Aug. 12, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

From left, Kelsey Dean, watershed scientist with the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition, and Kaagwaan Eesh Manuel Rose-Bell of Keex’ Kwáan watch as crew members set up tools to drag a log into place. Healthy salmon habitat requires woody debris, typically provided by falling branches and trees, which helps create deep salmon pools and varied stream structure. (Courtesy Photos / Mary Catharine Martin)
 
The SalmonState: Bringing the sockeye home

Klawock Indigenous Stewards and partners are working to a once prolific sockeye salmon run.

(Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Most Read