Mini-Con Comic Convention to be at Blount County Public Library

MARYVILLE, TN  (May 14, 2015)     A Mini-Con, a locally-organized comic convention, will kick off this year’s Summer Reading Program at the Blount County Public Library.  Special activities, appropriate for the entire family, will continue all day for all ages.

            Registration begins at 10:30am. Come in early to check out book displays, take pictures in front of the photo booth background … and more before you get busy at events! Activities and events will continue until 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 23, at the library.  Wear a costume for the chance to win cool prizes at our costume contest at the end of the day.

          Many of the activities, food and prizes are made possible by the Blount County Friends of the Library.

            Specific programs and times will include:


10:30 a.m.       Sign up begins for the Summer Reading Program – at any desk.

11:30 a.m.       “Comic Book Self-Publishing” (Dorothy Herron Room):  Dr. Rick Norwood of ETSU, owner of Manuscript Press, will discuss starting his own independent publishing company and how self-publishing has changed through the years. 

11:30 a.m.       “A Brief History of Video Games” (Sharon Lawson Room):  Jennifer Spirko, Reference Assistant at Blount County Public Library, has published academically and taught on gaming.

11:30 a.m.       “Superhero Story Time” (Children’s Library) Join other families for a special superhero storytime, featuring books, songs, and more to get you in the hero spirit! 

12:30 p.m.       Lunch provided at 12:30 

12:30 p.m.       “Comic Self-Publishing” presentation by Rick Norwood, professor at ETSU and owner of Manuscript Press, a publishing company that publishes out-of-print and rare comics.

12:30 p.m.       “Trivia: Are You a Super Geek?”  (Dorothy Herron Room):  With Jeopardy Champ, Jennifer Spirko, test your trivia know-how with questions drawn from nerd-dom: SF/F movies, television, books, video games, comics and manga, real-world science and math, and fandom.

12:30 p.m.       “Family Movie Screening: Big Hero 6” (Sharon Lawson):  Watch the hit, Oscar-winning animated feature about science kids turned superheroes with an assist from a very special robot.  Rated PG.

2:30 p.m.         “Fanfic: What, Where, Why, and How? (Sharon Lawson):  What is fan fiction and where can you find it? How do you create it? And why would anyone want to? Our panel will wax poetical about this very popular but much- maligned genre and provide tips on reading and writing fanfic.

2:30 p.m.         “Anime & Manga Presentation” (Dorothy Herron):  Dr. Jon LaCure, Professor of Japanese, Emeritus, a previous presenter at Kajonk-a Con in Knoxville, will be at the library to present on Sailor Moon and Art Deco. 

2:30 p.m.         “Kids’ Drawing Workshop” (Children’s Area):  Jordan Dronebarger, a local artist, will be at the library to show kids how to create their own superhero! 

3:30 p.m.         “Movie Magic Makeup Demo” (Dorothy Herron):  Emily Queen, Maryville College theatre alum, and Liz Crout of Dizzie Lizzie FX, will demonstrate stage and movie makeup effects for teens and adults who will also have the opportunity to try for themselves and make some gory wounds of your own.

3:30 p.m.         “Cosplay 101” (Sharon Lawson):  Local cosplayers will talk about their experiences and showcase some of their coolest cosplays so that audience members can learn a little about how to do it and why it’s fun.

3:30 p.m.         “Outdoor Obstacle Course Challenge”:  Show off your superheroes with an outdoor obstacle course. Leap over tall buildings in a single bound, break through brick walls, defuse bombs, and defeat the villain to save the world! 

4:30 p.m.         “Costume Contest.”


            Throughout the day, enjoy fencing demonstrations from the Knoxville Academy of the Blade.  Participate in a costume contest, craft corner, book displays, and a photo booth with superhero/fandom props to preserve the memories of your day.  McKay’s Books, comic shops and fandom crafters will be available.


Children, be prepared to show off your superhero skills at an outdoor obstacle course, enjoy a super story time, learn to draw your own heroes and more. Plus, you can settle in for a couple of hours with a fun family movie screening!  Lunch will be provided to attendees, and stuff will be happening all day so don’t miss out!  Events will be throughout the library.  

        “Every Hero Has a Story!” will be the theme of the Children’s Summer Reading Programs which will continue from May 23 through August 1.  Register at any desk to win prizes by reading, attending events and enjoying other fun stuff.  

                Children and their parents can also watch a 30-second YouTube video sponsored by the Tennessee State Library and Archives:


Teens and Adults can participate in activities that will include panels and speakers on Anime and Manga, comic book self-publishing, Cosplay 101, and the history of video games.  Wear a costume to gain a chance to win the costume contest.  There will be gaming, comic illustration lessons, vendors and much more!

Brush up on your trivia knowledge and participate in a trivia game hosted by Jeopardy winner, Jennifer Spirko.  More activities will be happening all day, so don’t miss out!  These fun events will be held throughout the library.  


Teens:  “Unmasked!” will be the theme of the Teen Summer Reading Program which will continue from May 23 through August 1.  Register at any desk for a chance to win weekly prizes by reading, attending  events, and enjoying other fun reading activities. 


Adults:  “Escape the Ordinary” will be the theme of the Adult Summer Reading Program which will continue from May 23 through July 27.  Why should the kids have all the fun?  Adults, sign up for summer reading!  Win daily prizes and a grand prize.  For more information, register at any desk at the library.

Throughout the summer, adults are invited to participate in some interactive fun in these venues:

o   Who’s Your Hero?  Is there someone you especially look up to?  Write the names of your personal heroes on paper around columns in the library’s main gallery. Let Blount County know who your heroes are!

o   Heroes vs. Villains Vote for your most valiant hero and dastardly villain each day at the Bookmark Café and track results on columns in the main gallery and on social media.


Summer Reading Program Events and Activities for all ages will be available at tht Blount County Public Library throughout the summer from May 23 through August 1.  


For Blind and Physically Handicapped Library Patrons: At the following website, there is a bibliography which provides a list of books for adults from the 2015 Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) Adult Manual Bibliography that are available through the National Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS). NLS provides these books through regional libraries known as Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPHs). To find your local LBPH, go to  ; All books with the prefix “DB” (audio books) and some with the prefix “BR” (braille books) are available for LBPH patrons to download through Braille and Audio Reading Download Audio Reading Download (BARD).


            Open to the public, the program is sponsored by the Blount County Public Library, located at 508 N. Cusick Street, Maryville, where services are an example of your tax dollars at work for you. 

            For further information about library programs or services, call the library at 982-0981 or visit the Web site at . To sign up to receive a monthly calendar by email, go to the library’s Home Page, click on the “News and Events” tab, and then “Calendar of Events Signup” and type in your email address. Also check out Facebook at “Blount County Public Library” and Twitter at “Blount_Library”.




Blount County does not discriminate based on race, color or national origin in federal or state sponsored programs, pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d). 


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