Duluth’s First Comic-Con Draws Hundreds

DuluCon sells over 300 tickets, far more than initially expected.

DULUTH, Minn.- For the first time ever in the Northland, fans from all the far reaches of nerd-dom gathered together to share their passions at DuluCon.

“People that like Star Trek, Star Wars, very specific video games. Anime, battle re–enactments,” said Joshua Effinger, DuluCon Council Member. “Engineers, artisans, people that like to make necklaces, people that like to dress up in giant furry outfits.”

A normal street outfit would be out of place here, as people pour everything into their unique costumes.

“[I’m] Asoka, it’s from Star Wars Rebels,” Event Organizer Kara Manthey said.

“Honestly for me, I like people’s reactions. It’s fun to be my favorite character but then seeing like little kids’ reactions is great. And adults’ reactions too. So it’s what I love doing.”

These cosplayers, as they’re called, feel at home among others at the convention.

“You don’t see these people out in real life you just see normal people walking around,” said Manthey. “And to actually see a lot of nerds coming out of the woodwork in their costumes–it makes me happy.”

Bringing these nerds out of the woodwork is what drove organizers to put this event together.

“Nerdy Society,” Effinger said. “Which I find people’s passions. And if you can be passionate enough to show us what it is, we’ll give you a spot.”

According to Manthey, organizers only expected about 75-100 people to come.

However, they ended up selling about 300 tickets.

“So it’s a lot better than we expected it to be,” she said.

And for some of these attendees, it was their first time at an event like this.

“It was the first con I’ve ever been to,” said Savanna Stock. “I was surprised and then I also like it because it’s not a really long drive to go anywhere, or flight.”

While others are a little more experienced with cons.

“This is the first con I’ve been to in like four years,” Stock’s friend Kaylin Roushar said. “I went a lot when I was little. Then we moved up here and there wasn’t that many.”

For many, having a place to meet fellow enthusiasts close to home is a big relief.

“So there’s a lot of nerds in Duluth and no con for them to go to if they don’t want to travel,” said Manthey. “So we decided as a group to actually start it here and it’s been a big hit!”

Duluth seemed like a good place to have all these inventive fans go, Effinger said.

“I think it’s cause we’re a very creative people.” “We always like to add a certain amount of humor to everything that we do.”

Most of all, it reminded all these nerds that they have each other.

“I’m not alone,” said Manthey, with glee.

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