Minicon 1

Minicon 1 was held on 6 January 1968 from 12:30pm to 5pm in Coffman Union (Men's Lounge), University of Minnesota (Minneapolis). Its membership has been estimated at around 60, but there's a fair amount of doubt as to the number. According to Anthony Tollin, e-mailing the archivist in Jan 2015, "I recall, having worked the registration desk with Fred Haskell, that the attendance of that first one-day event was 57. However, I'm not certain whether that number included the committee members (I suspect it did) or the three guest speakers."

The program book lists the chairs as Frank Stodolka (president), Jim Young (vice-president), Nate Bucklin (secretary), Ken Fletcher (treasurer) and Fred Haskell (official happy deadwood). The committee is given as Al Kufeld, Anthony Tollin, Floyd Henderson, Jean Berman, John Kusse, Cliff Ollia and Alton Byron Chermak. I (the archivist) understand that Jim Young and Frank Stodolka did much of the work. Anthony Tollin attests that committee members present included Fred Haskell, John Kusske, Nate Bucklin and himself.

Gordon R. Dickson, Charles De Vet and Clifford Simak sat on the panel (there was only one) at Minicon 1 and were used to promote the con. The term "guests of honor" wasn't used in the advertising, but was in the program book. Carl Jacobi was invited, but did not attend.


Program Book

small image of Minicon 1 Program Book cover

The program book was dittoed, 4.25"×11". (On a panel at Minicon 13 (transcript also in Rune 54 ff; here are parts 1, 2, 3, and 4) Jim Young said, "I wound up printing the little bulletin that we put out for it... and in ditto, because those were the days of Minneapolis dittoed fanzines." According to Anthony Tollin, this "bulletin" was the program book, and it seems to fit.)

Here it is: the program book in PDF (3 MB), or the same, but much lower quality (400 kB), or a text-only transcription (9 kB).

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Here are the individual page scans. Most people want the second column, which are a reasonable resolution and color depth for reading and being able to see what the book looks like. This column was used to make the larger PDF above, while the left column was used to make the smaller.

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Front cover SmallestRecommendedRaw
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Back cover SmallestRecommendedRaw

As the program book says, Minicon 1 was "modeled on the World Science Fiction Convention", but "the program has to be shorter". While the comparison between Worldcon and a 5 hour con may seem rather contrived, it's helpful to note that the average membership at the previous 5 Worldcons had been about 750 (including Loncon II with just 350) with an average length of 4 days. So still a stretch, but not as much as if you have modern (2010s) era Worldcons in mind.

The Minicon 1 program book is in the public domain due to having been published between 1923 and 1977 without a copyright notice.


Minicon 1 flyer preview

First, here's a scan made in 2009 of a photocopy made in 2000, reputed to be of the original paste-up board for the flyer made in 1968, although the "checked" stamp in the upper right hand corner makes me think there was another step involved, or did the paste-up itself get stamped? You can see it in several formats and quality levels:

Second, here's a scan made in 2015 of what might be a copy that was actually in the stack that got hung up around campus. In any case, it is on cardstock and has a substantially clearer "checked" stamp than the above copy, so you can easily make out the date:

The art on this poster has been attributed (by Jim Young) to Jim Odbert, but Anthony Tollin says that Jim Odbert had not had anything to do with Minn-stf yet at the time and in fact the art is "a panel from Australian comic artist Stanley Pitt's samples for a GULLY FOYLE Sunday comic strip based on Alfred Bester's THE STARS MY DESTINATION, which Al Kuhfeld had printed up and was agenting in the USA." He further says "I believe Ken Fletcher did the lettering on the MINICON ONE offset poster, though it may have been Jim Young."

Fred A Levy Haskell says that it's possible that there may have been a second style of flyer besides the one shown here.

This Minicon 1 flyer is in the public domain due to having been published between 1923 and 1977 without a copyright notice.

Student Program Approval Form

Minicon 1 approval form preview

At the time of Minicon 1, Minn-stf was a University of Minnesota student group. Here is the form authorizing Minicon 1 to be held in Coffman Union, dated 11/30/67.