Escapade/Escapade 2000

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Escapade 2000

Escapade 10 was held February 3-6, 2000.

the 2000 program book cover

Programming

From the program book: "You may remember from ESCAPADES past, having something like 30-36 hours of panel scheduling to choose from. Well, for our 10th anniversary we're making your life a living hell. You have more than 50 HOURS of panels to choose from. May the Force be with you. Escapade panels are free-form, often loud, and almost always intellectually stimulating, Be prepared for all of this and, in general, know that your right to your opinion is respected even if It doesn't look that way in the moment."

Friday:

  • Pros: Why Should I Care?, led by Sharon, Dana Jeanne (Why we stay: Loyalty and monogamy amidst wildly sluttish behavior. Pros for better or worse, or just for fun?)
  • Does Your Mother Know?, led by Derora and Anagi (Or "how out are you about your slash habit?" Do you hide your slash under your mattress, or do you tell complete strangers on the street that you're into homoerotlc acts between fictional characters? Who knows about your secret life of slashdom? Come and confess all to your fellow addicts and your friendly panel leaders: one who tells no one and one who seeks advice about the workings of foreskin from her co-workers.)
  • Ethics of Business and Power in Fandom, led by Jennifer (What is the nature of authority in a decentralized, anarchistic community whose only unifying purpose Is the promotion of Illegal activities? Who has "authority" or "power", and how do they get it? What do they do with it? What can we do about it?)
  • Mainstreaming and Marketing Slash, led by Maygra de Rhema, Margie (Not just how to, but should we?)
  • Circle the Wagons, Jed... They've Come for Our Writers!, led by Jennifer and Pamela (They're hot and they're cool and we want them to die - they're the new show on the block and they're siphoning off our talent. Do we hate them because we fear them? The syndrome of new-fandom-phobia as illustrated by SW:TPM (this year). Sentinel & HL (last two years), all the way back to the dawn of fandom.)
  • Sentinel -- The Sentinel by Blair Sandburg: Is there Life After Dissertation?, led by Merry and Laura
  • Bad Boys or Leather and Attitude, led by Richel, Dr. Ruthless and Carol (Methos, Spike, et al. Not the guys you'd want dating your sister, but fair game for the slash mill. What's the appeal?)
  • Intro to Fan Writing - Nuts and Bolts and Other Dangly Bits, led by Melissa and Kat (Two hardened slashers share information they wish they'd had when they started. We cover basic writing concepts such as effective characterization, point-of-view, character motivation, how to work with a plot, outlining, show/tell dynamics, and the importance of kinesthetic impact in addition, we focus on some of the issues that confront the budding slashwriter the relationship between self-doubt, fear, and persistence; tips on work habits; finding and working with an editor; rewriting; and story completion. Please bring a pen and join us!)
  • Sports Night: Slash in Comedy, led by Richel and Christy
  • History of Fandom, led by Pamela and Sandy (Listen to old farts and old-fart-wannabes chat about the dawn of fannish time.)
  • Due South Season 3/4, led by Zoe Elena and Latonya (Fraser/Kolwalski: who's really in charge here? Who's needier?)
  • Is Sex Necessary (in slash)?, led by Beth, Katharine and Kathy (It's the old argument; is slash about two guys in love, is slash about two guys fucking, or is slash about two guys fucking with love?)
  • Publishing Workshop, led by Jennifer (What is a zine if it's not a collection of netfic bound with a pretty cover? A long-time zine-ed discusses the theory and practice of print publishing.)
  • Oz; The Appeal of Dark Romance, Or Just Plain Hard Time?, led by Melissa and Gemma (Canonical slash. Straight men falling for each other. Rape, betrayal, and survival; allegiance,
violence, and power games (and that's just in the fandom - you should see what they do on 
the show... just kidding). But there's no question about it - it's a groundbreaking show, and
 there's nothing else out there quite like it. This panel welcomes both seasoned Oz fans and
fresh mea- uh... that is, new fans.)
  • 
The Bottom Line, led by Melina and Anne (What is it about a character that screams "top" or "bottom" to us? Do we, as writers, draw these preferences from the characters, or is the choice of top or bottom just a matter of the writer's own kinks?)
  • Favorite Characters and Pairings, led by KC and Sue (What makes Bodie and Doyle or Starsky and Hutch so slashable, but not Picard and Riker? What makes some people see Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon as lovers where others only see a beloved student/teacher relationship? Is it the chemistry of the actors or is it how we see them? Do you need to love both of them to make it work, or only one?)
  • HL: Do As I Say, Not As I Do, led by Elynross, Merry and Maygra de Rhema (Methos says it's all about survival, that he'd kill a friend in an instant if he thought him dangerous, but do his actions back this up?)
  • Promoting Critique on Mailing Lists, led by Margie and Carol (How to promote critical discussion and attention to the mechanics of writing on email lists?)
  • Bedtime Stories (Orchestrated by Oblique Publications, expect an interesting and arousing mix of stories and scenes, read aloud (as all good bedtime stories should be.))
  • Friday Video Show (Songvids for all. The Friday showcase will feature a combination of vids new since last Escapade and a selection of older vids.)

Saturday:

  • XF: Alex Krycek: Psycho Extraordinaire, or Simply Misunderstood?, led by Merry, Margie, and Emile
  • Changing Power Dynamics in Fandom, led by Jennifer, Rachael Sabotini and Valentin (With the decline of zine editors and growth of the Net, what's changed, and how does it affect us and our fanfic?)
  • Done to Death, led by Laura and Meg (Where have I seen this before? Repetition in slash.)
  • Sentinel: Did the Fiction Shape the Fandom? Or Vice Versa?, led by Margie and Sharon (Is the disparate face of Sentinel fandom due to the fact that some online fans came to the show via fanfic some time before seeing the show? Is there a coherent fandom? If not, does it matter?)
  • But My Guys Wouldn't Do That!, led by Eliz-mar Von, Richel, Ruth, and Waldo (B/D, S/M, D/S and other kinks.)
  • Advanced Slash Writing Workshop, led by Joan and Sharon (Crafting complex stories, developing intricate plots and in-depth characterization, dealing with length (often short is more difficult than long), etc.)
  • Crossovers: Serious Exploration of Archetypes or Just Plain Goofy?, led by Brenda, Dvorah, and Melina (Crossovers come in many varieties and in varying degrees of seriousness. This panel will explore the appeal of crossovers, from explorations of cultural archetypes to "lets get our favorite characters together and see what kind of sex they have." Which character's special powers will be stronger? Who's sexier? Which one will be the top? What motivates a writer to write a crossover, and what is the process of attempting to merge universes and create interactions between characters that never really interacted? And why do we like lo read this stuff?!!!)
  • SW:TPM Point of View, led by Jo and Jennifer (The Jedi as a Force for Evil in the Universe. The Republic's "Ambassadors" are two fanatical heavily-armed religious nuts with elite commando training and the ability to invade your mind and manipulate your thoughts. They say they are here to negotiate.)
  • Due South: Fraser/Vecchio: Good Cop/Bad Cop?, led by Merry, Celeste and Kathy (Softies with a hard candy shell?)
  • Psychology of Slash, led by Dvorah and MacGeorge (Slash is not a casual addiction. Devotion, obsession, passion - sound familiar? How many of us have stayed up all night reading a story or pressed the reload button more than once a day to see If a page has updated? Come and discuss what slash means to you - why you like it, why you write it. Whether for post-modern gender role critique, liberation of forbidden fantasies, girl power, or plain old hot sex, what role does slash play in your psyche and your life?)
  • H:LOTS: Pamela Rose Pontificates on the Best Fandom Ever, led by Pamela Rose ("Well, it is!")
  • Pros: The Myth of Inevitable Tragedy, led by Beth and Kathy (Pros fanfic runs the entire angst range, from happy-happy picking out the curtains stories to
 shoot-yourself death stories. Pros is also more polarized than many fandoms as to the types of
 stories the readers will tolerate. Why do some people write depressing endings? Why do some
people refuse to read an entire zine with one death story?)
  • 
Pederasty, led by Elynross, Maygra de Rhema (What role, if any, should sexually active, underage characters have in our fiction? Is this some
thing to be avoided like the plague, and if so, why? Are the reasons legal, personal, or a mix
ture of both? Is it something that's blown out of proportion, and actually kind of a hidden
 kink for some, no better or worse than a bdsm kink or a rape kink?
)
  • Websites 101, led by Sandy and Laura (What does it take to create your own website? Focusing on design and concepts, this is not an HTML coding class.)
  • XF: Skinner -- TV's Manliest Man, or Closeted Snugglebunny?, led by Gwyneth, M. Fae Glasgow, Cynthia (Many fans have fallen for the Surly One because he's one of the most masculine and macho characters ever created on television. Yet fanfic seems to be veering in a different direction -- depicting Skinner as snuggly, sweet guy in touch with his inner girlyman. Is this the way fans want to see him? Or is it character rape?)
  • Dark Romance, led by Sandy, Rachael Sabotini, Richel and Awena (Desire tinged with obsession, paranoia, and self-destruction, where passion can easily turn to rape.)
  • 
Vidding Basics, led by Stacy and Carol (Or "you want to leam how to make a music vid, huh?" -- Carol and Stacy will take a group of novice vidders from the basics of what you need on your VCR, to all your hardware set ups, thru the selection of music, to actually doing some hands-on putting a dip (or two) into a music vid. So if you're interested in music videos and you want to try your hand at making one... you know what panel you need to go to.)
  • HL: Duncan Never Slept with a Man Before Methos, led by Melina, Rachael Sabotini, Zen & nancy (D/M slash stories are split pretty evenly about whether Duncan was a virgin before the ROG entered his life. What do you think? Look at some clips (we hope?), hear opinions from some different writers, and tell us what you think and why.)
  • Less is More: Gluttony & the Decline of Quality in Fanfic, led by Katharine and Zoe Elena
  • What Makes a Slash Story Work? What Makes One Legendary?, led by Russet and Jane (What makes your basic slash story work well, and how does that differ from the requirements for a gen story? Is it just sex, sex, and more sex? What makes some stories enormous hits while other fine pieces languish in obscurity? Is it just timing, luck, and more sex? Be ready to give examples of "legendary" works from your favorite fandoms.)
  • QAF: Will America Ever Be Ready for "Queer as Folk?", led by Caryl-Sue and Sandy (In a year that's given us The Sopranos and Oz, is America finally ready for this show?)
  • Minotaur's How To... (Registered Gay Boy tells all.)
  • Conscious Fandom, led by Katharine and Shoshanna (What, if any, dialogue, is there between our 'real' lives/selves and the ideals/passions we look for in fan stories?)
  • Vids, Filking and Fan Entertainment (Join us for a retrospective of Melissa's filks, a plethora of brand-new song vids, an intermission (hurrah), fan-focused entertainment, and more vids.)

Sunday:

  • Horatio Hornblower: Buddy, Daddy, or a Naughty, Haughty Boy?, led by Vicki, <dragnldy>, and Jo (Of all those who might lust after Horatio (is there anyone who doesn't?), who do you see as his ideal partners? Archie? Captain Pellew, or Lord Edrington?)
  • Literary M/M, led by Christy, Maygra de Rhema and Jane (Published science fiction and fantasy that have definite "slashy" characteristics.)
  • Songvid Appreciation 101, led by Gwyneth, Jessica and Kathy (Remember Art Appreciation? "Why is this painting good?" Well, we're doing the same for vids, using examples from the ESCAPADE Video Show. Let's take advantage of the fact that we've all just seen these vids, and use them to illustrate how to do cool things in a vid. We'll look at clever POV changes, appropriate choice of music to theme, skillful uses of musical changes within a vid, storytelling techniques, changes of mood, cutting on the beat vs. cutting on the lyric line, the different approaches to serious and humorous vids, or single fandom vs. multiple fandom vids, and more.)
  • What is Canon?, led by KC and Zoe Elena (The shows, the books, the director's comments, opinions by actors at cons?)
  • SW:TPM: A Fandom Microcosm, led by Elynross and Caryl-Sue (All the cliches, all the characterization problems in half the time or less. What happens when a fandom starts from minimal canon, strongly pushes for an AU version of that, and then inter-breeds almost instantaneously?)
  • MUNCLE: Why Does Everyone Torture Illya, led by Stacy (Is he such a wimp that he deserves torture? Why not torture Napoleon instead?)
  • Pet Peeves, led by Katharine and Sandy (What drives you nuts in the stories you read?)
  • Critical Fear Redux, led by Maygra de Rhema, Sandy (Critique in Fandom: Why is it so rare? Should we fear it? How can those who want to avoid it,
 opt-out of the process? And is it different on the web? In mailing lists? In person? A follow-up
 to last year's panel.
)
  • Dead Dog Party (Join us for a last minute blow out, bring your leftovers, fill out comments forms, and generally end the weekend on a high note! See you there.)

Alternate Programming:

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Who Let Kids into Slash?, led by Kate/Dymphna (When Buffy fanfic was released on the Net, it introduced slash to a younger crowd, both in characters and authors. How has Buffy changed the demographics and style of slash?)
  • Marriage of Minds: Telepathy and Bonding from Trek to Star Wars, led by Eliz-mar Von and Ruth (From mind melds to Master-Padawan bonds, the phenomenon of telepathy and 'bonding" between our guys fascinates us. Come explore what's been done and where we can still go!)
  • Hypnosis for Slashers: Everything I Know About Trance Induction I Learned from Watching Forever Knight, led by dvorah (A psychologist explains good (LaCroix) and bad (Nicholas) hypnosis technique using principles of Ericksonian hypnosis and the FK episode, "Close Call". Useful for slashers who want to write realistic trance induction. You don't have to love vampires to be here, but it helps!)
  • Hard Core Logo: In the End, It's Still Love, led by Mairead/Aristide (Joe loves Billy. Joe hates Billy. Joe manipulates the hell out of Billy... Billy loves Joe. Billy leaves Joe. Billy can't answer the phone 'cause he's eating chips and masturbating. Discuss.)
  • Anime Selection, led by Stephanie (Two will be shown: Lesson XX - 2 young men in high school- First time (sort of)/first love-Japanese with subtitles; Fish in a Trap - High schoolers. Warning: rape scene - Japanese with subtitles; Level C - young model and young man meet - Very explicit for anime-Japanese only.)
  • ST: VOY: The Men and Women of Voyager, led by Britta (Exploring why we slash who we slash. Why are some pairings are more believable or more popular than others? Does this change over time? If so, why?)
  • VG: Brian Slade: Perfect Puppet or User?, led by Waldo (What was Brian's fatal flaw? Total self-absorbtion or being completely spineless?)
  • BDSM 101 for Slashers, led by Eliz-mar Von, Ruth and Waldo (Leather, handcuffs, floggers, harnesses... Come and talk with those who have been in the real BDSM scene to find out what it is and isn't and how it can be used in your slash writing!)

Vid Show

Regarding one vid: during the vid show, an Oz vid Prison Sex disturbed some viewers with its canonical images of graphic violence. This led a few attendees to complain and later demand warnings on Escapade vidshows. It was the first time this had been requested and signaled a shift in the expectations of the viewing audience towards a more controllable and individual customized viewing experience. While media vidshows had always included movie vids which had R (and in some cases X) ratings, the majority of footage had come from primetime TV shows which were restricted by censors in terms of both sex and violence. Cable TV had however, by 2000 made significant inroads in both, and the request for warnings on vidshows illustrated that not all fans were prepared for fandom to adapt to the increased explicitness in TV and movies. Escapade eventually chose to not include warnings on their vidshows deciding that since the convention was for fans 18 years or older, that this was not necessary.

Escapade 2000 Music Videos Friday, February 4th and Saturday, February 5th (Part 1)

Song Vidder Fandom Notes
Don’t You Need Morgan Dawn Starsky & Hutch From Friday show.
Can’t Help Falling In Love With You Stacey D Wiseguy From Friday show.
As Long As You Love Me Stacy D Wiseguy From Friday show.
Love is a Battlefield Flamingo Starsky & Hutch From Friday show.
Living La Vida Loca Flamingo Starsky & Hutch From Friday show.
The Saga Begins Weird Al-VH1 The Phantom Menace From Saturday show.
The Battle of Evermore Cee O’Dee The Phantom Menace From Saturday show.
Right By Your Side Cee O’Dee Multiple Fandoms From Saturday show.
Who Wants to Live Forever Cee O’Dee The Phantom Menace From Saturday show.
Love Is Strong Cee O’Dee World Wide Federation of Wrestling From Saturday show.
So Pure Pam Rose/Katharine Scarritt Homicide Life on the Streets From Saturday show.
You Make Me Remember Katherine Scarritt Star Trek Voyager From Saturday show.
Shades of Grey Waldo Babylon 5 From Saturday show.
Our House Waldo Babylon 5 From Saturday show.
Acrobat Gayle F & Morgan Dawn ]]La Femme Nikita]] From Saturday show.
Crying Game Seabreeze & Gloria R. The Sentinel From Saturday show.
Frozen Stacy D Oz From Saturday show.
From Where I Stand Kathy M. Due South From Saturday show.

Part 2

Shades of Gray Melina Highlander
Bridge Over Troubled Water Melina HIGHLANDER
I’m Too Sexy Melina HIGHLANDER
Don’t Fear the Reaper Melina, Killa, and Luminosity HIGHLANDER
We Do What We’re Told Gwyneth Soldier
Handle Me With Care Media Cannibals DUE SOUTH
The Rest Will Take Care of Itself Alexandrafa DUE SOUTH
Hair Media Cannibals Multi
46 and 2 Jo Oz
Human Sandy Herrold & Gwyneth X-Files
Smooth Operator Gwyneth La Femme Nikita
I’ll Be (The Greatest Fan of Your Life) Anna & TS Cannibals The Sentinel
Do What You Have to Do Gwyneth Buffy
You Got It Alex Buffy
Odd Couple Intro Sandy Buffy
Prison Sex Jo (On tape #4) Oz
Someone Keeps Moving My Chair Carol S X-FILES
Rhino Skin Carol S X-FILES
Veli Carol S X-FILES
What Do I Have to Do Carol S X-FILES
Spooky Jill & Kay X-FILES
My Generation Jill & Kay & Lynn (JKL) Buffy

Vid Show Agenting Controversy

Note: Originally, copies of Escapade vid shows were mastered, duplicated, and mailed directly to convention attendees on behalf of the concom by staff member Kandy Fong. At one point, she supplied some of these high-quality tapes to Mysti Frank to sell at cons Kandy herself wasn't attending, but after learning that Mysti had inflated the prices and kept the profits, Kandy rescinded any permission for Mysti to copy, distribute, sell, or in any way be associated with Escapade con tapes.

In April 2014, it was discovered that Mysti had been making and selling lower-quality tape copies without the concom's or vidders' knowledge or permission, and also without including any of the vidder credits that Kandy had originally provided. Concom member Charlotte Hill then contacted Mysti and asked her to stop distributing tapes in order to protect the quality and reputation of both the vidders and the vid show.

The original information added to this page offering tapes for sale via Mysti's website is below:

The vid show was released on a songvid VHS tape and sold by Agent With Style. From the description: "The wonderful song vids shown at the Escapade convention in Santa Barbara, CA, each year are collected and presented here for your enjoyment through the auspices of Kandy Fong. Capturing every fandom you could think of -- and many you couldn't! -- these tapes are amazing and not to be missed! Available only in VHS tape."

Convention Reports

This is just a general one-size-fits-all con report of Escapade, a slash convention held Feb. 4-6, 2000, in Los Angeles, California. This was the 10th Escapade and the first one not in Santa Barbara. Since it was at the Sheridan Gateway right near LAX, 240 attended instead of the limited 150 which the Goleta Holiday Inn enforced.

First off, this con was more expensive for those of us by car because parking wasn't free, nor close unless you chose valet parking. Overall, it was more expensive because there were not cheap places to eat in walking range so eating at the hotel meant that I probably paid close to $100 extra on food. Mercifully, we brought our own liquor, because beers were $5 apiece. The hotel, however, was much nicer than the one in Goleta which has a small restaurant with no alcohol and is in general lacking. The price for the rooms is about the same, being about $110 for 1-4 when tax is included. The con itself costs about $45 to register.

Since I am in ST, K/S, B7, and any type of B7 with Roj Blake, my interests are narrow. In 1995, my first con, I think I spent $800 on my two fandoms in art and zines. This year, I spent $20--and that's all I could find to spend with two exceptions. I did pass up a big Spock (I'm a Kirkie) in the art show and a big blue Avon (I'm a Blakie) in the dealer's room. There was no way I was buying BIG art of the two men I'm not that interested in, even though the prices were reasonable. So if you are into my two fandoms, Escapade doesn't offer a lot at all.

In the dealer's room I found some B7 and ST photos and a used B7 zine for me. There were plenty of old B7 and ST zines, but I already owned them or had owned them and sold them already. There were no new zines and, except for one Spock art piece, there was no auction art in my two fandoms. The old music videos on Friday I don't believe even featured one clip of either fandom. On Saturday in the new music vids, two m/m songs featured clips of both Star Trek and Blake's 7.

Technically the con starts early Friday and continues on past 3 on Sunday if you want to attend the final party. There are panels all three days, normally three at a time. I missed both writing workshop 1 (2 hrs.) and history of fandom because they were on early Friday and I wanted a long leisurely lunch. I missed other panels because I ended up talking to people. But the panels I did attend were done to death (cliches in fandom), writing workshop 2 (2 hrs.), Minotaur's How To....(another delightful panel with the gay man who wants to help women write better slash), Horatio Hornblower (because my friends are into the fandom), and BDSM 101 (a fascinating talk about BDSM by two tops and one new recruited submissive). By the way, if you have never visited Minotaur's site... I highly recommend it.

Minotaur said something interesting when someone asked him how his gay friends felt about him attending a slash convention. He said they would not find the idea of women writing slash strange, they would find it weird that anyone would be so interested in ANY TV show. And I think this is, also, the normal reaction. I hide slash from my family, but I, also, hide my deep love for my fandoms and the great expense that the hobby is.

The other programming--not all of which I attended--is varied. On Friday night, you have a choice of bedtime slash stories read aloud or seeing music vids of the past year. Then there is a con party. On Saturday, the new music vids are presented along with some general entertainment which is always funny. On Sunday morning is the breakfast which is either free or discounted heavily and the art auction. I missed the art auction, but this year there was a distinct change. About 40 percent of the art pieces were computerized photos by Equinoxe. Lovett, of course, was the main artist featured. One of Equinoxe's photos (Sentinel) went for over $200.

The strange thing this year for me was how even though there were more people there, I saw fewer people--even the people I already new. I think that was because everything was more spread out in the huge hotel. Here there were two or three spacious lobbies as compared to one dinky one in Santa Barbara. Also, some people dressed up in various costumes or just plain bizarre outfits. People commented that Escapade is the one con where people have never dressed up, unless you count wearing fandom tees dressing up. Frankly, I was embarrassed by the people who dressed up and I'm sure the other quests there thought the people in costume were total raving nutcases. Though I probably looked weird, too, in my Blake's 7 tee. Who knows, maybe even weirder since I look old enough to know better, and most of the people in costume were youngish people in their 20's and 30's.

Whether Escapade is in Los Angeles or Santa Barbara next February, 20001, I will attend because it's fun to be in a slash tolerant atmosphere. It's just that if you are an old zine dinosaur like me you do have to be content with not having your zine habit fixed. If you want to read yourself to sleep, you'll just have to take your favorite ST or B7 zine. And as for my two fandoms, the only dealer there was Kathy Resch, who offered no new zines but had her old FIRE AND ICEs and T'HY'LAs for sale. Those of you who write, remember that Resch and other zine publishers are desperately looking for stories. Zines can't be produced unless the editors/publishers have the material. And then ONCE a new zine is out, it's up to all of us to BUY it, instead of perhaps borrowing it. IF we do not support zines, in a few years they will be gone.

I'd say overall the new zine output was much less. I think the net is definitely changing both fandom and the dealer's rooms. [1]
I collected my carpoolers. Sue and Attila, at six pm. Thursday and motored straight down 1-5 to LAX, getting in at 130 am We all crashed in someone's hotel room, taking up floor, half a bed, two chairs. The next day I booked my room and settled in... ... Er - LAX? Not glorious sunny (but usually rainy) Santa Barbara? Yes. For the first time in its history, Escapade was forced to leave Santa Barbara. The Goleta Holiday Inn, our location for eight cons, booked our space for another con this year. Ingrates - after all the business we gave them through recession and in their off-season ... The concom had to move us to the LAX area hotels. I will say that they chose a good hotel, the Sheraton Gateway. And the concom did a good job at the last minute. There were losses and gains, naturally. While the location meant that Escapade lost much of its spa-resort charm of being tucked away in lovely Santa Barbara, this site provided much easier access, not only for out-of-towners (a change from "fly to LAX, bushwhack one and a half hours north") but for fans in wheelchairs (the Goleta Holiday Inn isn't chair-friendly at all - I'm speaking as someone who's helped carry a chair or a fan up those outdoor concrete steps that get slippery in the usual Escapade rain). I saw more fans-on-wheels at this Escapade than in the other nine combined. Another complaint was the lack of nearby eating places - something I missed too, especially the 24-hour Carrow's and The Good Earth. The parking situation was worse, which was to be expected this close to LAX ($8 a night, across a busy street from the hotel). There was a single tiny diamond-shaped pool, blood-hot, outside. I paddled in it for a bit with a couple of kids - one a stunning redhead with a pooka-shell necklace - a bit dazed to be outdoors and warm in February (I've been living in the San Francisco area).

The hotel elevators were another annoyance - you had to stick your keycard in a slot to hit room-floor buttons. No doubt this was to keep the local interesting folks from visiting friends. This was a tough thing to negotiate all weekend, especially when your hands were full of luggage or zines.

The dealer's room was even tinier than the Goleta location (small enough that two fans have trouble passing each other) and a good walk away from the other function rooms - a major source of complaint by the con-goers. I stayed long enough to buy two zines and some Buffy tapes, and got out - it wasn't a place to browse.

But the dealer's room's size was counterbalanced by the immense, magnificent consuite/art show/panel space, a room complete with chair ramps, wetbar, and enough comfy chairs to house most lounging socializing fans. This was the moral equivalent of our cherished Goleta pool-lounge area. A zine library provided reading material for those not simply chatting and snacking, and two computers held disk archives and e-mail access. Just outside the consuite, the message board kept people in contact with each other (and provided a blank canvas for my traditional "toon-a-day").

This year the fan darling was Star Wars: The Phantom Menace- to be precise, the film's five minutes of homoeroticism between the luscious Jedi Qui-Gon (Liam Neeson) and Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor), for which too many people suffered through two hours of video-game plotting and racist stereotypes. TPM exemplifies the nature of media fandom in general and slash fandom in particular - we can find the smallest gold granules in the biggest pan of mud. Sentinel is still a big presence. Pros is as stable and strong as the Rock of Gibraltar, and Highlander (Duncan/Methos) has settled into its status as one of the good regular steady fandoms.

The concom maintained some of the finest aspects of the traditional Escapade, including the "one meal a day" policy (Togo sandwiches Friday and Saturday noon, marvelous marinated veggies and the like in the evening party, cheesecake, snackies). Alas, our intimate Sunday brunch was replaced by a meal ticket for the hotel coffeeshop Sunday morning - not the same thing at all, especially as tip was not included in the price.

The swap table was back, providing all sorts of slash-oriented odds and ends to be traded or paid for on the honor system. Proceeds of this and the charity auction benefited the usual con charity (Good Hearted People, who teach folks how to dress for work and handle job interviews).

One highlight of the con for me was introducing 21 people to Peruvian cuisine via one of my favorite LA eateries. Polio Inka. It was originally meant as an outing for Sentinel fans, but the fantastic food lured many different folks into caravanning both evenings of the con to the place where I used to lunch in my LA AFB days. Both dine-outs were a huge success.

JenCat and I played Sentinel-Slashopoly (her homemade Monopoly board game with a Sentinel slash theme) both nights - this was hilarious, especially with the goofy Jim/Blair illos created by Jenny's sister. I got so caught up in the game I missed Friday nights Story Tune, and Saturday's game (combined with plenty of tequila) was even more fun, especially when we started writing round-robin slash stories, laughing our asses off and mooning over pictures of Jim and Blair like the drunken idiots we were.

The most popular shirt this year was "Sith Park" - Palpatine, Darth Maul and Vader as South Park-type caricatures saying "Oh My God, we've killed Qui-Gon. And I was pleased to see one other person wearing a "South Pros" t-shirt, based on one of my cartoons and given me as a gift by Vonne S. last year! (I'd given her permission to turn the 'toon into a shirt).

Panels I went to: "Sentinel - Life after Dissertation"; "Sports Night" (all agreed the show's recovered from its stumbling beginning this season, once again focusing on Casey and Dan as it should); "Crossovers" (what works, why we like them); "Slash in literature and mythology, from Gilgamesh to modern lit" And... well, that's it. I'm not much for panels, unless I'm helping to run them.

At Escapade panels, you think or you sink. Lots of lists were made on the gigantic drawing Post-It pads, and the walls were covered with sheets scrawled with cryptic notes and references, charts and graphs, bibliographies, columns of names, stereotypes and injuries. This con has the hardest-working panelists in media fandom.

I evangelized slash fandom for a few (very interested) women from other cons in the hotel (Paramedics and Free of Weight-Loss Groups) who watched me do my whiteboard cartoons outside the consuite. We might get a few new folks next year...

The art show featured the usual Lovett prints (as expected, her "Beloved Padawan" print was the darling of the show and went for $550) many computer-print photos and some used K/S for sale. A lot of Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan, including a lovely candle-glass with an etched silhouette. [Nola F-G] and I provided comic relief - my cartoon of Blair as a nightstick-wielding "Respect mah authoritah " cop was appreciated, and I made about $60 altogether.

Saturday night's entertainment marked the 10th anniversary of Escapade with a look at the past, present and future of slash, represented by three groups of fans - Pam Rose, for the days when we hand-lettered fanfic on papyrus and shipped it via carrier pigeon, Shoshanna for the present academic interest in the genre, and Zen&Nancy for the future of Net-fandom and zines.com. It's wonderful to see that the torch has been passed to eager, brilliant, talented young women who grew up reading Mom's K/S zines and are taking slash to brand-new levels and technologies. [Melissa D], [Shoshanna], Sandy Herrold and another woman I'm going blank on did a retrospective medley of Melissa's hilarious slash filksongs.

The video programming began with Weird Al's The Saga Begins" music vid - all of us singing along to the chorus by the end. (Yankovic looks cute in a Padawan braid) The vid show went smoothly, and was held in a nice theatrical-style room. One or two vids were mediocre-to-good, but none of 'em sucked. The last one, a Buffy vid about Spike and Giles, had us screaming for a rewind. Other offerings were an astounding Due South vid featuring all three protagonists to the song "Don't Like the View"; an OZ vid that disturbed a lot of people with its graphic violence (myself included) but was also an astounding piece of storytelling; and the Media Cannibals multi-media "Hair", which showed off that group's legendary prowess at editing and brought great whoops of appreciation.

After breakfast on Sunday, I went to a panel or two, but mosty did what everyone else did - hung around the lounge talking to folks as they trickled off to their planes and cars. I packed up my carpoolers and took off around five p.m.

Next year, in Goleta. [2]

Gallery

References

  1. Escapade, Feb. 4-6, 2000, by Joyce Bowen, Archived version
  2. "Escapade the 10th: The Flight to LAX" -- from DIAL #13, a con report by Jane Mailander, posted here with permission
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