MediaWest*Con/MediaWest 1996

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Name: MediaWest 1996
Dates: May 24-27, 1996
Focus: multi-fandom
Founding Date:
1996 MediaWest theme
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Some facts about the 1996 convention

  • The winner of the 1996 Fan Fund was Pat Nussman; she attended MediaWest*Con XVI.
  • Virgule-L mailing list members advertised their room party as the "WSEWR PARTY" to preserve the list's anonymity and avoid confusion with the Virgule convention. The party organizers apologized that the mailing list party would conflict with the Terranova Situation party but they had already committed to holding the Blake's 7 bash on Friday night, leaving only Saturday available. They invited list members to put together a short compilation tape (no more than 15 minutes) to promote their favorite slash couples. The second VCR was also available to play any other episodes, porn or music vids.
  • Bill Hupe announced at MediaWest that he was closing up his fanzine business in the fall and turning it over to Peg Kennedy. He also retired from organizing the MediaWest dealers room.
  • The second Progress Report was mailed in May and included the Art Show rules and space reservation form, as well as the 1996 Fan Q ballot. The convention organizer posted to alt.fandom.cons on May 7, 1996 that: "There were errors in the ballot originally sent out by Susan Cooper which we have tried to correct in the ballot included in PR2. However, it has come to our attention that some names were still misspelled. Our apologies to anyone whose name was mangled."[1]

FanQ Awards

See FanQ Awards.

Masquerade Winners

There is currently no information about the masquerade contest or the winners.

Art Show Winners

There is currently no information about the art show or the winners.

Vid Show Winners

Song Interpretation -- Single Medium

  • Show Me The Way -- California Crew
  • Honrable Mention:
    • Invincible -- Yellow Brick Rose & Co.
    • Wild Boys -- Pony Girls Productions

Song Interpretation -- Multi-Media

  • Circle of Life -- California Crew
  • Honorable Mention:
    • I Still Believe In You -- Yellow Brick Rose & Co.
    • I Should've Been A Cowboy -- Pony Girls Productions

Constructed Reality -- Single Medium; Original (No Entires)

Constructed Reality -- Multi-Media

  • California Crew Opening -- Babylon Trek Wars -- California Crew (Abdul)

(Intentionally) Humorous

  • I Need Your Help, Barry Manilow -- California Crew

Video Box

  • Steele, Inc. -- Atlanta Division -- "Steele del Amor"

Door Decoration Awards

There is currently no information about the door decoration show contest or the winners.

Convention Reports

  • "Media West was great. I have to say that, going into it, I did not know what to expect and some of my expectations were incorrect. For one thing, MW is totally a fan-sponsored and produced event. I thought there would be TV promoters pushing stuff for various shows. There was none of that. There was, however, more than 100 fan dealers throughout the hotel. The Dealer Room was great, but I really found some treasures in the dealer hotel rooms... There were introductions and discussion groups for various fandoms going on all the time. There were four Starsky and Hutch sessions. Three were slash and one was gen. I attended three of the four. My motto is, 'I'll take the boys anyway I can get them! :-))' All the sessions were fun. There were probably 30 people at the S&H gen session. I got to meet several online friends, and was surprised to learn that only half of us were online. (I can't imagine not being online, sounds like work. Kudos to those who aren't online and put in the effort to keep the fandom going." [2]
  • "MediaWest passed in the usual high speed blur of confusion, excitement, and exhaustion. I mostly pursued non-SW activities, which I won't bother folks hereabouts with. However, I did look in on the Forces of the Empire Cantina, which gets more impressively atmospheric every year. The doll miniature set display was once again both highly creative and truly wicked - if possible, it surpassed even the imaginative tour de force of 1995. And this year, I managed to show up in time to attend the SE party while it was still going on; that was a most pleasant and relaxed get-together. One SW-related item of note did catch my attention whilst in Lansing. Several people were advocating the possibility of (in future) holding a separate small SW con, the same (Memorial Day) weekend, but elsewhere (the idea being to locate close to a major urban hub for the convenience ofiong distance travelers). At first, I was very taken with this idea. MediaWest has gotten very large, Lansing is not the easiest/cheapest place to get to, the Holiday Inn is not (with all respect) the greatest facility available, and I've had my own frustrating experiences with the administrative difficulties of (to do them justice the greatly overworked and overextended people who run MediaWest. However, after some thought, I've concluded that I would not go to a SW-only con IF HELD THE SAME WEEKEND. MediaWest (despite some problems) offers a unique diversity (of subject matter, of people) I would not be willing to give up. I adore SW, and SW fandom holds a special place in my life, but I value that exposure to other universes, too. Now, if somebody wants to put on a small, easily accessible, all-SW con some other weekend, I would definitely want to know more."[3]
  • "Well, I could go on for hours about how much I enjoyed [MediaWest], blah, blah, blah, but that seems kind of obvious. I loved meeting all of those with whom I've been corresponding for so long. It was wonderful to see you all in the flesh and I just hope I can make it again next year. Other highlights? The FOE cantina and the Star Awards, of course. Oh, and seeing Gerald's art for "A.W.O.L." (A Tremor in the Force #9) for the first time. And the cardinal birds and the French toast and maple syrup and the tornado in Ontario and the visit to Suncoast Video with Debbie Kittle, Marie Treleaven, and Ming Wathne. Sigh, I could go on forever ..."[4]
  • "MediaWest went by too fast. Yeah, I know MWC always goes by fast, but for me it really zoomed by. It seems I wasn't the only attendee there with a record low of spending money. That's okay, in a way, because there seemed to be a record low number of new zines for sale. Depending on who you asked, most of the dealers did alright. But all around, it seemed an atypical con this year."[5]
  • "This year's MediaWest was different from others that I have attended in the past. It seemed to be more of a Relaxacon than anything else. There was still the Dealer's Room feeding frenzy although this year it didn't seem to be quite so frenzied. There seemed to be fewer dealers this year - many that I'd seen for years seemed to be missing. There were very few room dealers this year. We usually make several room runs a day and this time only made one or two during the entire con. The panels also seemed to be less attended than in past years. I don't know if this was caused by apathy or fewer people attending the con. I do know that they had a sign at the hotel registration saying that they had rooms available. Panels included "Do we really need to see the first trilogy?", "Writers and Artists Workshop", "Fandom Intro Gen", "The Collectible Card Game", "Obi-Wan - Protective martyr or manipulative liar?", and "Do the pro novels fit into the fannish universe?" SW zines that debuted here were A Tremor in the Force #9, Bright Center of the Universe #6, Elusive Lover (from Germany), Flip of a Coin #17 (Harrison Ford), The Force of Fate (novel), I Have a Bad Feeling About This (Star Wars zine) #2 (from Scotland), Sarlaac (from Sweden), Snowfire #2, The Sacrifice (a reprint of stories), Tales From the Cantina #3, and Tales of a New Republic #2. The STAR a WARdS were well attended and were held in the Imperial Room courtesy of the Forces of the Empire. I'd like to thank them for the use of their facility. The medals and certificates were presented by the lovely Oola (who used her tentacles to good advantage). Thanks, Oola. A SW Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Cheree Cargill. When I first got into SW, it was considered a "dying fandom." Cheree was still printing A Tremor in the Force and Southern Enclave. SE was one of the few places where SW fans could discuss their favorite topic. She has done much to keep SW fandom going and this was the recognition that she so justly deserves. Thanks, Cheree. I was also given a medal and certificate for "Outstanding Contributions to SW Fandom." (I know who instigated this and I'm going to kill you!!!) Seriously, it was a lovely gesture and I can't tell you how much I appreciated it. Thanks from the bottom of my heart. It is proudly displayed in my home. It was a good con. This time we seemed to have more time to spend sitting around and actually talking to people, not only catching up on the latest news from everyone but discussing our favorite topic of conversation - Star Wars."[6]
  • Susan Garrett reports to the FORKNI-L mailing list: "The NatPack's Wake went beautifully. There was a live reading of the blooper script (which was video taped this morning), a viewing of the all-Nat channel, and lots of lovely conversation and fun. Affiliation pins were given out during the weeken with a preponderence of Cousins attending, but there WERE a number of Knighties as well and more than a few FODs showing their support. The Fan Q award winners were announced at 5 PM this evening. Due to the problems with the ballot, MediaWest declined to present a Fan Q for Forever Knight short fiction, which means there was no award to any of the nomines in that category. Best novel was presented to "Kind Soul," Best Fanzine was given to "Daydreams & Knightmares," and best FK artist was Ann Larimer. The art auction is still going on. There was a lovely Vachon by Fister-Liltz which went for $70.00 and a Nick by candlelight for $100.00 (which was a REAL steal!). I managed to get the Nick and Nat I wanted (entitled 'Nick at Nat') by Karen River for $150.00."[7]


  1. MediaWest*Con XVI on alt.fandom.cons dated May 7, 1996.
  2. by JMS in Black Bean Soup
  3. A fan's convention report in Southern Enclave #45 (1996).
  4. A fan's convention report in Southern Enclave #45 (1996).
  5. A fan's convention report in Southern Enclave #45 (1996).
  6. A fan's convention report in Southern Enclave #45 (1996).
  7. MediaWest Con-Sunday Report dated May 26, 1996; reference link.
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