MediaWest*Con/MediaWest 1997

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Convention
Name: MediaWest 1997
Dates: May 23-26, 1997
Frequency:
Location: Lansing, Michigan
Type:
Focus: multi-fandom
Organization:
Founder:
Founding Date:
URL: Archived link to the 1997 Convention Page
1997 Convention theme
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Contents

Some facts about the 1997 convention:

  • The theme that year was Alien Invasions: "Good morning...good morning. In less than an hour, fans from here will join others from around the world, and you will be launching the greatest fannish gathering in the history of fankind. "Fankind" ...that word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interest. Perhaps it's fate that today is Memorial Day, and you will once again be fighting for our fandoms; not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution, but from cancellation. We are fighting for our shows right to live, to exist. And should we win the day, Memorial Day will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice, "We will not go quietly into the night. Our shows will not vanish without a fight. They're going to live on. They're going to survive. Today, we celebrate our MediaWest*Con!" -- Mr. President"
  • As there were not enough nominations to require a 1997 ballot, a cash award was made to Martynn (MaryAnn Walther Keisel) who was the sole nominee, and her name will be carried over to the 1998 Fan Fund ballot; she attended MediaWest*Con 17.
  • The members of the CI5 mailing list held a room party. During the party, fans read aloud "When In Rome" by Hestia which had been written for that purpose.
  • The Fourth Semi-Annual Avon Without Guilt Party (Blake's 7) was held: "Yes, it's another Avonic drool fest from the women who lust after Avon...Without Guilt. Eat (a variety of foods will be spread out, including Susan B.'s infamous Avon Balls), drink, and talk about our favorite anti-hero BSO in the company of your fellow fanatics. Both Avon fans and sympathetic others are cordially invited. Sponsored by Avon Without Guilt--the few, the proud, the sadistic and lustful."
  • An archived version of the 1997 website is here.


FanQ Awards

See FanQ Awards.

Masquerade Winners

A complete list of winners, with photos, can be seen here.

  • Best Workmanship/Best in Show: Don't be Afraid to Mix & Match by Jesse McClain
  • Workmanship (on wings & tail) /Best Re-creation: A Goyle from New York by Rolaine Smoot
  • Most Humorous: Blake's 7, the Truth by Katheryn Andersen, Mary O'Connor, & Judith Proctor
  • Best Found/Best Cheap: Following Up the Rear by Wolf
  • Most Serene: Little Grasshopper by Samantha Powell
  • Honorable Mention (for hand stitching): Xena, Warrior Babe by Cicatrice du Veritace & Kelly Jeanette Aurora Lowry

Art Show Awards

Art show winners were selected by popular vote.

  • Science Fiction: End of the Future by Wappel
  • Fantasy: Castle Dragon Albert by MacKenn
  • Detective: The Ties That Bind by Karen River
  • Secret Agent: Shadows & Secrets by McClain
  • Animation: Duck Wars by DeSouza
  • Humor: Dana, Warrior Woman by Leah Rosenthal
  • 3-D: Arsenic & Old Lace by Sandmann
  • Fabric: Undercover with Bodie & Doyle by Wochoski
  • Western: Soiled Doves by Rosenthal
  • Horror: The Beast Within by McClain
  • Portrait: To Reach the Sky by Suzan Lovett
  • Critter: Not Just Another Lawyer by McClain
  • Too Cute to Live: Peek-A-Boo by McCLain

Source: 1997 Art Show Winners.

Door Decoration Awards

  • Best in Show -Due South -- We're Gonna Ride Forever -- Jean Curley, Donna Pleasants, Jill Collins, Joyce Strohm
  • Funniest Door - Baby-lon 5 -- Michael Emond
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror
    • First Prize: Reduce! Reuse! Recycle! Dalek -- Lisa Truant, Irwin Tan, Stella Luuk, Rob Butler
    • Second Prize: The Force, The Comet, & 20 Years of Star Wars -- June M. Edwards*
  • Third Prize: Poltergeist: The Legacy -- Vickie "Viper" Swanson
  • Non-Science Fiction
    • First Prize: Due South -- We're Gonna Ride Forever -- Jean Curley, Donna Pleasants, Jill Collins, Joyce Strohm
    • Second Prize: The Celestial Portal -- Becky Mock, Kathy Condon
    • Third Prize: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow -- Debbie Ramsey, Catherine Salmon, Sue Cleric
  • Media Personality
    • First Prize: Antonio Bandaras -- The Rising Star -- Deborah Rojano
    • Second Prize: Hunks of Hockey -- Julie Skelly
    • Third Prize: Watcher Training Academy -- Siouxie Sherman, Tracy Ingalls

Gallery

Vid Show

We are looking for any info on the pre-1998 vid show winners.

Convention Reports

  • Anne Smith's MediaWest Con report; also here; WebCite
  • Kathryn Andersen's MediaWest*Con 17 report[1]
  • Report by Judith Proctor
  • "As always, it was wonderful getting together with so many old friends, meeting new friends, and discussing SW and fanfic writing. This year seemed especially terrific as more fans seemed to intermingle instead of remaining only within given groups. The few panels I attended were lively and energetic with the exchange of ideas and number of speakers. Congratulations to Wanda Lybarger on her surprise birthday party, also. Barbara Anderson and Company, you did a great job! Thanks to all who voted in the STAR aWARdS and congrats to all the honorable mentions and winners. Ditto for the FanQ winners. It was also great to see so many SW zines available this year. I wish continued success to all the editors/publishers...I'm eagerly next May already. Hope to see you all there."[2]
  • "Meanwhile, I've been to MediaWest*Con again and spent another wonderful five days with a number of you in Lansing. Thanks to everyone for making me feel so much at home! I hadn't thought it possible before, but this year was even better than the last ... if it keeps progressing at this rate, I might have severe difficulties readjusting to a bleaker reality after MWC next year."[3]
  • "MediaWest Con – 1997. First big con I went to. Oh My Goddess. Also got to meet some friends from my Forever Knight & Sunnydale Slayers lists (have most of the same folks). Drove with natmerc (a local friend, now in another province) and her sister as far as Guelph, Ontario, then natmerc and I drove onto Lansing, Michigan. I had so much fun. I hadn’t known what to expect except for comments from the Sunnydale Slayers list who’ve attended the con for many years. I had so much fun. And the dealer’s room. Sweet Frelling Amazing. If only I had a million dollars. And the artwork was also bloody amazing. *BOUNCE*. And the vids. Oh my heavens the vids. I still stick in the vcd’s of the Apocalypse West vids, just to placate myself and immerse myself in greatness."[4]
In 1997, Michelle Christian posted a con report to the Virgule-L mailing list. It is quoted here with permission.
"Well, I got back last night and was totally wiped. I had quite a bit of fun, though, especially having talked to people I never usually talk to (mostly in the course of trying to find specific people I wanted to talk to and failing miserably).

As usually happens with me, I didn't go to any of the programming. For those who might be interested, though, there were slash vids at the con--a grand total of four. But whether that had to do with a lack of interest or a sort of informal protest from those who were doing slash vids, I have no idea.

There seemed to be a great number of new zines in different fandoms. I certainly spent more on zines this year than I did last year. I even found someone who had a good sized SHE-WOLF OF LONDON zine--and news that Universal/SciFi Channel wants to do a new movie for it with original cast! I'm tickled!

I did realise one thing about myself that I am not totally comfortable with: I have passed well beyond the point of fannish butterfly or slash slut. I *am* the Whore of Babylon 1 through 5. In short, I sold my soul to the devil: I bought 3--count 'em, 3!--Sentinel zines. Someone shoot me, please! (I don't even *like* this show!!!!)

The really suprising thing for me was that there weren't more HL things out. One or two D/M stories in a couple of multi-medias and one novel, but that's it. Sentinel fever seemed to have taken a firm hold. And there were few pics of Methos, though at least one of the dealers who had HL shirts, etc., said that she didn't have anything because she had been completely wiped out from Syndicon the weekend before. So, all my friends went to Syndicon and I *didn't* even get this lousy t-shirt! :-)

Oh, and speaking of Methos, anyone know how much the double portrait from Karen River ended up going for?[5] It was the one with his modern day, Adam Pierson persona and a larger shot of him in the face paint. Very nice, very well done and I was immensely curious how much it was going to go for.

So, all in all a fun weekend. I now have the mandatory post-con case of larengitis/cold. Reviews should be forthcoming as soon as I plow through everything and pick something I really want to write about. I do want to say to any DS fans that I definitely recommend DUE FRISKY 4 for the long story in it. It's the sequel to the 'strip-poker' stories in DF 1 (which many might recall I didn't particularly care for), but I really enjoyed this story, especially the characterisation of Fraser at guard duty. The only problem I had with it was that there came a point when I was starting to get slightly annoyed with her style of lots of really short sentences and sentence fragments. But not enough for me to not enjoy the story. And at $4, it definitely made it worth the cost of the zine."
Stacey D also posted her own review of the convention to the Virgule-L mailing list. It too is quoted with permission.
"Well.....In spite of everything, I had a good time.

Music Videos -

Was there a slash vid contest? no.

Were there slash vids at the convention? yes. Mine were the only ones.

Did they get shown? yes. Friday night at 1:30 am. Saturday at 11:50 pm (they were supposed to be shown at midnight, but they were early) and again an hour and a half later at about 1:30 am. They were supposed to be shown Sunday at 2:50 am, but I wasn't there to see it (and I wonder how many people were).

When Sheryl A. (the person running the music video contest) announced that there were slash videos to the opening crowd of about 30 people, maybe more, it was warmly received....

I found out from one slash vidder that she wasn't partonizing MWC because she was told (by what member of the con com, I do not know) "we don't want your [slash] vids here" so she hasn't been back. The reason for the lack of slash vids seems to be because no slash vidders (beside myself) went to the convention. Whether other slash vidders were requested not to bring slash videos in previous years, I have no idea.

Panels -

I do go to panels in fandoms I'm interested in or slash panels.

At the Starsky & Hutch (gen) panel, we introduced ourselves. The thrid person mentioned "I got into slash..." and from then on, almost everyone mentioned slash. There was only one 'non-slash' fan in the whole room...It was a wonderful feeling......

The "fannish music video" panel on Saturday turned into a 'how do you do this' sort of free for all. I hope it helped the new vidders.

The "romantic slash" panel talked mostly about fandoms that generate more romantic stories, such as Starsky & Hutch and Uncle.

The Starsky & Hutch slash panel on Sunday was about slash and producing zines. I enjoyed listening to the trials and tribulations of trying to get graphic homoerotic art printed as well as the 'in the old days' stories.

Other events -

The STIFFie Awards were handed out on Sunday morning. I was pleased at the turn out and the new fandoms that made it on the ballot. I was disapointed that some older fandoms didn't get on the ballot (Starsky & Hutch was not represented), but I realize that they may not have received nominations. (there's a line about glass houses and stones that's appropriate, as I didn't nominate anything]. As I KNOW that I will not be going back to MWC, I wonder why slash awards are giving out at a gen con?

One thing I missed that I would have loved to have seen was the Mystery Uncle Theater 3000 put on by Bingo and her gang (sorry, I don't know the other people's names). [I was waiting until the end of the music video contest (which was 6 hours long!) to see the reaction to my newest slash vids.] I did catch the last 10 or 15 minutes and loved what I saw. I was told that the show was taped, so hopefully, I can see it sometime..... right Bingo??

Why was I there -

The main reason I went to Media West was to catch up with people I've been talking on line with and we all managed to meet. It was wonderful to put faces to names. I went to the parties for the fandoms that I follow and enjoyed sitting around talking, watching music vids and episodes......"

References

  1. Kat's WebCite.
  2. A fan's convention report in Southern Enclave #48 (1997).
  3. A fan's convention report in Southern Enclave #48 (1997).
  4. Favorite Con Moments dated July 16, 2004; reference link.
  5. Another attendee later reported that it sold for $150.
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