ZebraCon/Convention Reports

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1979

There are many early convention reports, for 1979 as well as others, in the letterzine S and H, one in The K/S Press #16 as well as other places.

This one was published in Blond Blintz Bulletin, was written by Paulie, and is for the very first Zebra Con in 1979:

Zebra Con was held at the Melrose Park Holiday Inn, July 27, 28, and 29, and was attended by about 60 of the 65 people scheduled to come. We also were proudly supported by 35 others. I suppose I should take things in order, so…..

I'll start with Thursday night; the 26th. I finally finished printing the Dirtball Dispatch, and would like to extend a very heartfelt "thank you" to Joanne and to Zort, who helped collate 'til 4 a.m. Speaking of the Dirtball, also thanks to Paula Smith and whoever else came to my room to help collate (forgive me for forgetting your name - I was on drugs! ). Also thanks to CR (you know who you are) for coming up and spooning (for those of you who don't know; spooning is a primitive - but effective - way of closing staples.).

Friday afternoon - the con begins! And so does mass confusion, due to a sudden influx of fans. Thanks to Karen and Shirley for running the registration desk so smoothly! Most of the confusion was just everybody meeting "names" - names we all knew of through fandom, but were meeting in person for the first time. Like Connie Faddis, Lorraine Bartlett, Laurie Haldeman, Jan Lindner, Teri White, and Liz Tucker - who gets first prize for chiding letters to apathetic fans. Registration was followed by a somewhat "loose" costume/get acquainted party, which was mostly everyone sitting around talking S & H. Which is what it was all about anyway! There were some hucksters already doing great business Friday, selling live photos of the boys, magazine articles and pictures, toys, and other collectors' items. Friday ended with the showing of videotapes from 9 until about 3: 30 in the morning. Thanks to Karen and Randy for bringing their machine!

Saturday morning blossomed afresh with the: opening of the dealer's room and the art show. We by no means expected the quantity of art we got - it was marvelous! Thanks Signe, for sending your beautiful pieces even though you couldn't come - see you next year! Throughout the afternoon, we had three excellent panels, and a slide show by Rita Dyan which gave us a wonderful glimpse backstage. We then adjourned to the pool for the First Annual Starsky vs. Hutch Big-Balloon-In-Your-Face Water Fight, which was won by the Hutch team - who cheated - but it was all just in fun anyway. (But wait 'til next year, Starsky fans. Sweet revenge!) (Sorry)

After the pool fight, everybody took a needed break, then came the highlight of the con - the banquet. Professional photography was donated by Bob Cortier (thanks Bob!). At the banquet, the guests of honor speeches were made, given by two shaky, shy, but marvelous ladies who have done a lot for fandom - Lorraine (Zebra Three) Bartlett and Linda (Collector Supreme) Walter. Awards were given for Best Costume (Simone...Simone...), and literary and artistic achievements in S & H fandom. Most of the awards were won by Miss Connie Faddis, who must have set off every airport alarm on her way home….

The banquet was followed by the Zebra Con Art Auction, and at this time I should like to thank everybody who contributed - artwork, scripts, zines, slides, dolls, and othersuch "for the kids." Also, a very big thank you to Paula, Joanne, (who ran the table and handled the money); all the runners; and Karen and Kyym for helping auctioneer. Couldn't have done it without ya!

The auction was over about 1, and the masochists ran off and flayed themselves with more episodes in the video room - 'til ' 4 am. *Sigh* Ain't fandom grand?

Sunday was a day both happy and sad. There was another panel, a writers' workshop, and a dead dog conference, where, I'm happy to report, it was unanimous to go for Zebra Con II - The Sequel. It was here that I announced that Zebra Con '79, the very first S & H Fandom Convention, (and hopefully not the last), made $650 for the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse. Thank you, all. And God bless you every one.

The sad part of Sunday was the goodbyes. As always, time goes far too quickly when you're having fun.

Now, all you people out there - if this con report seems slightly sketchy and not fulfilling enough - all of you non-members of Zebra Con may purchase an in-depth review, including photos, highlights, transcripts of panels, award list, etc. in the form of the Zebra Con '79 Yearbook [1], for the paltry sum of $1.50 (not including postage, which will be determined by size).

1980

1981

1982

1984

By-the-by ZebraCon was fantastic, loved every minute of it. The atmosphere was absolutely electric. Didn't the Pros just walk away with it? I am so used to being in the minority it was a stunning revelation to find there, were all those other nicely strange people running about. Turning [others] on to the Pros was the nicest favor I ever did myself. [Their] enthusiasms certainly can be infectious. Undoubtedly the highlight of the con was watching the original snakeoil salesman herself, [KB], conducting an auction. Ah, you do know how to separate women from their money, don't you? Showing all those lovely pieces of artwork to the panting audience, pandering to those with special tastes (God! You wouldn't believe what I paid for a Murphy). They say there is no substitute for experience, and you do, indeed, know how to run a con. I have the distinction of being the first person to sign up for the 1986 extravaganza. We had a guest from Germany this year, think you could dig up some real live Aussie talent for the next go round? I'll leave it in your more than capable hands. Thanks again for a wonderful con.[2]
My first bit of advice Is to save your shekels, everybody, for July 4th weekend 1986 when the next-Zebra Con is scheduled. You don't really want to miss THE great con of that year, do you?

Second bit of advice, whatever you do, avoid Continental Airlines like the plague….

Z-Con had two fairly small dealers rooms and as there weren't very many fanzines out this past year most everything for sale was pictures and collectables. An awful lot of VERY good photos of the Bistro Twins which everyone got sticky looking at. Zebra Con started out originally (as most know) as a Starsky and Hutch Con but this year opened up to other Cop/Spy shows and American Professionals fandom was out in force. Shall I tell you about the art show? Shall I tell you about pictures that had grown women weeping because they hadn't brought their first born to hock? I have never seen the quality of this con before. Some of this stuff will be showing up in zines pretty soon and you'll see what I mean.

It really didn't occur to me to list the art show winners or the Huggy award winners and quite honestly, except for Code 7 which won best zine, I don't remember who won what. I did think all awards were well deserved...If anyone is desperate to know, I'll track it down.

I was at the Professionals panel and the writing '/' panel, both of which were well attended. The Pros panel was more of a gossip/what's your favorite crotch shot discussion group and was fun (for me anyway). The '/' panel concerned itself with writing as a general thing rather than just '/'. POV was a major topic.

There was a pool party Friday night that was moved (because of inclement weather) to the jacuzzi indoors. It was well attended and the special guest star was George the large green plastic bug. There were differences of opinion as to why George was/should be attending.

Friday night was also the Professionals party which I don't remember too well and I defy anyone else to either. A fondness for Baileys and the McAllen (not at the same time) made it all rather fuzzy. Actually, the only reason I remember it -was Friday night was all the other nights were accounted for. Great Party! Lots of pictures that prove LC does have hair on his chest. Unless it's a wig.

The banquet Saturday was attended by Midwest Mercs Inc. (a group of camouflage evening gowns) and the rest of the con. After an uninspired dinner, we were entertained by April Valentine who sang two lovely songs, “Whisper My Name” and “The Only Other Thing”. The art show and Huggy awards, an appearance by [K] and [T] and finally Demonstrated to Death (a play) followed.

After all this came the world's fastest art auction which lasted about two hours, I think. I sat through it and tortured myself watching it all go to other people.

What else can I say? I talked to lots of lovely people (the true reason for cons anyway), got maybe 4 hours sleep, and had a great time. Fastest effin' weekend of my life. Here's to '86.[3]

1986

S&S fandom was present, if not in force, at ZebraCon in Chicago July 4th, in the form of [three names redacted], myself and a few other hardy souls who came to our S&S panel. This panel was sort of funny, as I didn't know I was doing. It wasn't until I got there and saw my name printed on the convention program, and didn't get to even talk to my co-panelists til after the panel had started. Also, there were three on the panel and 4 or 5 in the audience, but what the heck, it was fun. A few S&S episodes were shown at the Con, but as they only had Beta machines (boo, hiss, and no VHS), I couldn't show anybody the stuff I'd brought with me. We've been making S&S (and S/S) songtapes... [4]
I believe I could do something like that once every month! (Once a week would be too often, I think — moderation in all things.) The aspect I found most enjoyable was being exposed to so many new and different interpretations of our boys. While I pick up other ideas from the letterzines and fanzines, it's so much more exciting to be with other fans and exchange thoughts. The panels were wonderful forms for exchanging thoughts and debating perceptions. But I also found it just as enlightening to be in the video room and listen as others pointed out bits of dialogue or business I hadn't noticed in just that way before. After so many years of viewing I seem to have fallen into a rut of 'how to watch," and it was quite refreshing to be exposed to so many new points of view. In particular, I enjoyed Pam's PMG panel and Marian's writer's panel. Pam: I wouldn't mind seeing your presentation turned into a full-fledged panel, if a VCR could be dragged into the panel room. I also can't wait to see what you do with Soul's body... Marian: I've hated every writer's conference I've ever attended, but I could listen to you discuss the craft for hours. (Maybe it's the topic?) Next con, would you consider setting up private tutoring sessions? [5]
I think we need to find out what is in the water supply at the Holiday Inn-O'Hare. Why? Because I missed more sleep in the time I spent at ZCon than I have in years and it's Monday and I'm STILL not tired. So maybe there was something in the water. More likely, it was being surrounded by friends... friends who understand perfectly why you're still interested in a cop show that went off the air six years ago. Friends who can help you catch up on what your two favorite men are doing now ... and bring PICTURES! ZebraCon was pure, unadulterated fun (especially the trip to the Amtrak station.) The panels were interesting and informative. The dealer's room had a wide variety of items for sale. Several zines debuted at the Con — The Goliath and Nightlight, to mention but two. (Hint: Buy them -- they're very good.) The highlight of the Con was on Saturday at the Awards Banquet. Tabby Davis was given a richly deserved award for her efforts on behalf of British fandom, and, *SIGH* the Ultimate Birthday Present: the shirt off Paul's back (worn in WAIT TILL YOUR MOTHER GETS HOME.) She was quite literally speechless. As was Suzan Lovett after winning Best Dramatic Illo, Best Artist, Best Writer and Best Zine in the S&H division of the Huggy Awards.

We listened to some incredible limericks from the winners of the writing contest. Next, we were treated to some beautiful songs from [April Valentine] and Sheila Willis. Marlene and Tyrone (David and Pat Massie) dropped by to demonstrate their ... well, I'm not quite sure what it was but they were unforgettable.After we caught our breath, the inimitable duo of Paula Smith and Jody Nye took over with their play, 'Scales of Just-As-Good,' which gave us a sword-wielding Hutch (Paula) and a Starsky with an accent that caae from somewhere farther east than New York (Terri Beckett). Carole Swoboda was a scene-stealing villain and Jody Nye a sinuous sea serpent (or was that sea-sick sea serpent?) [April Valentine], Pat Massie, and Annette Hall gave excellent back-up as the Greek ... er, Swedish-Norwegian chorus. A side-splitting time was had by all. Following that, [April Valentine] and Pam Perry led us in singing "The Rose."

After a short break, we re-convened to auction off the gorgeous pictures from the Art Show. Paula and Karen made sure things moved on at a lively pace. Sunday was a day to sleep late, look for bargains in the dealer's room, and, unfortunately, say good-bye to friends. There was, however, the promise of next year, as Karen and Jean have decided to do it AGAIN (bless their hearts!) Hope to see you all in the fall of 1987! [6]
A con is different for each attendee.... A few more chapters of Master of the Revels were available for reading and were being passed page by page around the room with avid interest. Other visiting was crammed in, but time, as always, slipped away and we had to call a halt to get some sleep, darn it. Friday was busy with registration. Karen gave me ay "Queen Mary" size con T-shirt, the trivia lists and program book, etc., and "I tucked my Huggy ballot into the box. Then on to set up my table next to Suzan Lovett in the dealer's room; and into the Art Room with my artwork and papers for J. Clissold, who as always ran a beautifully organized art show. She and Karen make this convention a pleasure because it is run so well. Even standing in line and setting up I was visiting old and new friends. As I settled behind my table figuring on long periods of just sitting reading the new zines or listening to tapes, I discovered there wasn't a minute when someone wasn't coming over to visit. It was wonderful, my Walkman stayed in the bag as I showed old con pictures and talked of happy memories to everyone who came by, including our distance-covering fan friends; [T S] from Australia (who was mobbed by delighted readers telling her how much we all enjoy her writing); Terri Beckett from England (who brought over some lovely Vas and Dex drawings as well as the good news that Jody Nye will be distributing that lively universe to eager fans); and Tabby Davis from England (who brought a copy of her sold-out 10th Anniversary tribute to S&H and all their fans, her zine Celebration which later won the Huggy Award for best zine. I had voted for it myself thinking it best represents what S&H fandom is all about; a collection of good stories, poetry, artwork, comments, and other contributions by fans both visible and behind the scenes whose love keeps this fandom going.) Having these special people here made us all realize how wide-spread the love of S&H and the other cop-oriented characters included in the ZebraCon festivities has become. No matter how far away we are in miles from one another, we all share common interests that bring us very close to one another...That's the kind of con ZCon has always been. Friday was filled with panels. Other folks will have to tell about those as this was my first time to have a dealer's table of my own and I stayed there meeting all the con members as they strolled by browsing. Being next to Suzan Lovett who later became the Star of the Awards presentation along with J. Clissold, who also added to her collection of well-deserved winnings, was fun. Suzan is not only extremely talented, but a darned nice lady and a good friend, there to help whenever needed. Friday night was like the previous evening with dinner in the restaurant which ended up in a doggie box back in our room to be nibbled at leisure along with wine coolers. We all compared zines to lake sure nobody missed anything, and the visiting continued. I had almost forgotten it was the 4th of July and Miss Liberty's anniversary until we were reminded that we could see the display right out the hotel windows since we were high on the twelfth floor and commanded a good view from hall and bedroom windows of the waterfront fireworks ail along the lake. The art auction is always a highlight of the con for me even though this year the money was tight and nothing went over $100, unusual for ZCon and especially for Suzan's exquisite work. Some people (Tabby included) got real bargains that night! I bought my needlepoint bears and a delicious Martin by Jean, and some other good stuff the next day when 'leftovers' were being sold and traded in the dealer's room. Sunday was one long goodbye, the lost heartbreaking time of any con. [7]

1988

The weekend was one long, glorious high, from meeting Carol and Merle in the- lobby while registering Thursday, to the group gabfest in "The Pits" before leaving Sunday afternoon. While I was blathering on to Carol and Merle, Lily Fulford offered us all buttons which proclaimed "I'm a member of the Marian Kelly Fan Club". This inspired idea grew to epic proportions over the weekend, as the buttons multiplied and strangers not associated with the con began inquiring about the identity of this mysterious heroine. Scene: dinner at the Marketplace. A voice rings out: "Isn't that Marian Kelly?" In the snack bar: "Look! It's Marian Kelly!" From the audience at the Writer's Panel: "Ooh! It's Marian Kelly!" It was the name on everyone's lips. Poor Marian was a great sport, enduring the pointed fingers and loudly delivered remarks with grace (not to mention rosy cheeks). I heard that one "tourist" even had his picture taken with this Famous Author, but I'll leave it to Marian to confirm or deny this rumor.

The coincidence of there being two [Linda Ms] registered at the hotel that weekend added more confusion and entertainment. Our reservations were made in my name, so of course, when [Nancy G] and Megan Kent arrived, exhausted by their all-night drive from the OC area, the clerk checked them into the wrong room. Nancy and [Megan] thought it a bit strange when they were told that I had specifyically requested one tking-sized bed (for four of us?), but were too tired to question it much. They just told the clerk that no, we wanted two doubles. Then they blithely went to this poor woman's room, unpacked, showered, and took a nap. They even ate her mints! When the three of us met and discovered what had happened, they hastily vacated the premises. We never saw "the other [Linda M]", and have no idea whether she ever got an unused room, and her king-sized bed!

Other memorable moments included meeting [Chris P], the other half of SH fandom's wonderful writing team, being part of the SH team in the trivia contest, and trying to explain fandom (and the "Marian Kelly Fan Club") to a befuddled but sincerely interested gentleman our group kept bumping into in the halls and elevators. The fact that he had caught Nancy doing her "Larry" character down the hallway (picture a cross between Igor and the Hunchback of Notre Dame) didn't make matters easier!

Health and Safety Tip: NEVER wear your name tag into the bar at a con. Unless, Of course, you're in the market for drunken pick-up attempts.

Saturday night was a special evening, with the hors d'oeuvres buffet, the Huggy Awards, and the art auction. The food was outstanding this year. The hotel did a great job. Congratulations and thanks to all the Huggy Award winners for their contributions to this fandom. Thanks, also, to [April Valentine], for your songs. I only wish your voice hadn't been giving you trouble, so you could have sung "Whisper My Name", which is one of my favorites. Maybe next year?

At the art auction I threw caution (and sanity) to the winds, and bought another treasure from Suzan Lovett — the "Sunrise" illo inspired by Decorated for Death. Suzan, do you have any memories of being Michelangelo in a former life? NO, I won't tell how much I spent for it. Suffice it to say that I was in dire need of reassurances afterward, of the "Yes, you did the right thing. You'll never regret it, variety. As I was telling myself that "Some people spend more than this just shopping for clothes," my pal, [Betsy B] chimed in with, "Or a major appliance." Thanks, that's what friends are for. I'm pleased to announce, though, that I don't regret it! I love that drawing! I'm also happy to say that John was too concerned with "You want to hang that in our bedroom?!" to ask how much I'd paid for it. (Another benefit of separate checking accounts.) Being the special and truly non-bigoted person he is, my guy agreed to my hanging it, so all's well.

I did have one problem with this convention. It was over way too soon! But, I brought home a treasure trove of memories to carry me through the post-con let down of geographical isolation and kindergarten report cards. And if I do forget, I still have my favorite button: "Possessor of a mind not merely twisted but actually sprained." Guess that says it all for all of us.

Special thanks to: Karen and Jean - for the planning, work, and headaches that must go Into putting this con on every year. Cheryl and Lucy - for supplying an eager audience with two new zines this year. Commitment and Penal Code. (And to Lucy for credit undeserved: Reading over one story doth not a "proofreader" make, but thanks for the thought!) Betsy and [April] - for you lovely songtapes. And we all want copiesl Paula and Jody and all the cast members - for another delicious con skit! Nancy, Betsy, and [Megan] - my "roomies" - for everything. And all of fandom - for the warmth and closeness we share, and the happiness "our guys" have added to my life. Long may we endure ... [8]

1990

1991

1993

In 1993, a member of the Virgule-L posted the following convention report. It is reposted here, anonymously, with permission.

"Here's my tired con report, purely subjective and hasty. Anything good I've missed, someone else send in!

Thursday: arrival.

Sandy actually said on Thursday night, "I could leave now and have had a good time." And have spent a lot less than by the end of the con, huh. Trying to find each other on Thursday night was an adventure: Sue managed to spot Sandy and Nicole and Tina on her shuttle from the airport, since they mentioned [M C], which was a dead giveaway... Lynn got picked up by some nice S/H fans (described her as "an orphaned waif") when the hotel failed to find her reservation and no one answered in Sandy's hotel room. But it all worked out in the end.

Friday: dealer's room feeding frenzy and the one Pros panel.

Alex was too busy feeding in the print shop to attend the panel, amazingly enough. Sue was buying food for us. Where was everyone else?? At the panel everyone agreed that they hate seeing Doyle feminized, hate elves, and hate teddy bear stories... so WHY are there so many of the damned things??? People started to relent on the bears thing and admit to liking *some* of them. Yucky poo.

The discussion all sounded familiar to me, and when I realized why I said to Sandy, "It's just like the list," and she said "Yeah, except slower, and you can't hit the delete key." That about summed it up.

Sandy's "I'm Gonna Be" vid got watched compulsively many times after the vid contest, to a chorus of groans for all those luscious Doyle struts. (Forgot to tell you, Sandy, you left it in our room and Tina and I took advantage of the fact, right after we found all those people we didn't know having a party in our room after the art auction.)

For the list party, we played the drinking game and took many photos for the fen who weren't there. The drinking game was a big success, but since we picked the one intellectual episode (Mixed Doubles), we had to make some additions to the list of drinking points, like "drink when you see a gun." Sue had most of a bottle of white Almaden plonk and was drunk enough to enjoy the crotch action, if not sober enough to appreciate the intellectual quality of the show. The Bullshitters followed, and we still drank, and then we did Hunter, Hunted, and drank some more... and it's all a big blur from then until the fire alarm at 6.45am the next day. The intermittent air raid sirens all Sat morning made for good moods all around. We should do a tally of the number of painkillers that were consumed Saturday.

Saturday: Party and awards

Party: Jane Mailander's cross-dressing routine was amazing. The play was incomprehensible from our table. I laughed to be polite. Alex won the writing contest, for a revised version of her "But it's July" story posted here earlier (during the thread on "excuses to get into bed together." Lynn was jealous and can't believe a story with the verb "wriggle" in it won anything.) [Note: Sue, who was sleeping on our floor on Thursday night, says she was afraid to say "it's really cold in here" lest it be taken the wrong way. We all know what comments like THAT can lead to.]

Megan Kent and Charlotte Hill almost managed to throw their trousers into the con party and shout "Cover me!", but Karen B nixed the idea, since it might embarrass the wait staff (mostly male). Oddly enough, at the art auction, where the pieces were being run around by hunky guys in tight jeans and leather jackets, it was not considered embarrassing to ignore the artwork and yell "How much for the runner?!" [Where did Karen find those guys, anyhow?]

Tina walked off with a spinning head and two Harlequin Airs Lovetts from the art auction. She had to be guided back to the room. Alex went crazed and bid and won the tote bag with B and D painted on it in regency drag. No, they were NOT on their way to a costume ball, they were in a 4th wave AU. Impure!!

Sunday: charity auction.

Alex won the "Future Fantasy, a drawing by Suzann Lovett" that she gets to specify. We all promised to inundate her with suggestions for the drawing. And some of us promised to move to Seattle to look at it a lot. Best suggestion so far seems to be an illustration for a "future fantasy, a story by Alex" based on the strippers at Escapade last year. Doyle taking it off for Bodie, big sigh... (NB!!!: the story will not feature B and D at the con, stripping for a load of randy women. It will be a pure CI5 story. Alex has her limits.)

Ruth bid against Carol for the NTSC mystery Pros video tape in the charity auction... tsk, tsk. List strife.

Overall:

Lynn represented several characters at the con, Morgan Dawn for largest chunk of time (due to trying to avoid a guy she didn't want to meet), and Tris-the-bitch for a brief wine-soaked moment, as prop during Megan Kent's rendition of Alex (!! not ATM, she was there too, but she was busy doing self-slash, not rock-star slash). Lynn also thought she was Erszebet at one point, when she had an erotic dream about Sandy and MFae (writer slash?).

Lezlie's inner child was appreciated by all. The wave theory was well represented by us, since Megan Kent and Charlotte Hill made up buttons for us to wear with our waves on them. Alex got sick of explaining what the "first wabe" [sic] was. The buttons led to some segregation at meal-times, with first wavers sticking to their own at table, and the rest sloshing into a separate booth. Prejudice dies hard.

I had a terrific time, it was so good to meet people at last..."

Additional convention facts:

  • the Pros VHS tape that sold during the charity auction was a rarity: a NTSC format tape of the Pros episodes "Wild Justice" and "Involvement". It sold for $37.
  • The skit A Pair of Strokes was a MUNCLE themed play written by Paula Smith that was a takeoff on the zine Perostroika. It began with Kuryakin having been declared dead, and Solo mourning at his grave in Moscow. The caretaker at the cemetery turns out to be Illya in disguise, and Solo sweeps him grandly back to the States, and installs him at his palatial mansion. After a few plot twists and turns, with Solo nearly losing Kuryakin at one point, true love between partners is achieved, and everyone lives happily ever after.
  • The art show featured a twelve-part series of drawings called Harlequin Errs, a parody of Harlequin Airs.
Sandy Herrold also posted a brief convention report which is reposted here with permission:
"... Zcon was a wonderful weekend. One of the fun parts for me was wearing my three buttons (2nd Wave, And Proud of It--3rd Wave, And Proud of It--4th Wave, And Proud of It) discussing the wave theory with the other cognescenti (hmpt), and explaining them to people who hadn't heard of the theory. I wish someone had kept transcripts of some of our attempts to explain the waves--I know some of the distinctions we were coming up with (especially between the 2nd and 3rd waves) didn't exist in the original essay, but I don't remember them now. Another cool think about the buttons: they were a bridge of sorts between people in the Strange Bedfellows apa and our more virtual Apa...people from either group, seeing someone they didn't recognize wearing one of the buttons started conversations and got to know each other all weekend. Thanks Megan Kent (even though you can't hear me) for making them and bringing them--thanks Lezlie for the original theory."

1995

In 1995, Alexfandra posted the following convention report to the Virgule mailing list (posted here with permission:

I HAD A GREAT TIME!!!!!!!!!! Nice to meet all those people who were just names on envelopes or on email before--one major advantage to having a dealer's table. One fan from Scotland brought me bookmarks with the MacKenzie clan tartan & motto on them--small things can often thrill me more than big things, and that certainly did. Ate too much, didn't drink enough, was amused at the amount of chocolate my roomies and I brought to the con. And great roomies they were--Debbie, Caroline, and Beth--hey, next time you bring a VCR cross-country, bring some tapes, too!

Sold stuff, bought stuff, made a major score by grabbing a collectible item: the Pros Crimebuster Kit. (It has all these cool toys: gun with detachable silencer, telescopic sight, extra magazine, and shoulder support; holster; CI5 ID badge; secret code watches; camera; radio that doubles as a water pistol, plus the box has this great photo of Shaw and Collins actually using the toys and trying to look dead serious about it. I was highly amused to see "HG Toys" imprinted on the gun).

Most memorable con moment was when I found out we won the Best of Show award for our "Stray Cat Strut" vid -- very rewarding feeling, that. I have to say, I'm surprised we finished that vid as quickly as we did, considering the number of Doyleys lounging around Sandy's living room, forcing her to pause to rewatch prime Doyle moments every few minutes, with loud sighs all 'round... Yeah.

Her convention report also included brief reviews of the fanzines she purchased: D-Notice, Nudge Nudge Wink Wink #4, and Leather and Blue Jeans #2 . Check the zine pages for the text of these reviews.

Also in 1995, Charlotte Hill posted her review of the convention to the the Virgule-L mailing list. It is reposted here with permission:
"What a lovely time it was.

THE PEOPLE: Lots of wonderful fans from both coasts and everywhere in between, and international visitors as well. The number of people who are also on the list was entertaining

The ESCAPADE Party: (name changed to protect the fragile feelings of those other fans of that nasty old-boys fandom) The party on Friday night went really well, I thought. I never got to a liquor store, but Kathy S. and Gayle G. fixed that by coming up for a visit and gifting us with some very pleasant wines (chardonays and zinfandels). People were buzzed enough by the time we worked our way to the "bag-o-wine" that they didn't notice the drop in quality. Songvids were played, furniture was re-arranged, Morgan Dawn copied stories onto floppy disk for people, and I had a very nice evening, personally.

The art show was lovely, and I found myself leaving with a Suzie Lovett Frank/Vinnie with Roger on the side called, "On the Outside, Looking In." Beautiful pencil, lovely emotions... now I have to convince myself to hang it (I don't usually display the more obviously graphic stuff). *sigh* :-)

I went into the con looking forward to new Pros zines, and I wasn't disappointed. Reviews to follow later this week, but I'll say now that D-NOTICE was worth the wait. I'm really enjoying it. Same for BeneDictum, I was wonderfully surprised by M Fae's story, liked (though was slightly weirded out by) Helen Raven's, and have saved Sebastian's for last, for some odd reason. I'm a few pages into it right now, and loving it all the way.

Saturday we had an "accidental" party that was really quite fun. more noise, more party, more people in our suite, and the bag wine was apparently inhaled, because it was gone EARLY. Thanks to all who helped keep me from having a wine hangover on Sunday. :-) I had an entertaining misunderstanding with Rachel Sabotini that I may use to write a Pros story--great laugh about *that* the next morning, I can tell you :-).

Sunday was equally pleasant, though there was that painful nostalgia of saying "goodbye" as people kept leaving. Seeing Z-Con end always makes me sad, and the only way I know to avoid it would be to leave earlier... and that would be sad, too.

All in all, I had a wonderful time and have many nice compliments to Karen and Jean and everyone who helped, and I'll attempt to make a more organized "report" later... still too pleasantly nostalgic at the moment to analyze further."

1997 - 3 Different Views of the Same Convention

In 1997, Shoshanna posted a two part convention report to the Virgule-L mailing list. The first part deals with Zebracon and the second part focuses on a follow-on convention she attended, Eclecticon:
I arrived at ZebraCon already exhausted, since I had spent the previous two days at a fannish house party in central Pennsylvania. So I got to the hotel, checked in, and decided that I wasn't officially there yet and so couldn't go socialize immediately. Instead I shut

myself in my hotel room -- my roomies wouldn't arrive until later - and read "In a Dark Time: Sleepless" until I fell asleep. There's something meaningful in there somewhere.

After a two-hour nap I felt much more ready to start the con. The lobby was the usual jangle of shouted greetings and hugs, rapid-fire conversation, and bemused flight attendants and trade-show participants looking for a bellhop. ZebraCon is rather unusual in that it's one of the largest cons of its type (media, no guests, mostly slash), and yet a larger proportion of the hotel is taken over by mundanes than in most other cons. (Escapade is much smaller, and MediaWest is much larger, but both cons virtually take over their hotels. At ZCon, fans are in the minority except in con function space. I've never heard of this creating a problem, though, not even several years ago when Charlotte Hill proved to me that a sexual position in a story of hers was feasible by slamming me against the corridor wall, crotch-to-crotch and pulling my thigh up to her hip, just as a couple of airline pilots went by.)

Since I run the charity art show and auction at ZCon, I got a committee badge; it said -naturally enough, I suppose - "SHOSHANNA CHARITY." So I went around encouraging people to give generously. (I also told them that "only you can prevent Shoshanna," on the principle that if I didn't, someone else would.)

The con's Halloween theme was terrific: decorations everywhere, committee listed in the program book with titles such as "Karen B, Wicked Witch of the Midwest," and costumes at the party. The people who set up the decorations for the party worked most of that day on them, and did a wonderful job. The pizza at the party looked more like a trick than a treat, though, and I avoided it.

I bought more zines at ZCon than I have at a con in years, I think. Manacles had one new zine of their own and three that they were agenting for Julien. Gryphon Press had at least two new ones, including Helen Raven's new novel. The Gryphon Press table seemed to have the biggest crowd at the feeding frenzy, and Jilly R went down the line of eager, crowding, anxious would-be buyers offering swiss roll in that wonderful accent. It was a lovely gesture. Unfortunately, very few people wanted sweets at that hour of the morning, and Jilly was reduced to begging people to take it off her hands. As I was browsing dealers' tables later, Jan Levine tapped the cover of ROSES AND LAVENDER and told me, "It's very well written." "Huh?" I asked, a little taken aback, and she grinned at me and said, "I'm just trying to pitch it to your kink..." I bought it.

I didn't go to any panels. For one thing, I was usually already having a great conversation, and saw no reason to break it off for another one that might not be as good. For another, they all looked less than gripping. I tend to be relatively uninterested in "the Wiseguy panel," "the X-Files panel," even if the shows are ones I like; topics restricted to one fandom don't seem to thrill me. (This is the same reason I haven't joined any show-specific email lists.) I was tempted to drop in on the Sentinel panel, which was subtitled "Why is this the hot new fandom?", just to see if anyone could give me a coherent answer to the question, but I didn't. Word of mouth suggests that I didn't miss anything. (I have yet to hear an answer to that question more coherent than "But they *live* together!", to which I have the same response as bingo does to "Giles, he's so DREEAAAMMYYY!" I keep reading Sentinel fic, though, in hopes that one will appear.)

I hadn't remembered crucial details of how the charity show would be organized, and I found when I got there that I had to provide staff for five hours of charity check-in on Friday. Fortunately all my volunteers are faithful, hardworking, honest, loyal, and true, and I bought them sodas and stayed out of their way. Special thanks to Danajeanne and Misti, who started working even before I asked them to, and to Jody and Jen, who pitched in when I realized in desperation that I had only half an hour to organize a charity auction three times larger than anyone had expected it to be, while rehearsing a play at practically the same time. Next time, *two* bids to auction. The auction alone raised $1790 for Pet Rescue, and I didn't get lynched for the snarky comment I made about Sentinel while auctioning a piece. It looked close for a moment there, though.

The play has been described already. The audience seemed to enjoy themselves, and I can reliably report that the cast certainly did. One bit of stage business got a number of "aww"s, and it wasn't until the next day that Paula and I, who had not been looking at each other at the time, compared notes and realized that we must have been mirror-imaging each other's poses at that moment. Jane Mailander says she found that she liked having my legs wrapped around her waist; I found that I was glad Jane has good balance. There was water spilled all over that stage, and a three-foot drop off the edge!

Most of the con was just getting to hang out and talk with people I don't see nearly often enough. I didn't spend enough time in the art show, didn't go to any room parties, didn't get to see the songvids. I did finally see Mystery UNCLE Theater 3000, and thought it was terrific. Do it again, guys!

A new feature of ZCon this year was a dead dog feedback/bitch session. Karen and Jean are considering changing hotels, and they were fairly strongly encouraged to do so. Of course, there's no guarantee that another hotel will have more of what the con wants than this one does; it's always a compromise. But the con is growing steadily - this year's membership limit was 275, and next year's will be 300 -- and it doesn't quite fit in the current function space any more. I personally rather like having three dealers' rooms next to each other - everything is close together, but it avoids the echoing vastness of a huge single room like MediaWest's -- but I gather I'm in a small minority on that one. And the hotel is starting to charge ridiculous amounts for small items; the reason the TV at the songvids wasn't higher (and thus more visible) was because the hotel would have charged something like $200 to provide two carts to prop it on.

Then I lugged all those zines home, piled them up on the floor, did a pile o' laundry, and set off for EclectiCon."

In 1997 Jane Mailander posted the following convention report to the Virgule mailing list. It is reposted here with permission:

Z-CON 1997: A Report by Jane Mailander

THURSDAY, 30 OCT 1997

I hadn't been to a Z-con since my first one in 1993, and was looking forward to the respite from my job and my roommate -- even if I did have to walk to the BART station at 4 a.m. Thursday with all my luggage (a Samsonite case and a knapsack perched on my rugged little dolly). On BART I met a man on the very same flight as I -- we split cab fare, and I had 2 uneventful flights to Chi via Phoenix. (Only problem is they were both "snack" flights -- I brought a big loaf of honey-wheat bread to supplement the peanuts and ginger ale.) Half an hour after I landed at O'Hare I was seated in the Ramada shuttle bus yakking with a van full of fans. The party didn't stop till late Monday.

My roommate was already there and checked in; all I needed was my key and to find the room. Except that the Ramada is built *long* like a space-station, necessitating miles of walking through corridors to find one's room. I spent half an hour walking the wrong way to find my room, and got lots of exercise that whole weekend.

Unfortunately a Chicago ordinance forbids selling material out of a hotel room; many dealers who couldn't get a table were left out. ('Course, if people just happened to look at large numbers of zines while talking to friends, and if a few twenties just happened to change hands, who would know?)

I dined with a small group in the hotel (I didn't have a single bad meal that whole weekend in that coffee shop). Among the diners was artist Suzan Lovett, who is now a Due South fan! Unfortunately she was finding it hard to find good shots of the characters other than the official head-shots, which was the reason there was no DS Lovett art at Z-con. Ironically, she had several splendid Sentinel pieces in the art show despite the fact that she's not a fan -- she just knew what would be selling big this con. (See Art Show, below.)

After dinner we trooped upstairs to register and chat. A lot of fluid socializing -- fans hugging and touching each other, moving from group to group, renewing acquaintances. I spent the brunt of Thursday night chatting with Debbie H. in her room (that woman writes the best slash for cartoon characters I've ever read) and buying a zine of her RGB stories. I finally hit the sack at 12:30.

FRIDAY, 31 OCT 97

Feeding Frenzy! Three dealer's rooms dealt with swarms of buyers. I bought a foot-high stack of zines, haven't done that in a while, as well as a Tombstone button and a Xena mag. I actually didn't buy much Sentinel despite being bitten by the bug -- I'm saving myself for Due South. I mostly got multi-media, and bits of everything else.

The video room showed the best angsty/slashy eps of S&H, Pros, X-Files and Voyager, British documentaries about Pros and S&H, season openers of Sentinel and Due South, and other treats.

The first official party welcomed British fans to their first Z-con, many of them from Gryphon Press. Bags of Halloween candy were handed out at the door, and party food supplemented the true nourishment at these affairs -- talk!

Friday night was Video Night (a prior commitment kept me from seeing an hour's worth of them). Among all the Sentinel and Pros offerings, the most vivid standout I saw was a gut-splittingly funny Highlander vid.

At 10 p.m. Bingo & Co. performed Mystery Uncle Theatre 3000, giving the two- part "Five Daughters Affair" the trashing it deserved. Attendees screamed with laughter. I thought it was better-written than many good MST3K episodes. Afterwards I tottered to bed and read zines till 3 a.m.

SATURDAY, 1 NOV 97

More dealers, more vids, more panels. I managed to miss all but the Sentinel panel, which tried to explain the sudden popularity of the blow-'em-up cop show. (I think a good part of it's timing -- people discovered TS about the time they found out who *wasn't* going to be back on Due South this season.)

SATURDAY NIGHT

Pizza Party Night! Also a Halloween party. The decor was appropriately funereal, with cobwebs, headstones, gargoyles and eerie music and lighting. (I pushed aside a big clump of cobweb in the doorway to help someone through, saying "It only takes a second to be polite to the undead, Ray.")

Lots of wonderful costumes. My Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (black robe and hood, necklace of skulls, belt of holly, pointing finger) scared a good number of people. The Cereal Killer (little cereal boxes stuck all over her body with knives) was a hit, as was the Slash Slut, a hairy-chested Doyle, a table full of Sentinel characters, Highlanders, mercs, Cowley (a cow-costume with little whiskey bottles tied to the udder), vampires et al. Best Costume went to Steve Hanson's half-Starsky-half-Hutch (the man shaved half his mustache just for the occasion)! I loved the woman dressed as Hester Prynne, bearing a scarlet "/" on her breast and carrying a slash-zine wrapped in her shawl. Also loved blonde baby Sam dressed up as Cupid's son Bliss from *Xena.*

The pizza itself was functional fare; I also had my first caramel apple that night. The main problem was the lack of available drinks -- they weren't included with the pizza and one had to go to the bar at the back of the room to *buy* glasses of Coke or stronger drinks. Bowls of punch would have been a nice addition.

The Huggy winners were announced and received with much applause. Suzi Lovett should simply *stay* at the podium till she accepts all the art awards. I remember the Pros winners: Motet for Zine; Sebastian's "Wonderful Tonight" for Novella; HG's "Jigsaw Puzzle" tied with Maiden Wyoming's "Journey West" for Novel; "No Floaties, Please, We're British" from MOTET for Short Story; DanaJeanne's "Disintegration" in C&C 17 for Poem.

After the awards came The Play -- Paula Smith's traditional musical-comedy parody of a slash novel. This year the target was "Revolution," which became "Revolution 9 From Outer Space." As I was in the play I can't be objective about it -- we were fuckin' *great*. The audience screamed, cheered and roared with laughter; for the next 24 hours every cast member was lionized by passersby. As a theatrical tyro, I was stunned to feel that thing that happens when you start playing off each other and picking up on each other's stuff (one piece of physical humor was born live on stage). Fluffed lines were smoothly hidden, one garbled song actually enhanced the reality of the situation, and no one broke a leg. I discovered that I *like* carrying Shoshanna locked around my hips. A most triumphant production, Paula!

After the play I'd fully intended to sit in the art auction and watch the blood fly, but Melissa D. wanted a partner to try out the hotel bar's dance floor. I agreed to one or two dances -- and we wound up dancing till after 1 a.m., with or without other fans. The highlight was a whole squad of us boogieing to "Holding Out for a Hero" and "It's Rainin' Men, Hallelujah!" We emboldened wedding attendees to get up and dance with us -- including a male couple! (But two guys who kept moving their table closer and closer to Melissa and me backed off when I needed to tweeze a chin-hair and pulled out my Swiss Army Knife.)

I chatted in the hotel bar with some of the British fans till 2:30 a.m., trading chocolates and travel-talk as well as fan-talk.

ART SHOW & AUCTION

As expected this year, lots of Sentinel as well as Millennium, X-Files, and Highlander, with Trek, Pros and S&H making a good showing as well. Alas, hardly *any* Due South art (except for my cartoons). But I wasn't the only one to pick up on the subtext between Pinky and the Brain -- another artist portrayed them as weaponed and besuited MiB ("Mice in Black").

Warren Oddsson's and KOZ's inks, TACS' computer art, Karen River's and the Fister-Liltzes' portraits, as well as many others, made this the largest media-fandom art show since Mediawest. The 3-D art was represented by several stunning dinosaur sculptures, especially a cavorting blue-striped Deinonychus called "Mating Dance." (You'd *think* I'd remember the artist's name...)

I produced a bunch of new cartoons for Z-con; it paid off as I sold all but one, first time I've done that in years. Three even went to auction -- and I was tickled that "More Celebrities Discover Slash" (a horrified Brain and an enthralled Pinky reading a P/B zine) was bought by Suzi Lovett! (BTW, I won the award for Best Humor, category Starsky & Hutch -- but as I had the *only* S&H cartoon in the art show I was hardly surprised.)

As I spent the art auction boogieing my butt off (see above) the following prices are mostly recollections and hearsay:

Lovett's "Blue and Green" (the end of the 'story' of the pictures "Blue Harmony" and "Green Peace"), Doyle and Bodie enmeshed, landslided all the newbie fandoms by selling at auction for a whopping $630. Lovett's erotic Sentinel piece, "Urban Jungle" (Blair in an urban landscape and Jim in a Peruvian junglescape frame both men tangled together naked in the middle) sold for around $150. She also had a lovely picture of Methos and Duncan (HL) lying together in the grass, fully clothed, smiling dreamily. I have no idea what it sold for, but it was in the triple digits *before* it went to auction. Her heartbreakingly beautiful S/H piece (Hutch sprawled on a bed looking longingly at a prone Starsky beneath an O'Keefe poppy) was not for sale.

SUNDAY, 2 NOV 97

I tottered awake at the ungodly hour of 8:30 to watch a few video treats with other fans, once someone unlocked the room. In the dealer's room, Suzi Lovett had brand-new prints of her most recent artwork for sale and they were snapped up like Beanie Babies.

I spent the remains of the day chatting with dealers and helping tired people load boxes and bags into their cars. I missed Bingo (was going to join the XF-premiere-watching party at her house), but otherwise I had a fine time that evening; some excellent pork chops at the coffee shop, a nice piece of money from my art (just as I was running out of the green stuff), and I watched the premiere in my room by myself. (I don't know the official title of that ep, but I subtitled it "Thank You, Mr. Exposition.") Afterwards I went back to the coffee shop for ice cream and chat with a gang of people taking the episode apart. Then I went beddy-bye with Agnes T. whose flight was leaving way-early in the morning and who needed a place to crash.

MONDAY, 3 OCT 97

I woke up, dressed and looked out in amazement. It was snowing. I went outside and grinned up at the cold little bits of shaved ice that fell on me. (I was born and raised in L.A., lived in S.F. for a year, and have *never* seen snow live and in person in my whole life.) Eventually sanity and my fingertips prevailed and I went back in to get breakfast.

Monday was still brisk -- a good number of fans stayed on, including a pack of the British fans who climbed into a limo to go sightseeing, and clumps of people leaving late in the afternoon as I was. We sat in big comfy chairs and sofas in the lobby for hours, peacefully reading zines and hugging people goodbye, winding down from the four-day high we'd all been on and melting away by ones and twos as the shuttles carted us away. A peaceful, uneventful pair of plane flights ended the con on a gentle note for me, and now I have two

years to prepare for next Z-con.
In 1997, Morgan Dawn posted the following convention report to CI5 List. She then posted a private version with editorial comments in brackets to a private mailing list, once again proving that fandom and snark go together like Bonnie and Clyde (and often can result in the same notoriety when, 15 years later, they are persuaded to post their unedited comments on the Internet):
"Having had a brief time to recover, have to say that I like Zebracon -- it's a chance to really see the different groups of fans (particularly the midwest and east coast fans) in a relaxed atmosphere.

[The atmosphere was filled with choking smoke and I barely got a chance to meet these "other" fans as they were all scurrying off to their rooms -- Zebracon has no con suite or place to hang out.]

The con was held again at the Ramada. I liked the indoor swimming pool and whirlpool which I actually did use.

[I used it once -- and came out parbroiled -- the pool was 91 degrees and the whirlpool 109]

O'Hare aiport was a challenge -- in the last two years, they've moved the pick-up point for all hotel guests down an escalator, under a roadway, through a long passageway, onto a moving conveyor and up an elevator. We were hopelessly lost -- even though they had painted huge red arrows on the floor saying: "This way to hotel shuttles." Thank god for the hustlers cruising the passageways -- they scooped up our luggage, loaded it onto their carts and we chased after them until we reached the right spot.

[No one thought to warn us -- and who looks at their feet when they're wandering the airport. I was so concerned that the hustlers were going to disappear with our luggage (although why worry about pre-con luggage) that I was never more than 3 inches away from our "helpers' backside. I think I made him nervous.]

I really recommend arriving early at a con --you check in early, get your room and get settled. This year there were several mini-parties throughout the hotel (and if you know the hotel, you realize that this often means a 20 minute walk to the back 40).

[If you don't, you'll find yourself the back of beyond]

I stopped by the CI5 room -- found J and others doing "research" on some interesting sexual positions -- the one with the throne chair and the table grapes looked interesting.

[Since there is no function space or room to hang out, you have the choice of lounging on public display, fending questions from the Teamsters Union (wearing "Hoffa Now!" jackets) about what you "gals" are up to, or wandering the halls like a lost soul, ears cocked for the sound of fannish laughter.]

The songvid contest had too many Sentinel vids (hey, stop hitting me you guys, I was joking), a good showing of Highlander (a really funny HL vid) and some odds and ends (a Melissa Ethridge song set to Crying Game that I liked).

[We could hardly see the vids -- they had a new 27 inch TV but had it set so low that only the first row could see it. They eventually made us sit on the floor cause they didn't want to risk injuring the TV by moving it.]

But the one that had me laughing was Media Cannibals "Hippy Boy" set to Sentinel. It won an award much to the surprise of the vid makers.

[They were so surprised -- the main vid maker had left the party and was somewhere else. I almost missed it altogether as I was playing games with the free toys that were given at the party. We were eventually shushed up and had to put the toys away -- but only after spilling a glass of water and sending one spinning top sailing into someone else's pizza]

Speaking of awards: The Huggies.

What I vaguely remember: Motet winning for best Pros zine. Journey West and Jigsaw Puzzle tying for best novel. Sebastian winning for 'Wonderful Tonight' (best Pros story).

[What can I say. When I heard Motet won, I whimpered (softly --having already been chastized for playing too loudly with my toys). I think I may have grabbed someone's hand in shared pain. The silence that followed the question: "Who will pick up Sebastian's award" did the UK contingent proud. Left me wondering if they were really from "over there" or where just pretending to get all the attention.]

The decorations for the Sat. night party were very spooky -- and there were several good costumes: Maiden Wyoming in a cow suit, with whiskey bottles tied at the udder. She was brave enough to accept her Huggy award in costume.

[Hey! I liked the costume. The food was horrible -- gooey pizza. But then I ate before I came -- which was suggested (so helpfully by the con organizers in their last Progress Report.: "Don't like pizza? Tough. Eat beforehand so you won't be hungry when everyone else is eating.")]

I attended one panel I enjoyed: ' Starsky & Hutch: Justify Fan Canon. Was Starsky ever in Vietnam? Was Hutch neglected as a child? Prove it!'

[It was the only panel I enjoyed. All the rest suffered from myopia or topic drift.]

Not much to do on Sunday, however. I wandered into what I thought was a Dead Dog Party but discovered it was a "Give Feedback To The Con" session.

[Sunday was absolutely boring. Nothing going on -- no con suite to hang out. All the dealers leaving. And the "Feedback" panel consisted of many suggestions and the con organizers explaining why they wouldn't listen to the suggestions. You'd think they'd have the wits to smile politely, nod and lie!]

So, I am looking forward to the next con event: Escapade 98.

[Yes!]

I found the URL for the 1st Escapade Progress Report, and they've listed excellent panel topics. And my favourite: free food and munchies and drinks tucked throughout the con.

[And a con suite!!!]

1999

2001

In 2001 a fan posted her con report, referencing the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Many fans struggled with whether to attend to the convention that year:
"My first ZebraCon. It had ups and downs but definitely worth the trip! There were concerns about whether or not ZCon would be on this year, considering recent tragic events but was decided terrorists were not going to stop us from our pursuit of life, liberty, and fannish interests. Think for some, was a good thing to enjoy spending time with friends.

Oddly enough, not one Trek panel, vid, or piece I noticed in the art show but Oz was well-represented with two panels (missed both - go figure), art show, vid show, party, and even a zine....

Over the years, my nerves have gotten completely shot and to put vids I've done in a major convention's vid show and sit through it... I was really shaking (good thing the room was dark). Thankfully, [J] once said to me they weren't bad vids and even accommodated an unusual request. Right vid coordinator at the right time.

Once in awhile, some things click into place. However, still on the lookout for the right 'niche'. Haven't found It--whatever 'It' is--yet. In the mean time, trying to have fun."[9]

2003

2005

....I just want to say upfront that I had an absolute blast at Zebracon. Meeting people you've only previously talked to on line, putting a face to a name, knowing that some obscure reference will still be immediately understood. there's no drug like it. Even when chatting with women from fandoms other than your own!...

Friday the rush for the dealer room when it opened at 11am was like a feeding frenzy. Must have new zines!! I unfortunately managed to miss picking up copies of Back to Back, and Kass' zine through oversight. Will get them at SHarecon in a year, I guarentee. I got many S&H and also The Sentinel zines. I sat on an interesting panel for Numb3rs. Much discussion about the family dynamics, that many people hate the new woman Megan (I don't, for the record) and whether there was slash in Numb3rs. Since I won't slash Don and Charlie (will read it, I'm such a slut) but it was suggested that maybe Charlie and Larry would work, and I am warming to that. Also sat on a Firefly/Serenity panel, which was mostly about the movie and hopes for sequels. Many like Mal/Simon slash, which I would not even read, I think. I still have odd Mal and River vibes, which a few shared. There were panels on House and a few other series that I enjoy, but I seemed to have missed them, but can't remember for the life of me why now. Oh, went to one on the influences of Jim and Blair's childhoods on their personalities, and only what was canon was allowed to be discussed. I also sat sentry on the art room for two hours and bid on a few beautiful pieces while there.

What was Friday night? (pause to pull out con schedule) Oh, three hours of awesome vids in all fandoms. Loved the ASJ one, as I've said. all the S&H ones (Morgan can do no wrong) Loved seeing some Pros ones with Doyle shot--made me definitely want to see that ep. I messed up my feedback paper so badly that I doubt the vidders will be able to read mine.

Saturday, the rooms opened earlier, and much buying was done. Also, it was Starsky and Hutch day, since all our panels and festivities were on the same afternoon. Went out to a very late breakfast with Kimberly and co. Seven of us crammed into the PT Cruiser. I got to know Jen Hutchinson, Sel and Minx very well in the back seat. I had chocolate chip pancakes and Jen had pumpkin, but I don't remember anyone else's breakfast. Then we went to a Halloween store and perused the stuff. I would have liked to buy a mini bondage fairy costume (still got the legs for that) but I settled on a bondage witch hat. Jen got a zebra striped pantsuit and Sel had a red 'velvet' pimp suit with zebra striped trim. Quite the fashion statement. Moon had sweet black fairy wings.

The S&H panel on new generation fans was at one, and a lively discussion it was. Flamingo introduced one of the founding mothers of our fandom, Ruth Kurz, who apparently is a great artist and author, but I'm not sure I've read anything by her. I plan to rectify that soon! Several older fans were there, and then the new younger ones who weren't even old enough to breathe when the show was on the air. It was a well attended panel.

I think I shopped for an hour, and then went to the Starsky and Hutch party. HL was annoyed that I missed the Lost party, and so was I, since apparently a photo of Sawyer was threatened by small stuffed boars, but the S&H party was great! She did forgive me and gave me a picture of Charlie. Lots of food, some left over from the Lostaways, continuous vid shows, and dancing to the music (mostly by me and Jen whenever Discovery Channel was playing). I handed out magnets and stickers and let people oggle my rare pic of PMG [Paul Michael Glaser]. Flamingo is the sweetest person ever and she gives good hugs.

Directly after the party was another S&H panel on whether they could be lovers and partners. Much discussion on the pros and cons of living together and the historical significance of that versus fictional reality. Could they both live in the same house and do they still own that fixer upper?.....

I didn't end up going to the Art auction because I gave into to my Invisible Man yearnings and went to the video room to watch the pilot. I hadn't seen it in over a year, I think. Turned out the woman who was pimping Iman was someone I'd met on line and we chatted a bit but the Pros people (I think) came to throw us out so that they could show one of their one.

After, S&H fans trooped to Flamingo and Anne's room for S&H vids until you fell asleep or dawn, whichever came first. I ate chocolates and tried to ignore an asthma attack--too much barometer pressure changes, cigarette smoke and a humid room, so my croaky wheezey voice and I left at about 1:30 for my inhaler. I read Timeless for a long while, and Kimberly and Moon came back after I'd turned out the light.

Sunday there was the charity Auction. I bought two Sentinel zines. Cyanne spent a great deal on a Stargate charm bracelet! I forget how much the S&H one went for, but I didn't even bid on it since it was tres expensive. Did attempt to bid on a Lost one, but it went out of my meager price range very quickly. Maverick, who had made the marvelous bracelets, looked faint at how high her creations were selling for. The set of six Qleap comics I had donated went for $40 which amazed me, since Qleap didn't seem a vocal fandom, and I'd gotten them for a Christmas present! All proceeds went to EGlaser pediatric Aids Foundation and Noah's Wish, which helps pets in disasters....

Monday morning goodbyes. Sigh. Sat with a group and scrounged CC's toast while I was waiting for my taxi. I won't see most of these people for another year!! Waah. But I had my zines on the plane to console me. Molo's Jericho is a winner, thumbs up from me. S&H has the best fans!! [18]
...Friday morning we shanghaied silver_cyanne, went to breakfast at IHOP where other tables were also filled with ZCon-attendees, and finished our party shopping. silver_cyanne had created the ‘Cowley’s Pure Malt Scotch’ labels and hauled the Scotch and Swiss rolls (courtesy of my daughter) from Maryland. We had the Scotch and we had the little bottles. We needed a funnel to pour from the big to the little without losing a drop. abelladonna suggested we buy a catsup squirter since we couldn’t find a funnel small enough. We put the small bottle into a coffee mug and squirted away. By the time windrain10 and EDioVal returned from the airport the room smelled like a distillery. They helped with the finishing touches, hauling everything over to the party suite and setting things up.

I managed to squeeze in some time at the Sentinel party, a quick run through the Dealer’s Room and delivering my DVDs to Media Mugs in between fretting about the party. Did I mention how much I love my friends? Don’t know what I’d do without them!

I think the (Pros) party went ok. Everyone seemed to have a good time. There was much laughter and talking. The party bags were black (couldn’t find any green ones); had a picture of Doyle on one side and Bodie on the other; a disk with pictures and articles; a Swiss roll, and the bottle of Scotch. Each attendee was given a ticket for drawings. We gave away several trinkets with small handcuffs, a Larton Chronicles disk courtesy of Elessar, one of my Pros 2003 songvid DVDs, Arabian Nights (zine), and a beautiful Pros travel mug courtesy of Media Mugs. The winner justacat of the ‘name that episode’ game received a region-free DVD set of the series.

Immediately after the party was the Pros panel. I managed to catch part of it after cleaning up the party suite. justacat, przed, and Elessar were moderators. An hour is never enough time to discuss Bodie and Doyle.

Next came the vid show. We were given a playlist and comment sheets so the viewers could give feedback to the vidders while the vid was fresh in their minds. What a novel idea! My vids were the fifth set in the show so I was good up until then. During the break between vidders, my wonderful friends moved their seats until I was surrounded by them. (I always sit at the back of the room – cowardly, I know) I’m an absolute nervous wreck when my vids are being shown and totally intimidated by some of the older (meaning long-time) vidders. It wouldn’t matter if I won an Oscar, I’d still feel my work wasn’t good enough. Conditioning, indoctrination, whatever you want to call it, is hard to fight. After this I was free to enjoy the rest of the weekend without pressure.

Saturday morning, while the OAT (Outback Assault Team) slept in, I caught a ride to breakfast with Elessar and a couple of other Pros fans. I’m sorry I don’t think I ever put names with faces, but have seen the ladies several times. Finally got to shop in the Dealer’s Room and picked up my order from Lionheart (all Pros zines!) The ladies manning the Dealer’s tables miss so much of the con by standing fast and feeding our habits. Went to the ‘meet the vidders’ panel and received the feedback forms from the vid show. Except for one or two comments, the only negative feedback was about the sound and a few dark scenes which were because of the show equipment, not my vids, so I was pleasantly surprised. Some people are pressuring me to drop Pros and Starsky and Hutch and get into a ‘live’ fandom – not going to happen ladies. I may add to, but will not drop my older fandoms.

Attended the Starsky & Hutch party in the afternoon and touched base with old friends. Discovered one of my vids was instrumental in starting a plot bunny for a story – what a compliment! Had to go by the zine, of course. (one of my roomies had a story in the same zine!) We marched across the street for dinner at the pizza place, but when the tables around us started filling up with kids we decided to get ours to go. We ate pizza and watched Stargate Atlantis eps. In between all these activities was meeting friends in the lobby.

Saturday night was the con party and awards. Several attendees dressed up and lots of pictures were taken. It’s a shame that all of the nominees for awards couldn’t win. It’s like choosing between Red Delicious and Golden Delicious apples – the same, yet different. I wonder if there’ll ever be vid categories like story categories. The skit performed was very funny and the actors did a great job. As always, everyone in the room sang ‘The Rose’ at the end of the party. It was beautiful and sad at the same time. It will be devastating at the next/last ZCon. After a short break came the Art Auction. The talent in fandom is absolutely awesome. I went up to Flamingo’s room briefly, but it was a bit crowded so I didn’t stay. We went down to the vid room and I don’t even remember what we watched. I know I fell asleep. *g*

Sunday morning I had breakfast with a S&H group.....Anyway, I enjoyed listening to everybody since I’ve been more into my Pros place than my Starsky place the last couple of years.

The Charity Auction was something. There were some beautiful bracelets made by Maverick that went for over $300. I lost my bid for the Pros annuals but justacat said agentxpndble has them all online, so I don’t feel so bad. My roomies all left so I moved my stuff to the OAT’s room, but kept being drawn back to the Dealer’s Room. paris7am was kind enough to haul my overflow to her house since she drove. It’ll give us an excuse to get together soon and rehash the con and her trip to the UK. *g*

I didn’t get to say goodbye to everybody, but maybe it’s for the best...In the great scheme of life, I don’t seem to fit anywhere, but the closest I’ve found is at cons. .... On the whole, ZCon is at the top of the list of favorites and this past weekend was great. And so ends my long-winded report on ZCon. I’d list all of the great people I got to see again, but would forget somebody and feel terrible so I won’t try. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. [19]

2007 (The Last ZCon)

"The last ZebraCon was held in Chicago on September 14-16, 2007. I had only attended one ZCon before and didn't want to miss this farewell to a favorite fan-con institution.

On Friday, while I was looking for the con suite, I accidentally bumbled into the Supernatural party. Since I have a few friends that have been sucked into this fandom I stayed and got them party favors, and ended up winning a couple of prizes myself. The first vid they showed at the party was J.M. Griffin's "My Son John", which was created at my house on my computer, so I feel kind of attached to it.

I was a moderator on a couple of Sentinel panels with Kat W. that were well attended and the discussion was fun and rousing. Kat is pimping Revelcon every chance she gets. We need to appoint her "Special Friend of Revelcon" status. She really loves the barbecue restaurant behind the hotel. Their vid show was on Friday night and my songvids went over really well. Mysti Frank sold 4 out of 10 DVDs of my TS vids and 9 out of 10 of our Revelcon songvid contest DVDs at her table for me.

Saturday night was the dessert party. Everyone dresses up and I have to say I looked damn fine in my fancy togs. I got drafted into performing in the Saturday evening play, "Baaad ZebraCon Theatre" modeled after Masterpiece theatre, which was hilariously funny and got lots of laughs. Nobody had to memorize any lines. We just acted out what the narrator described. I played Ray V. of Due South and had a running dispute with the other Ray over just who the Mountie belonged with.

Sunday I just hung around and made friends with lots of new people and ate way too much, which was basically

what I did the whole weekend. The con was a lot of fun and it will be missed."[23]

References

  1. it is unknown if this was ever published
  2. published in The Hatstand Express #3 (1984).
  3. published in The Hatstand Express #3 (1984).
  4. from Simon and Simon Investigations #2
  5. from The Who Do We Trust Times #4
  6. from The Who Do We Trust Times #4
  7. from The Who Do We Trust Times #4
  8. from Frienz #1
  9. Back from ZebraCon posted to alt.startrek.creative.erotica.moderated dated October 19, 2001.
  10. reference link.
  11. Zebracon WebCite.
  12. I give up WebCite.
  13. Bummed WebCite.
  14. The continuing story WebCite.
  15. Not the best ending to a fabulous con WebCite.
  16. Chicago, Z-Con, Autumn,etc. WebCite.
  17. And on to days four and five of ZCon WebCite.
  18. In 2005 Dawnwind posted the following convention report to the VenicePlace mailing list. It is reposted, with edits, here with permission.
  19. In 2005, recycledmedia posted the above convention report. It is reposted here with edits and with permission.
  20. ZebraCon: requiescat in pace WebCite.
  21. Zcon WebCite.
  22. reference link.
  23. reference link.
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