Detroit Triple Fan Fair

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Convention
Name: Detroit Triple Fan Fair
Dates: 1965 to 1978
Frequency: yearly
Location: Detroit, MI
Type:
Focus: science fiction and multimedia
Organization:
Founder:
Founding Date:
URL:
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Detroit Triple Fan Fair (DTFF) was a multimedia convention held annually in Detroit, Michigan, from 1965 to 1978.

a fan's handwritten ad for 1972, printed in The Babelian Council #1

Several of them had Al Schuster in charge.

Detroit Triple Fan Fair preceded Vul Con and is preceded by Star Con.

More information about this con is at Wikipedia.

1972: "Free Beer"!

The 1972 con was held October 19-22 at the Detroit Hilton.

There were reportedly over 2000 guests.

It was billed as "Al Schuster's Star Trek Convention" and "Conventions... the final frontier."

There was "braised brisket of beef" for lunch Saturday, and free beer at the costume ball.

The guests of honor were Majel Barrett, Gene Roddenberry, Neal Adams, Vaughn Bode, Jim Steranko, David Gerrold, [D.C. Fontana]], and James Doohan.

Joan Verba remembers running into Majel Barrett and Gene Roddenberry in the elevator. [1]

There is a large ad for this convention in the zine Star-Borne #1. In that write-up, it is clear that Schuster meant to capitalize upon the success of the first Star Trek Lives! con:

In the fall of 1972, there will occur a repeat of last January's STAR TREK convention by Al Schuster, held in New York City. This time however, the name of the convention is the DETROIT TRIPLE PAN FAIR, and it is being held October 19-22 at the Detroit Hilton.

The reason why it is called TRIPLE FAN FAIR is because the convention will have things in the realm of films, science fiction, comic art, as well as the major event, STAR TREK. The STAR TREK guests of honor include Gene Roddenberry and Majel Barrett who is Mrs. Gene Roddenberry as well as having been Nurse Christine Chapel, Also, there is the chance that in attendance there will be DeForest Kelly and James Doohan. By the July/Augsut STAR-BORNE whether or not this will occur, will be confirmed.

As for the other guests of honor in different realms, there will be the artists Neal Adams, Vaughn Bode, and Jim Steranko.

And as for the films, besides those listed in the advertisements, the twelve STAR TREK episodes that will be shown several times each during the convention (so everyone doesn't have to be in the film auditorium at one time) will include the original pilot film, never before seen on television "THE CAGE", the two-part "THE MENAGERIE", the second pilot film "WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE" as well as several more universally acclaimed favorites including "SHORE LEAVE", and "WHAT ARE LITTLE GIRLS MADE OF?". And then to make the trekkie's life more interesting, also to be shown are the rather notorious STAR TREK BLOOPER FILMS, which have to be seen in order to be believed.

Other special events will include a HUCKSTERS ROOM (which is a place where one can buy, sell and trade everything practically) with over 100 tables available to dealers at $10.00 a piece.

And then there will be the Luncheon on Saturday afternoon, and the Masquerade Ball on Saturday evening where everyone attending must be in some sort of costume, and the first prize winner receives $100.00. There will also be free beer for those people who are eligible in the state of Michigan.

As of now, the hotel room rates should run $l4 for a single, $22 for a double, at $29 oto $36 dollars for the superior doubles.

1972: Con Reports

On Thursday night, Dorothy Fontana arrived, and after the Marx Brothers Film Festival, the STAR TREK fans in the audience were treated to the first showing of the infamous STAR TREK Blooper Film.

On Friday, while old friendships were being renewed, and the new convention goers were being introduced to a taste of con life, such films as ASSIGNMENT EARTH and AMOK TIME were shown as well as the Blooper Film. Also, to entertain the crowds, David Gerrold answered questions about STAR TREK, "The Trouble With Tribbles", his two new STAR TREK books from BALLANTINE PUBLISHING COMPANY, and science fiction in general. In the evening, Gene and Majel Roddenberry arrived as well as James Doohan.

Saturday was the busiest day of all. Films that were shown included CITY ON THE EDGE OP FOREVER, CHARLIE X, THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES, the Blooper Film, and FORBIDDEN PLANET.

Saturday morning, for muscular dystrophy, Gene Roddenberry officially promoted George LaForge to Star Fleet Admiral in a ceremony filmed by the television cameras of WWJ-TV, a local NBC outlet. Admiral LaForge received various gifts also from David Gerrold, and the other STAR TREK stars. Mr.Roddenberry was then interviewed by WWJ-TV, in which he discussed STAR TREK conventions and the very good chance that STAR TREK has to return as a movie for theatrical release. The film was shown twice on Saturday during the newscasts. Also in attendance at the ceremony were the arrangers of the event, Mrs. Cheryl Etchison of EQUICON, Adrienne Spectra, Mrs. Merrle Taylor, and the S.T.A.R, Central Committee.

Saturday afternoon was the luncheon, which regrettably allowed only 100 to attend. After lunch, Vaughn Bode and Jim Steranko spoke about relationships that exists between the field of comic books and science fiction, David Gerrold then spoke a few minutes upon his two upcoming books from BALLANTINE -- The World of Star Trek and The Trouble with Tribbles. Then he extrapolated on the merits of STAR TREK, the advantages of science fiction as a writer's medium.

Miss Fontana then introduced a famous producer. Gene Roddenberry's speech mainly concerned the renewal of STAR TREK, and the problems in olved, He discussed the fact that STAR TREK might return as a major motion picture possibly similar to the PLANET OF THE APES movie series, the probabilities of the original cast returning, and the kind of changes that might occur if STAR TREK returns. He also spoke of his four new science fiction television pilots. These are GENESIS II, a story of life in the future after the current civilization crumbles, SPECTRE, a supernatural mystery series, QUESTOR, concerning life from an android's point of view, and the fourth being that of life in a futuristic police work. Also in attendance at the luncheon were Majel Barrett Roddenberry, and James Doohan.

Saturday evening was the costume ball. The judges included the Roddenberrys, James Doohan, Dorothy Fontana, Vaughn Bode, and "Buck Rogers." Awards went to The Green Lantern, Mr. Nobody, George LaForge as Captain Christopher Pike, and Fred L. Reiss as the Ambassador from Rigel. First prize went to Ann Arbor's Society for Creative Anachronism leader, "Yang the Nauseating" who played himself.

The science fiction films were then shown, with the Blooper Film shown twice do to the crowds' requests, Sunday began with a small informal lecture/question-and-answer period with Dorothy Fontana, Majel Roddenberry and Jimmy Doohan. During the event, Gene Roddenberry arrived, supposedly to help liven up some 'dull' proceedings.

After the Vaughn Bode "Sunpot" slide show, and the final showing of the Blooper Film and THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES, S.T.A.R. had an auction.

Jimmy Doohan was the auctioneer selling such things as autographed copies of original set STAR TREK scripts that once belonged to Jimmy Doohan and director Gene L. Coon, who is also known as writer Lee J. Cronin, The last official events were informal autograph sessions with Jimmy Doohan, and Majel and Gene Roddenberry.

During the convention, the Hucksters Room was open during the day. (This is the place where you can buy, trade or sell just about anything.) Most of the dealers were comic book or used science fiction dealers. Some of the STAR TREK items that were available included David Gerrold selling his recent science fiction novels, as well as original David Gerrold Tribbles, and Mrs. Bjo Trimble's STAR TREK CONCORDANCE. ST Fanzines included STAR KALAMAZOO's MEMORY LOG, various issues of Sylvia Stanczyk's THOLIAN WEB, as well as BABET III. Other items included several different kinds of ST bumper stickers, 3 different ST posters, many ST film clips, the Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner records, as well as a S.T.A.R. table and the AMT USS ENTERPRISE model kits.

[...]

One of the more important points made by Mr. Roddenberry and others during the convention above and beyond STAR TREK is the role that science fiction has in the STAR TREK fandom. Gene Roddenberry has four new sf television pilots in planning. One of them, GENESIS II appears to have the best chance of being a series for television. To the neo-fan, some of ST's ideas were strange and wonderful. But to the sf fan, a 'sense of wonder' concerning these ideas, is quite familiar. These possible new shows again might present science fiction's 'sense of wonder' ideas in new forms. Give them a chance. They might be something worth looking forward to, above and beyond STAR TREK. [2]

Con Report: 1974

AH, conventions... incredible agglomeration of weird people. DTFFC — the Detroit Triple Fan Fare Con — was my first, and maybe my last. Not that it was all that disappointing, mind you—really—it's just that...well...it was disorganized.

[snipped]

DTFFC featured, for all those of you who didn't get to go, An art show by Jim Steranko (BOO) and Neal Adams (no comment); a slide presentation by Vaughn Bodē of his SUNPOT strip (I missed it both times); a luncheon panel discussion with Gene Roddenberry, Majel Barrett Roddenberry, David Gerrold, Steranko, Adams, DC Fontana (YAY!) and probably Jimmy Doohan, though I don't remember him saying much. They talked mostly about the possible revival of Star Trek (which is now, I hear, being made into a cartoon —SOB—), the making of the Star Trek movie—whatever happened to it?—and- Roddenberry's new television projects—-Genesis II, Questor. Neal Adams made a comment in his speech about there should be an alliance between Star Trek fans and comic fandom;, which was a nice but blundering attempt based on the assumption in the first place that comics fans and Star Trek fans have nothing in common, which negates the supposed premise of his speech in the first place. ' Well, it was him or Steranho. There was of course the Dealer's Room, where I spent lotsa money—of course. Somehow it didn't occur to me to worry about blowing seven dollars to eat a plate of some kind of stew (couldn't tell whether it was beef, veal, lamb or shoe leather) and listen to David Gerrold tell everyone his brain was turning into cottage cheese.

There were movies all night, which was poor scheduling, I think; of course the whole con schedule was so erratic and screwed up that they had everything on this blackboard which was always at least fifteen minutes behind what was happening. By this means I managed to miss at least half the good stuff. Can't say enough bad. things about the scheduling.

[snipped]

There were two things that stick most prominently in my mind about this con—aside from the insultingly patronising attitude of Bob Brasch, the con's loosely-named manager and organiser, to everyone in general, Star Trek fans in particular, and the S.T.A.B. people from Detroit and around especially, and the unpleasantness resulting therefrom; the Star Trek Blooper Reel (can't be described...you must see it); and the revolting high price David Gerrold charges for his tribbles (I bought six anyway). These two things are The Costume Competition and Jimmy Doohan's auctioning off his personal collection of Star Trek scripts.

The Costume Contest was judged by everyone of the guests, from Vaughn Bodē to the Roddenberrys — and, of course, Herr Brasch. There was a lot wrong with this contest, but the gist of it is it wasn't divided into categories, which was foolish; there were several types of costume categories present—Star Trek, comix, underground and general. There were only three prizes offered, period — best, second-best and worst,This was also foolish (come to think of it there, was a third prize, too). And the judging, of course, didn't make anybody happy except the winners, who were (first place) the local president of the Society of Creative Anachronism, who came in a VERY good costume of a Mongol Warrior named Yang the Nauseating; he carried an eight-foot lance on the end of which they stuck his hundred-dollar bill; second place Tony Tollin as the original Green Lantern (also a great costume); third place a girl as Mr. Natural (another great costume); and finally Worst costume went to a guy in a HIDEOUSLY claptrap Thor getup. All the people who were chosen deserved prizes, but each in his own category. Maybe Yang I would debate, since his costume was part of his S.C.A. role, not made up for the con. But a lot of the costumes were great, especially same of the Star Trek outfits. Like a tall Talosian, excellent makeup there—numerous Vulcans, including Kim (Spock), Eastland as a Pre-Reformation Vulcan in a shaggy cloak and boots—very good costume and makeup both; his outfit was at least as good as Yang's and in addition he was wearing an extremely difficult makeup—ever try to make yourself a pair of pointed ears? It ain't easy; I've tried. I was conversing with one woman who had crocheted, by hand, a robe identical in cut, pattern and color scheme to the robe worn by Surak (Barry Atwater) in THE SAVAGE CURTAIN; this was, however, a subtlety which couldn't be appreciated by anyone who wasn't a real Strekfan; I'll bet even the Roddenberrys didn't recognise that robe. There were a couple of great Spidermans, letter-perfect, and then there were hotshots Carl and I who went out to win and knocked ourselves out making respective costumes to do it. In all humility, I should have at least placed—if any of you remember Big Barda's battle uniform from Mr. Miracle #10, and can conceive of anybody being stupid enough to make a letter-perfect copy of it right down to sewing on blue satin scales one at a time by hand (which kept popping off, incidentally), you can see why I was miffed. The thing cost me nearly a hundred to make—I can-imagine how the lady in the Surak robe must have felt, or the Talosian, or Carl for that matter — Cheemhwizard was a real feat of engineering. There should have been more categories, and more prizes.

The second thing was the auction, where I bought a copy of Harlan Ellison's CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER for $24.00, and gave it to Carl as a belated birthday present. The basic reason it sticks in my mind is that during it Vaughn Bodē bid on a script and Doohan — somewhat cattily, I'm afraid — mistook him. for'a woman. Bodē has long curly hair and wears nail polish, or was at the time, but even across a room it's not possible to mistake him for a woman unless you're trying to. It was rather amusing, in a warped sort of way.

Star Trek fans are strange people. So are comix fans. Like the immense party in the Isagaff chamber on Saturday night—or was it Friday night?—there was a grand total of twenty-two people in that room at one time, all sitting or lying around bull shitting and tossing my tribbles around, drawing, sleeping, or looking for the bathroom, to get into which you had to move Joe Jenkins, who was resolutely seated before the bathroom door. Most of the people there were Capa-Alpha members (I'm on the waiting list, still have not been invited -in yet., .sigh) and the majority I didn't know, so I mostly just sat in a corner and drew, or talked to Carl, Tony, or Mike Raub— don't anyone try to keep track of these names. Also met Dwight Decker—he makes a lousy fascist; even though I was a trifle hurt when he made a point of referring to me as MISS Sherman, knowing that's a prefix I can't tolerate, it's very hard to get mad at Dwight Decker. Must be that string tie. Wouldn't call him, charming—-I'm too paranoid to be charmed, you understand—-but he's intelligent, at least. Encountered another Strek artist, Mike Kuoharski, and we had fun knocking Kirk—isn't this exciting? I said I wasn't going to give a blow-by-blow.

One thing I can't stand is Italian jokes—any kind of ethnic jokes leave me with a considerable sense of impatience, I have to confess—and they must have made a million puns on the word "wop" that night. Poor Tony—no wonder he's so thick-skinned and insensitive. Callousness must be a survival trait among certain people under certain circumstances, Ahh, I'm just in a bad mood because they're going to make Star Trek into a cartoon show.

Last—minute-mutterings. Am tentatively planning to make the Equicon in L.A. this month. Should be much better than DTFFC, mainly because the people in charge of it LIKE Star Trek and Star Trek fans. For all its bad points, DTFFC was a valuable experience — I learned things like, Don't carry personal checks, no one in Detroit will cash them; pick up your feet walking down the halls in the hotel or the shock when you touch your doorknob will take your hair off; don't put money in drink machines if you ever expect to see it again, and the elevator doors in the Detroit Hilton-Towers are operated by KLINGONS. And, seriously, I had fun. ..and that's really what cons are about. [3]

References

  1. ^ Henry Jenkins. Star Trek, Darkover, Thunderbirds, and Fan Fiction: An Interview With Joan Marie Verba (Part One). May 17, 2010. blog post at Confessions of an Aca-Fan (accessed 12.20.2010)
  2. ^ from Star-Borne #3
  3. ^ con report by Cara Sherman, printed in Romulan Wine #3