Detroit Triple Fan Fair

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

The 1972 convention had Gene Roddenberry and Majel Barret as two of the guests; Joan Verba remembers running into them in the elevator. [1]

There is a large ad for this convention in the zine Star-Borne #1.

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

More information about this con is at Wikipedia.

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 was disorganized.


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.


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 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. [2]


  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. ^ con report by Cara Sherman, printed in Romulan Wine #3