Equicon/1985

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Convention
Name: Equicon
Dates: April 5-7, 1985
Frequency:
Location: Sheratan-Universal Hotel, Universal City, CA
Type:
Focus: Science Fiction, Star Trek, films
Organization:
Founder: John & Bjo Trimble
Founding Date:
URL:
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Equicon 1985 was held April 5-7, 1985.

It was an 18th birthday present for Lora Trimble.

front cover of the program

Committee Members, The Charity

Administrators: John & Bjo Trimble

  • Registration: Julie Fraser
  • Operations: John Watts
  • Security: Joe Kerezman
  • Volunteers: April Sackett
  • Dealers Room: Suzanne Vegas
  • Films & A/V: Michael O'Larte & Dr. Donald A. Reed
  • Japanimation: Bill Wilson
  • Masquerade: Lora Trimble & Jay Smith
  • Gaming: Tom Vincent
  • Photo Sets: Jay Smith & Lee Forbes
  • Dances: Bary Rau & Patty Cox
  • Regency Dance: John Hertz
  • Trivia Squares: Jay Smith

The con charity was "L.I.F.E. (Love is Feeding Everybody), an organization formed to eradicate hunger.

"Why Are We Organizing Conventions Again?"

From the program book:

Because we want to. Because we kept hoping that someone else would organize the kind of media convention we wanted to go to; with all the fun, activity & good friendship involved. And nobody did.

Early FILMCONs and EQUICONs were designed for the FAN who unabashedly and unashamedly enjoys the media of television and films. While FILMCONS never did pay for themselves, they were a creative success. EQUICONS carried both media convention ideas along, at least paying the bills with a little left over for our charities. Neither convention brought in enough money to support the Trimble family (it always surprises us to find how many people believe that we made skidillions of money off those events!) But finally we had to stop organizing these events, due to family considerations.

We tried another EQUICON in 1981, and found we'd misjudged the current fan attitudes (and paid over $1000 to the hotel for vandalism!), and we'd misjudged our own committee, which was no longer working for a common goal, but divided into "my people" and "them." We swore "never again," and retired to lick our wounds, withdrawing from the fan convention field. And waited for someone to organize the kind of media convention we wanted to go to.

What we got were genuine cons; put on for the money, where the volunteers were treated like slaves, and the advertising was almost always false; where an announced film or guest might be noted in very small letters that they'd been at the last con, so they just might be at this one....

What we got was pro-digested commercial cons, with several Big Name guests, a Dealers' Room and very little else. This satisfied neo-fans who had never been to a real fan convention, but only made the rest of us long for EQUICON again.

EQUICON did not always offer Big Names, but it always offered INTERESTING names: people who enjoyed sharing their knowledge and talents with others. Nobody got spoon-fed at EQUICON; they had to work at keeping up with all that is going on. But the the pay-off was lifelong friendships, memories, and an enthusiasm for helping others that is not seen in fandom much any more.

Can we do it again? We think so, or you'd not be reading this at an EQUICON. The final vote is yours; if EQUICON is to continue, it needs your support and your goodwill. Tel1 us what's your ideal fan-participation convention, what you want, what you'd like to see at another EQUICON! No promises to fulfill everyone's dream, but EQUICON has always delivered a convention to remember!

The Guests

The official guests included actors, writers, model builders, make-up artists, and many behind-the-scenes personnel. The guest male to female ratio was even worse than in the 1970s, as there were thirty-nine male guests and only four female guests.

  • Judson Scott (actor)
  • Roger C. Carmel (actor who portrayed Harry Mudd)
  • Warren Jones gave three talks about space: "Mars & Venus in Science Fiction & Science Fact Over the Last 100 Years," "Future Space Missions, Science Fictional & Others," and "Easily Corrected Scientific Mistakes in Science Fiction Movies."
  • Bill Bryan (claim to fame is that he built and wore the "Marshmallow Man" costume in Ghostbusters)
  • William Campbell (actor, portrayed Trelaine in Star Trek)
  • Suzanne Vegas (one of three female guests, there is a photo of her in the program book in a bikini outfit)

Other guests: Robert Fletcher | Michael Moore | Dr. Donald A. Reed | David Gerrold | Kiyoshi Yamazaki | Raven De La Croix | Kurt Bennette | John Ginn | Mike Twitty | Dave Terubner | Tom Eberhart | Charles Jackson II | Randy Cook | Angus Scrimm | R.J. Robertson | Tom Scherman | Steve Neill | Neil Jordon Terri Hardin and Harrison Ray | Barbara Hambly | Fred B. Phillips (Star Trek makeup artist) | Jim Danforth | Rick Sternbach | Jim Wynorski | Mike Jittlov | Steve Antin | Jeff Yagher | Pete Kozachik | Mike Levitre | Bob Burns | Aly Moore | Vern Dietsche, Jr. | Gregory Jein | Adam Berger | Paula Crist | Brian S. Hanish

Images from the Program Book

The program book was 21 pages long. The cover design was by David Teubner. The interior illos were by Bjo Trimble.

Be Welcoming to the Con Virgins

From the program book:
THE STARRED BADGE. A star on the badge indicates a very first convention. Remember you felt when you arrived at your first con? Remember the joy mixed with sheer terror at stepping out into that crowd of laughing, excited fans? Take the time to say "hello" to a first-timer, and make them feel at home; it can be the step toward a life-long friendship.

Profit Raises Its Ugly Head

From the program book:
Paramount Video Distribution & Home Video Sales was interested in advertising the STAR TREK TV cassettes by allowing Equicon to screen them. On March 26, Equicon was informed that we could not have any ST episodes, right after a closed-door Writers' Guild meeting concerned with getting royalties from cassette sales. We apologize for not having the promised ST Marathon, & hope you enjoy the rest of our film & video program.

About: Some Press

From an article printed in a Southern California college newspaper:

"For those of you not busy over Easter weekend, there will be a science fiction convention not too far away. It's called Equicon, and comes from a long line of such

conventions, most quite successful and enjoyable. The convention will be at the Sheraton Universal, in Universal City (right next to North Hollywood, and not too long a drive from here along the 134 freeway). One of the persons responsible for Equicon, Bjo Trimble, is also responsible for the snake that you see on most Finals Week issues of the California Tech, especially most issues of The Rivet. She drew it over 20 years ago, and it's aged pretty well.

Anyway, Equicon is generally a fun convention centering around visual media, Star Trek, cartoons, and almost anything else that happens along. The cost in advance is $15 for three days, or $25 for three days at the door. Advance memberships can be purchased by mail by sending to: Equicon, 3963 Wilshire Boulevard, Box 600, Los Angeles, CA 90010."[1]

References

  1. ^ Source: The California Tech, a Cal Tech newspaper dated March 8, 1985.