Escapade 8 was held on February 6-8, 1998.
Welcome to another exciting year of ESCAPADE. This year's theme (and we hope the Sentinel fans will forgive us) deals with woad, and British accents, and Horsemen, and, well, anything at all that a 5,000 year old guy named Methos might have been involved in — and given a couple of the Sentinel/HL crossovers we've read, maybe the Sentinel fans won't be upset after all! We rarely pick an actual fandom to highlight, but in light of the fact that Methos fandom got such an incredible boost at last ESCAPADE (thanks so much to Jill and Kay, who brought the just-premiered episode of "Comes a Horseman"), we thought "whatthehell."
- The New Fandom Welcommitee (An informal intro: expect people to be raving about their newest obsesions, including Sentinel, Highlander, Nikita, Buffy, Xena, and The Pretender.)
- Smart Fans, Foolish Choices, led by Colleen, (Charlotte Hill), and Jo (From the folks who brought you "My fandom is okay, your fandom sucks." Why do we love such bad shows?)
- Self-Defense Workshop, led by Tina
- Bastards & the Women Who Love Them, led by Melissa and (Charlotte Hill) (When Methos says, "you live to serve me," any normal '90s woman says, "I don't think so!... or does she? A happy contemplation on the virtues of handsome thugs.)
- Powerful Gen, led by Maygra de Rhema, Atilla the Hunee (Teetering on the edge of slash -- what are the elements of a story that will satisfy us, even when there's no doin' the wild thing? Or are these authors just in denial about their slashy subtext?)
- Slash: a Continuation of Women's Writing, led by Constance Penley (In case you didn't know, in her recent book NASA/TREK (yes, the slash is intentional), she addressed slash as a continuum of women's writing, combining women's romance, and the male quest romance. Join her for a discussion of slash -- where it was, where it is, where it might be going.)
- Obscure Fandoms, led by Carol, Kay and Pamela (Who are Tim and Frank? Jack and Johnny? Hawkes and McQueen? Bud and Ed? WIll any of them be the next Bodie and Doyle or Methos and Duncan? We doubt it, but we love them anyway! Discover the joys and frustrations of obscure fandoms. Clips shown.)
- Babylon 5: Narrative Truth and Chances for Slash, led by Katharine, Kate and Barbara (B5 gave us slash. But was it the slash we wanted? Or are we still bending a universe that prides itself on its own self-awareness?)
- Media Cannibals Self-Indulgence Hour, led by Sandy, Colleen, and Nicole (Stunned to look back on vidding effort, MC plans to show -- and talk about -- some of their best and worst vids, pointing out some happy accidents and some annoying f*ckups. This is a great panel for people who want to learn about vid-making, the work that goes into them, and what to look for when watching them.)
- Professionals: Is the Circuit Dead?, led by Sharon and KC (Or has it just moved on-line? Is Pros fandom split on the subject of the internet? Many old circuit writers don't want anything to do with the new on-line library. They have objected to having their stories retyped an sent out, even on private e-mail. Has the paper circuit given way to the on-line library?)
- Con Vids vs Living Room Vids, led by Jill and Stacy (What are the elements that make a music vid accessible to a large crowd, or more appropriate to an intimate setting?)
- Video Redux, led by Kandy (A chance to revisit some older songvids by ESCAPADE attendees or from Kandy's extensive collection.)
- Bedtime Stories, authors include Mairead Triste, Rachael Sabotini, M. Fae Glasgow, Jane and Maygra de Rhema
- Escapade Party
- The Psychophysiolgy of Garak/Bashir, led by Vicki and Kandy (Do you have trouble imagining what goes where? What is that? What do you mean that was only the first phase?)
- Zine Reviews, led by (Charlotte Hill), Kathy, Dana Jeanne (The real love/hate relationship. Are they just personal prejudice, or do they have real value? What makes a review useful (or useless) to others, and do readers, authors, and editors require different elements? Why does this harmless topic arouse passion at all?)
- Netfic Formatting A: How to Print It Prettily, led by Sandy and Beth (An instructional panel, covering the basics of formatting, macros, and other time-saving tips to get the results you want.)
- Highlander: But I Like Duncan!, led by Nicole, Katharine and Irene (Highlander is a show about much, much more than a 5000-year-old guy who can do cute. Duncan MacLeod for example - he's an Immortal who suffers beautifully.)
- Writing Workshop 1, led by Joan and Sharon (How do you know when you have a story? Including problems of length, pacing, rhythms, shape, various kinds of completion, as well as the obvious matters of plot, character, and such.)
- Crossovers: Heaven or hell?, led by Nicole and dyeka (Hell, they're Heaven for us! A round-table discussion of the pros and cons of fandom crossovers. Bring your opinions and be prepared to back them up.)
- Slash to Print, led by Beth, Carol, and Linda (Can we call it slash when the book is professionally published with gay characters? What if it still hits all our kinks?)
- Slash 2000, led by Katharine and Shelley (Where are we headed? What trends are we seeing now that we expect to change the face of slash in the future?)
- X-Files: The Men (and Woman) in Mulder's Life, led by Caryl-Sue and Pamela (Can he ever truly love? Or does he have too much on his mind to even consider dating anyone?)
- Sentinel: Is the Fanfic Better Than the Show?, led by Russett and Debra (What does it say about a fandom, when there are no episodes outstanding enough to draw new fans? Why does a show so determinedly mediocre draw such a loyal (and prolific) fan base? Can a show survive on fanfic alone?)
- Transformational Fandoms, led by (Megan Kent) and (Charlotte Hill) (Did you ever have a fandom that hit you in a completely new way? What elements trigger radically different fan responses, and why? Note: this is totally an HL panel masquerading as a 'general' panel. )
- Privacy and Community: Pseudonyms, Screen Names and Face-to-Face Meetings, led by Rachael Sabotini, Shoshanna and Debra (As more and more fandom is found online, how are we adapting to the anonymity that comes with it?)
- Xena: Does Girl-Slash Get Us Going?, led by Kim and Deborah (Xena is the first show with a feminine couple to be really popular. What kind of slash fans are interested? Does gender orientation matter? Or do slash fans love slashy couples regardless of their gender? Can m/m fans be 'converted' to f/f fans?)
- Methos: Wimpy Bronze-Age Slave Boy, or Ultimate Ruler of the Universe?, led by Maygra de Rhema and (Charlotte Hill) (Methos shows a certain penchant for playing the submissive, but are his enticing ways really just a cover for the most devious and power-mad man ever born? Or is he acting out the dregs of a bad childhood?)
- Writing Workshop II, led by Joan and Sharon (What the writer of narrative prose can learn from a study of other forms, specifically poetry and drama.)
- More History of Slash Fandom, led by Pamela and Pat (With so many of us considering ourselves 'old-timers' after a couple of years, we decided to talk to some people who were really there twenty and thirty years ago when all this stuff actually started. Join us for a fun romp down memory lane.)
- Buffy: To Slash or Not to Slash?, led by Lynn and Shoshanna (Can we pull slash pairings from this show? Should we?)
- Escapade Video Show, hosted by Kandy
- Fan Entertainment (Filking, drama, and humor. Guaranteed to offend someone, somewhere.)
- GALA Presentation (What would you inject in prime-time if you could. GALA is a large, subtle project: placing artist messages in the heart of American television (Melrose Place). Constance Penley presents slides and a video from the museum exhibition includes excerpts of the episodes that presented GALA's pieces.)
- Art Auction (Fight for the right to take that art home with you!)
- Music Video Show Review, led by Gayle and Sandy (Selected vids from Saturday's show will be replayed and discussed for their aesthic, technical and musical choices. Open to all, for feedback and fun.)
- Slash: A Continuation Women's Writing, led by Constance Penley (A reprisal of the Friday discussion.)
- Netfic Formatting B: From Word to Web, Making Shapely Net Slash, led by Ruth and dyevka (This panel is for everyone who wants to venture into the world of online slash, but gets nervous when faced with the myriad technical difficulties. Relax, it's easier than you think. We look at stylistic conventions, how to make your work newsgroup and e-mail friendly, and the dreaded subject header alphabet soup. We'll also cover some basic info on how to make a www archive site user friendly.)
- Crossing the Line, led by Maria, Melissa and Shoshanna (An instructional panel on how to get what you want (more stories) in a world that may be unfamiliar to you (the web for print fans, and the insular world of zines for net fans).)
- Eroica: Different from Other Manga or Just Easier to Obtain?, led by Claire and Barbara (Many other manga have inspired slashy fan-fiction or 'yaoi'. Are they worth tracking down, or is Eroica the best of the bunch? We'll share some pointers for Western fans who are curious about other Japanese comics.)
- Music Video Show Review II
- The Trauma of Slash Fans in Het Fandoms, led by Laura, Misti, and Gwyneth (Or, what to do when find women doing all that cool, tough-guy stuff you love.)
- Due South: Is 3rd Season an AU?, led by Jane and Sandy (Get that strange man's hand off my Mountie! Is Due South like M*A*S*H* - strong and secure enough to survive the loss of a major character? Or will Fraser wake up and find Ray Vecchio in the shower, and the third season just a dream?)
- La Femme Nikita: An Antidote to Sentinel's Warm Fluffiness?, led by Shelley and Laura (Instead of 2 SNAGs who find standard cop-show baddies, come talk about 6 or more people with their own agendas, who lie, cheat, steal and kill to live another day.)
- The Elements of Drama and Romance, led by Maygra de Rhema, Melissa and Colleen (Can we define the specific issues that make a story "dramatic" and/or "romantic"? Are they the same or different than what makes us "care" about a story or characters?)
- The NEW Wave Theory of Slash, led by (Megan Kent) and M. Fae Glasgow (An effort to update Leslie Shell's classic description of fanfic evolution. Are some characters really doing it? How have the net and other changes in the face of slash fandom affected what we write and read?)
"Crossing the Line: 'Netfans' and 'Printfans'"
In 1998, one of the continuing themes was the perceived divide between Netfans and Print fans. Several fans led a panel called "Crossing the Line'" that looked at some of the issues that divided the two groups. A review of that panel was posted to Virgule-L and is reposted here, anonymously with permission:
[This post is]...a speculative musing over the nature of fandom in both its net and print (or in-person) incarnations.
I was [at] a panel at Escapade called "Crossing the Line," which was conceived of as an explanation to net fans of how to find print resources, and to print fans of how to find net resources. It turned into much more than that, however, at least for me, and I've been thinking about it for days since.
As I began to explain how to make connections to the print world, mundane details like the importance of SASEs, etc., the murmur began to rise of "but why should fans pay for zines when they can get stories free off the net?" Now, that's a fair question, but I wasn't very successful at answering it until Rachael Sabotini, who is fluent in both net and print fandom, explained something to me in words of few syllables.
Net fandom, she said, is about the stories. It's about the stories as *product*. That's what fans want. If they can get product free, why should they go to more effort and incur costs to get it?
I stared at her for a moment. Then I said, "May I have a totally gut-level and uncensored reaction to that? "*Eeeuuuw*."
And suddenly I understood why there was resistance to my explanations of how to establish contact, and suddenly I began thinking about fannish activity and fannish community and fannish 'products', not quite in a new way, but from a perspective I hadn't seen before. And as part of that, I am going to try to drop the term "print fandom," which I think over-emphasizes the importance of zines, of physical products, and replace it with "in-person fandom." That isn't perfect either -- lots of the kind of thing I'm about to discuss goes on by mail and email, not face-to-face -- but it's better.
For me, the point, the heart of fandom is discussion, conversation, and analysis. And I'm not the only person to think this. I remember Barbara T remarking in passing in a slash apa, as something we all knew, "Yes, fans analyze because we're fans. Or are we fans because we analyze?" The heart of a convention like Escapade is not the dealers' room, important as it may be, and frantic though the feeding frenzy at its opening may become; it is the panel discussions.
The heart of fandom -- that is, of what *I love* about fandom -- is discussion and analysis. And not just of shows and characters, which analysis is often done through the mechanism and metaphor of stories as well as through explicit discussion, but of fandom itself. Panels on the history of slash are perennially popular. The wave theory, which is both a proposed history of slash's development and a theory of current slash genres, continues to excite discussion four years after Lezlie originally proposed it. The advent of the net has spurred intense discussion of what makes a fan a fan, and how fans relate to one another and to fandom as an idea.
It's very difficult, perhaps impossible, to do this kind of meta-analysis through stories alone. Some has been done in parodies in the print/in-person world: things like Leslie Fish's K/S story "The End of the Hurt/Comfort Syndrome" (that was its subtitle; I can't remember its title and I've lost my copy and would love another if anyone has one) and Lois Welling and Susan K.'s outline of "How to Write Slash--A Desk Reference for the Millions." I can't think of any net stories that I would categorize as doing this kind of thing, though. (Which doesn't mean they don't exist, of course; it means I haven't heard of them.) And if net fans are indeed concerned with stories just as product, then they aren't interested in joining analytical discussions, in brainstorming with others, in both *doing* and *reflecting on* fandom.
Which is why they would resent being asked to pay for stories, when they can get stories free. Staring at Rachel Sabotini, feeling that gut-level reaction, I realized that I think of zines, of stories, almost as the froth and spume thrown up by fannish activity. Fiction is one of the vehicles of discussion and analysis, but it's a means to an end, not entirely the end in itself. Which does *not* mean that I don't enjoy stories as stories, okay? But I've said for years that I think of fanfic as a conversation among fans, in which one writer says something and others respond, and agree, and disagree, and explore the implications, and collaborate in asking and answering questions. Kat S., on the other hand, a net writer, was startled to hear me talk about responding directly to another writer's work; the idea had never occurred to her. It had never occurred to me that the idea *wouldn't* have occurred to a fan writer!
I realized, in the panel and later, that when I think about sending a SASE for flyers from a zine publisher, or whatever, I'm not thinking in terms of mail-order purchase, but in terms of opening a dialogue with someone else. *That* is something I don't get by hitting somebody's web page to see if anything new has been posted, no matter how much I may like her stories. At a gut level, I don't want to play in fandom with people who treat fandom like a mall bookstore. But if net fans, or some net fans, aren't interested in such collaborative analysis, or if they don't realize that that is so much of what goes on in in-person fandom, then no wonder they are resistant to the idea of buying zines!
On the other hand, that can't be all that's going on, and the generalization that I've been making about net fans can't be entirely accurate, or none of them would ever come to cons. And they are coming; Escapade sees more every year, and I know some are coming to Connexions too, including some whom I'm eager to meet. Much of this kind of discussion and analysis goes on at cons, and no purchase of a zine is required in order to participate, after all.
So I'm proposing a new distinction. Not between "print fans" and "net fans," which is a difficult distinction anyway, since there's the ill-defined group who have been called "print fans with modems" -- like me. After all, I'm sending this out on the net. But between fans who want to analyze and discuss, and to collaborate with other fans in so doing, and fans who don't. And I have strong personal reservations about calling the latter group "fans."But *are* there people who want only to read the stories, and to point others and get pointed toward good stories, but who don't want to do the kind of analysis that, for me, is the heart of fandom? I don't know. I don't hang out with them, if there are (and probably wouldn't want to, except for the practical purpose of being pointed toward good stories, if I agreed with their taste). Maybe this distinction is meaningless, because the second group doesn't exist. Does anyone else have an idea about this?
It was a Trek Mummer's Play written by John M. Ford.
Not every vidder who submitted their vids to the vid show permitted their vids to appear on the convention tape. Click on the playlist for a complete list of vids that were shown.
Vids on the convention vid tape.
|Hey, Hey We're The Monkeys||Dementia, Inc.||Highlander|
|Building a Mystery||Central Consortium||Forever Knight|
|I Wanna Push You Around||Central Consortium||X-Files|
|Never Be the Woman||Central Consortium||Highlander|
|Shoop Song||Central Consortium||Mixed|
|Men in Black||Central Consortium||Men in Black|
|One Clear Voice||Cybel Harper||Sentinel|
|It’s a Jungle Out There||Cybel Harper||Sentinel|
|Full of Grace||Morgan Dawn||Due South|
|Sleep to Dream||Cultural Revolution||La Femme Nikita|
|Tainted Love||Katharine Scarritt||X-Files|
|Code of Silence||Katharine Scarritt||Highlander|
|You Don’t Believe||Katharine Scarritt||Highlander|
|Deep As You Go||Katharine Scarritt||Highlander|
|Scarborough Fair||Katharine Scarritt||Highlander|
|Follow You Down||Stacey D||S/H|
|Save the Best For Last||Stacey D.||Nash Bridges|
|All I Want Is You||Stacey D.||Nash Bridges|
|Don’t Know Much||Stacey D.||K/S|
|Tribute to B7||Carol S.||B7|
|Phone Call Song||Carol S.||X-Files|
The convention organizers released a few comments on the vid show i their post-convention report:
We asked Sandy Hereld to compile some comments that were received on various vids; usually we like to make sure every song is remembered here, but we had so many songvids this year, that may be impossible. We have asked Sandy to add any additional comments she'd like in the guest book; please feel free to look for them in the next few days!
We prepared a list of songs entered in the songvideo show, on an easy-to-use form that included the song title, the vidders, and the fandom (but not artist of the song). The form asked if the viewer was a fan of that show; whether they hated the song; and gave three options for general opinion of the vid (Cool / Decent / Didn't Grab Me) and then included space for comments.
Some Example Comments from many various audience members: (song title in parentheses)
- (Phonemate) Very well done because the joke came slowly and was worth it. Good use of clips.
- (Your Woman) Hard to understand lyrics ~ good timing and technically well-done; I couldn't work out if it was meant to be humorous.
- (Fall in the Light) I liked the video better than the music
- (Hippie Boy) Great vid, but weak ending.
- (Still the Same) Loved the irony when Methos hit Cassandra twice
- (I'm Only Happy When It Rains) Best view of Mulder —fucked up and depressed —I've ever seen (Clean) You created a *terrific* story; great use of FUOT stuff
- (Full of Grace) I cried. This was devastating. What a tremendous eulogy.
There were two vids to a completely obscure show, and it was interesting to look at the comments: lots of "wow, I'm going to have to Find episodes for that show" or positive comments like "wonderful sense of motion—what *is* this show"
About the rest of the comments: There were 35 vids total, and almost 75 people commented."
- (Code of Silence) Sheer Perfection ~ great marriage of clips, timing, and character with song
Vid Show Agenting Controversy
Note: Originally, copies of Escapade vid shows were mastered, duplicated, and mailed directly to convention attendees on behalf of the concom by staff member Kandy Fong. At one point, she supplied some of these high-quality tapes to Mysti Frank to sell at cons Kandy herself wasn't attending, but after learning that Mysti had inflated the prices and kept the profits, Kandy rescinded any permission for Mysti to copy, distribute, sell, or in any way be associated with Escapade con tapes.
In April 2014, it was discovered that Mysti had been making and selling lower-quality tape copies without the concom's or vidders' knowledge or permission, and also without including any of the vidder credits that Kandy had originally provided. Concom member Charlotte Hill then contacted Mysti and asked her to stop distributing tapes in order to protect the quality and reputation of both the vidders and the vid show.
The original information added to this page offering tapes for sale via Mysti's website is below:
The vid show was released on a songvid VHS tape and sold by Agent With Style. From the description: "The wonderful song vids shown at the Escapade convention in Santa Barbara, CA, each year are collected and presented here for your enjoyment through the auspices of Kandy Fong. Capturing every fandom you could think of -- and many you couldn't! -- these tapes are amazing and not to be missed! Available only in VHS tape."
Cons. What can you say about cons? They're fun. And frustrating. And you hate to leave and come back to work.
The con cycle is somehow worse whenever I go to Escapade. I have more fun and get more depressed when it's over. Perhaps because there is so much to do at this con. Perhaps because there's so many wonderful and fun traditions (The bedtime reading, the road trip down the California coast, the fannish entertainment). This year, the organizers added so many little touches that I felt truly pampered.
How does a mobile java cart on site ready to fill your expresso (or in my case hot chocolate) needs sound?. A massage therapist? Or a con suite (yes, it leaked, but it was raining), filled with little goodies. A catered lunch the first day. A brunch on the last day. Oh, and margaritas and a weird blue and white cake in honor of some skinny immortal guy.
Then there were the finger sandwiches and the endless supply of bottled water and drinks and candy and chips.
The vid show was incredible this year. They had so many old and new vids that they split the event into 2 nights. And the variety of vids (along with the quality) was impressive. Media Cannibals did a very nice Pros vid, there was a hilarious multi-media vid set to the "Love Shack" (and of course, there was that funny immortal running across the screen, everywhere I looked).
My only complaint -- not enough new zines!! I know it happens every year that we have both Zebracon and Mediawest within a 6 month period. But you zine eds, don't leave us whimpering until May! Kudos to Jan Levine for her Pros zine, "Roses and Lavender" 2 and Joan Martin for the unusual "Not What You Expect."
I did miss some people who, due to the weather could not make it or could only stay little while (I was awed by those like Kathy S. who drove all the way from Orange County to spend a few hours or Jill and Kay who managed a 9 hour drive from Oakland when their flight was canceled).
The panels: I too liked Constance Penley's panel placing slash within the American literary tradition. But most of the time, I flitted here and there, checking in on so many topics: X-Files, Pros, Due South, the History of Slash, and so on.So is it too soon to go again?"
Escapade exceeded itself in the "traditional catastrophe" department this year; we had disastrous rainstorms that kept twenty or more people from getting to the con at all. And, in what must be a classic fannish tragedy, the roof of the local Kinko's collapsed under the assault of the weather. Those of us lucky enough to be at the con, however, managed to cope with the rain. We had the Sunday brunch inside for the first time in years, and I only saw one spill on the rug.
Panels were, as they always are at Escapade, terrific. And extremely numerous this year! Programming began at 10:00 on Friday, but I didn't go to that one; I started with "Smart Fans, Foolish Choices" at 11:00. I began a conversation there with Kat S. on writing for live shows, shows still in production, versus dead shows, that we continued in depth three days later, into the wee hours of Monday morning. The rest of the panel was spent laying out continua of quality, character type, and so on, and generally having a whale of a time. I wish I could remember it better! Lack of sleep between then and now always gives me amnesia.
Most of the rest of Friday saw me in the art show, getting it set up. I missed both the Media Cannibals' "Self-Indulgence Hour" and Constance Penley's discussion of slash as a genre of women's writing, to my great regret. I even missed the repeat of that discussion, darn it. I did, however, have a great time in the art show. I had been hoping to increase the size and diversity of the show this year, but it was pretty much the same size as last year. If it hadn't been for the storms, however, I know of at least a few more pieces that would have been there. And we did have art from Warren Oddsson for the first time, which made me happy. It also made a couple of other people happy, when they got to go home with some of it!
The bedtime story reading on Friday night was...fun. I do miss the readings of a few years ago, though, when for one thing we got a new M. Fae story - it used to be the "M. Fae Glasgow bedtime story reading," after all - and, more to the point, we got cozy bedtime stories and good read-aloud stories, more or less. Some stories are really better read aloud than silently, like the hysterical parody that Meg read several years ago, and I'd like to see stories chosen for the reading on that basis.
I think it was at the Friday night party that I was walking across the con suite, innocently minding my own business, when Sandy grabbed my arm, hauled me into the conversation she was having, and exclaimed, "Shoshanna's better at this than I am; *she'll* explain what we love about your stories!" I blinked and realized that I was face to face with Jane Mortimer. "Yikes!" I said brilliantly, "you're Jane Mortimer.!" But much to my own relief (and probably Sandy's), I did manage to explain in some detail what I loved (and what I gather Sandy loves as well) about her X-Files stories. One of the reasons I love cons is because things like that happen at them! Jane was looking both pleased and rather impressed at my memory for detail, until I blew it on both counts by disastrously misremembering her XFxHL story and saying I hadn't liked it, when in fact I was thinking of another XFxHL story by somebody else. Major major oops.
Saturday was a busy day for me, bouncing between panels and art show and rehearsals for performances. Early in the morning I was in the art/panel room during the "But I Like Duncan!" panel, from which I heard several people maintaining vehemently that he's *not* a boy scout! I chortled privately, knowing that Melissa, Charlotte Hill, Laura, Sandy, and I would be singing "He's Always a Boy Scout to Me" later that evening...
Rachel Sabotini and Debra T. and I were on a panel I'd proposed on "Privacy and Community: Netnames, Pseudonyms, and Face-to-Face Meetings." It was frightening to me to do that panel; I wanted to talk about and explore (among other things) some of my own prejudices, like the one against pseuds and screen names that sound stupid or juvenile to me, and it's scary to do that, especially in front of people I don't want to insult but who have names like "Attila the HunEE" on their badges. I was relieved when Lezlie made clear that I wasn't the only person who doesn't like anonymous conversations, who feels somehow less comfortable with blatant pseuds in social use than with real or real-ish names. (I'm not sure I respect that prejudice in myself, by the way; but I'm admitting that I have it and exploring its implications.) I don't think the panel came to any conclusions, but we laid out a lot of different perspectives, and everyone seemed to respect the perspectives of others even when they didn't agree with them, and no one seemed to feel either angry at or insulted by me when it was over, thank God. Maybe if I hadn't been so nervous I'd remember it better. Sigh. Much of these sorts of issues were also discussed in the "Crossing the Line" panel.....
Then Lynn C. and I led a "Buffy: To Slash or Not to Slash?" discussion, in which we discovered that all the riskiest, most boundary-crossing pairings on that show are heterosexual: slayer/vampire, slayer/watcher, student/teacher. (It occurs to me now that we didn't list "social queen/total dweeb," but it only bolsters our point.) There are a few same-sex relationships with intriguing aspects, especially Giles and Ethan, but on the whole we seemed happy with the tension of the hetero ones. (Which doesn't mean that the URL of WorstWitch's Ethan/Giles story "Knowledge" wasn't being eagerly passed around!) But -- as I've just been marathoning the show again -- why did nobody mention Angel/Spike? Oh, 'cause it's canonical. Ri-i-ight.
I don't recall making the connection explicitly at the time, but the final panel of the weekend, where we discussed the wave theory and potential revisions of it, tied in with that observation about risk and boundary-crossing in Buffy quite nicely. When slash was first invented, in the late seventies and early eighties, merely to get the guys in bed together was a terrible risk, both for the characters and for the fans. One of the defining characteristics of first-wave slash is that a lot of time is taken to motivate why these guys would be sexually/romantically attracted to each other at all, and what the implications of that attraction are, especially with regard to whether or not they're <gasp> gay. Now, in the nineties and after twenty years of fannish habituation to the idea, the risk and tension of those specific questions is greatly diminished. (If Mulder is in bed with Krycek for the first time and the greatest worry in his mind is whether or not this makes him *gay*...jeez, that writer needs a serious reality check.) But there's still a desire on the part of slash fans to find a barrier, a boundary, separating the characters, and to make their joining *risky*. At some point during the weekend it was suggested -- I can't remember who said it or when, and I wish I could -- that the drive toward kinkier and kinkier sex in the last few years probably reflects a search for danger, for a boundary that can be pushed, now that the mere fact of same-sex isn't so risky any more.
I enjoyed the Saturday night entertainment very much, but then I was in a lot of it. I'll let other people decide whether or not it was any good. The "Wheel of Fandom" was fun to watch, though a little slow as entertainment. And where do the shows get those lines? Yikes.
The vid show was terrific. The feedback forms that were handed out were very well designed, making it easy to make extremely brief comments and putting longer ones in a context ("I am/am not a fan of the show"; "I hate/don't hate the song") that probably helped the vidders make sense of them. I remember being absolutely stunned at several vids, but the only one I remember now is the Media Cannibals' Pros one to "Detachable Penis," which I was overjoyed to see, having suggested a year or so ago that somebody ought to do it and having had no idea that somebody had! I laughed 'til I cried.
The art auction had more energy than I had been afraid it might; it seemed a little slow in the room as I started, but thanks to the art and the fans' outrageous fannish lusts, things heated up fast. Janis C. bought prints of both "To Reach the Sky" and "To Touch the Earth," Suzie's lovely MUNCLE yearning pieces  . This was especially impressive because Janis had never seen MUNCLE; she had been converted by watching "Poor Poor Pitiful Me," a hysterically funny Illya-torture vid by Katherine Scarritt and Pam Rose. What this says about Janis, I'll leave as an exercise for the reader :-) The auction had one of the most heated finales I've ever seen, with Brenda Antrim finally buying [[:File:Urbanjungle.jpg|a stunning Sentinel piece]] for almost five hundred dollars and needing help to walk from the room afterward. Oh, and I got to spank Sidra. I hope the audience enjoyed the auction as much as I did!
Once again, the vid review panel was immediately after the auction, so once again I couldn't go; it's physically impossible for me to sit still and be politely quiet right after the auction. I've tried; it's not pretty. Sigh.All in all, a wonderful con. Well run, well planned, and attended by fun, interesting people...
ESCAPADE 8: Rainy Days and Methos (or, El Nino and El Viejissimo) Feb 6-8, 1998 by Jane Mailander
I usually use Thursday as a drive-down day -- arriving at the hotel at noon, goofing off, dining with the fans already there. This year, however, I carpooled down after work Thursday evening with a fellow Concordian, Marti J. (aka Attila the Hunnee), taking off at around 6 p.m. and showing up just after midnight. This, despite the dour storm warnings. Hey, it wouldn't be Escapade without rain, right? (In that case, this was the Escapade of Escapades.)
Attila is a foaming rabid Methosian and talked animatedly about her fandom all the way down. It was a preview of the entire Escapade convention. Last year's Mountain Media Con newbie fandoms were represented by an even mix of Sentinel fans and Methos fans -- but at this con even die-hard Sentinel fans were skulking at the edges whispering that they watched the show; Escapade 8 really should have been renamed Methos-Con 1. I may be the only person who left the con un-Methosed. A "friend" brought me across to Buffy the Vampire Slayer January 1 (it isn't even a friggin' *slash* show, it's just brilliantly written fantasy!) -- that, on top of TS, Pros, the occasional RGB, and *trying* to keep Due South's torch burning during a Marciano-less third season (while simultaneously leaving a sociopathic roommate) is a bit much. I left the Real Old Guy with the enormous nose and gorgeous bare feet to his constituents and enjoyed the rest of the con.
The wind blew my car southward all the way down Thursday night, and my windshield got a little rain-spattered. But Friday morning I woke to The Deluge. This was a downpour that looked as if a huge bucket of water was being dumped on Santa Barbara. The streets turned into rapids. There was just enough room between the raindrops for people to breathe. I got soaked to the shins just walking to my car to *drive* the half-block to Carrow's for breakfast, that's how wild the raging river-street was. Had a few scary moments wondering if the engine would turn over and if the brakes would work after their wetting. Fortunately my car behaved itself all weekend.
Escapade is less a slash slumber-party/con than it is a spa. The timing is nearly perfect; harried women who've survived the December holiday rush of housework, cooking, shopping and stress, and then the January doldrums, bills and the Superbowl, have a weekend all to themselves to buy zines and socialize away from the hubby and kids. This year Escapade offered the usual massages -- and, new this year, facials and makeovers (care of an on-site Mary Kay rep), chiropractic services, and Java John and his Coffee Cart, showing up at noonish every day to provide caffeinated bliss and aural bliss care of Java John's adorable Australian accent. (The tip jar was labeled "My Next Trip to England," and he and I had a nice chat about our respective holidays in the Mother Country while he got my double-latte.) It's the little touches that make Escapade so special -- makes the fans feel pampered.
Kate E., my roommate, showed up around 1:30 after a nightmare of slogging through the water-logged 405 freeway between San Diego and Santa Barbara. This was her first Escapade, and one of the few slash cons she's ever been to. She brought her life-size cardboard figurine of Babylon 5's Garibaldi.
I managed to sneak away for part of Friday afternoon during a lull in the rain to head over to Stampa Barbara and indulge a vice of mine, collecting rubber stamps. At a whispered aside to a young man behind the counter, he showed me the drawer containing the controversial stamps -- a lot of gorgeous naked men and other gay-positive images in that drawer, but my personal favorite was the Latin cross formed from a twisted coat-hanger.
Friday night was Nanny's Bedtime Stories, which was mainly Nanny's Duncan/Methos Read-a-thon this year. The theme was somewhat broken by my reading of a hilarious magazine article about gay-positive TV shows, and an amusing Sentinel vignette whose author escapes me.
I did like the cake at Friday night's traditional Margarita party, decorated with a blue diagonal stripe, to honor Methos' woad war-paint from "Comes a Horseman," the ep that debuted at last year's Escapade and turned so many sane folks into Methosians. Great first-night get-together, as always. Charlotte Hill is right -- Megan Kent *is* adorable when she's had a few.
A small whiteboard, ostensibly for messages, was on the outside of the consuite door, and a quick doodle of mine soon became my duty to provide a new cartoon every day to amuse the gophers. Friday's was a wolf and panther glaring at each other (DS vs. TS); Saturday featured Opus and Portnoy as Duncan and Methos (HL); Sunday was Rocky and Bullwinkle as Doyle and Bodie (Pros). Danajeanne was kind enough to provide several boxes of her own zines as a reading library for the consuite, which were gratefully put to use all weekend. After all, what better way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon than indoors with a coffee, reading zines?
Saturday morning opened at 9 a.m. with The Stampede (the official opening of the Dealers Room) -- the committee wisely did not schedule any panels until 10 a.m. I picked up a Xena coloring book for my niece, an 8 x 10 photo of Ares for my sister, an armload of zines and a music videotape from Media Cannibals. I got to meet Gloria Lancaster from England, who writes some of the best stuff you'll ever read in any of her fandoms; we squealed and reached for each other, and she was stunned to find that I remembered her marvelous Pros story "On Guard" (No Holds Barred 8, I believe, one of the all-Pros issues). She also did one of the best DS stories ever written, "Silence Keeps the Door," which appears in *Two*.
Panels are one of Escapade's strongest suits -- all of them "P.C.," purposely controversial. You can count on a lively, intelligent debate at nearly any Escapade panel, without getting your eyebrows singed or your parentage questioned. The flavor of the con started with the very first panel, "Smart Fans, Foolish Choices" -- why *do* we like crappy shows? -- complete with the infamous Escapade whiteboard charts graphing fannish continuums (other charts resurfaced during "Bastards: Why Do We Love Them?" and the traditional end-of-the-con "Wave Theory of Slash").
Other panels included a great discussion of Xena/Gabrielle slash and its likenesses/differences from lesbian erotica; "Obscure Fandoms," where people pitched Private Eye, Wild Wild West, Sherlock Holmes -- and one smart woman brought a vid of slashy Frank/Tim bits from Homicide: Life on the Street; Constance Penley's learned discourses about slash and its place on the continuum of women's writing; a squatting-room-only attendance of a Best-of-Media-Cannibals vid show; a heated debate on *Due South's* comic-bookish third season, with M Fae Glasgow providing stunning proof of Fraser's mental deterioration; an even more heated debate on whether *The Sentinel's* fanfic was better than the show (brave Brenda Antrim stuck up for Primal Source against the house majority). And those were just the panels I attended -- the tip of the iceberg. I didn't go to the Net vs. Print Fans panel (bet *that* was a nice peaceful discussion...). There were also several Methos panels which I forgot to attend on purpose.
The art show was the usual Escapade collection of Lovett prints, Mailander cartoons and K/S resales. Much of the Lovett work debuted at Zebracon, including some gorgeous Pros work, a hormone-popping Man from UNCLE picture of Napoleon presenting a rose to his partner, and a gorgeous *Sentinel* picture (a man wearing only jewelry is really erotic). Oddly enough, there was only one Methos in the entire art show -- and Suzi had him fully clothed. Go fig.
After braving another buckets-of-water downpour to eat at a nearly-deserted Good Earth with Kate, we returned for the Saturday night Video Fest! Instead of voting on the vids, Escapade fans provide *feedback* -- a very useful sheet was provided listing each video, the maker, let us say if we liked the tune or not, and write comments on each one. As expected, there were lots 'n' lots of Methos vids, a few Sentinel ones (including the lovely "Hippy Boy"), *one* friggin' Due South video (but a heartbreaker), some fine XF (including "Tainted Love" which *finally* made me understand the appeal of Mulder/Krycek), and the screamingly funny Pros vid "Detatchable Penis." A final video treat was provided by DJ Driscoll, who at ConRad last year had taped Anthony Stewart Head (Giles on *Buffy the Vampire Slayer*) belting out "Sweet Transvestite."
After the videos came Melissa D.'s filks which got their usual roars of approval, a Trek Mummer's Play written by John M. Ford (very funny), and Wheel of Fandom (in which fans of XF, TS, or HL had to guess a weird phrase from the show). After that came a slide show by Constance Penley about an art-piece consisting of subtext deliberately inserted into the background of *Melrose Place,* such as an AK 47 in a mailman's bag or a quilt-pattern of unrolled condoms. My favorite was the Chinese takeout bags emblazoned with the ideographs for "Human Rights" -- it is currently illegal to write those ideographs in China, but the censors just might miss the prop...
Sunday morning was brunch time. Due to the iffy weather, it was held indoors, and people scarfed eggs and bacon before the blood-battle that is a media fan art auction. And *The Sentinel* had the last laugh on the Methosians when Lovett's "Urban Jungle" sold for $450 -- Brenda Antrim locked antlers with me on every increase before finally wresting it away for the edification of Southern California Sentinel fans. Hey, at least *I'll* be able to pay the rent this month... On the plus side, one of my cartoons went to auction and sold for $10.
There were a few more panels, but mostly people just socialized or read zines in the dripping consuite, buckets here and there to catch the drips from El Nino. I did take advantage of the empty video room to show my driving-mate the DS pilot (blurry though my bootleg copy is, she sighed over Paul Gross' looks, and decided that Fraser's as cute as Methos), as well as some sketches from MAD TV -- an XF parody and some rude clay-animated films.We staggered back to the consuite for a slice or two of stone-cold veggie pizza before starting back north around 5 p.m. Pounding rain made the drive scary for half an hour, but the rest of the way was moonlit clouds, clear and beautiful. I dropped Marti at her home at midnight, and ten minutes later I was home.
The convention organizers released their own post-convention report.
"[Panels]: Gee, where to start? We had 38 hours of scheduled panel programming, ranging from show-specific panels to panels about our community, to panels about television, to discussions of slash fic, to educational panels like Women's Self Defense, and the Writing panels. We had a lot of panels. There were so many panels... okay, enough of that.
On top of that, we all enjoyed the free lunch on Friday, the Video Redux (older songvids revisited) on Friday, the Fan Entertainment and Video Show Saturday, and the slightly damp Breakfast Buffet on Sunday! Gee, we managed to pack a *lot* into one convention weekend!
Favorite panels (based on your convention feedback forms) were: Slash 2000. a discussion chaired by [Katharine S.] and [Shelley W.] about the trends in our community, our shows, and our fiction.
The History of Slash Fandom, chaired by [Pat D.] and [Pamela R.]. This is a panel we may do again and again, because the stories there are to tell about the misadventures of our community are numerous and hilarious. Way back when, when having a slash zine on your dealer's table could get you arrested for indecency, being a slash fan had its own built-in excitements. A bit more recently, when pairs of male strippers were the rage at many conventions, there were different stories to tell... Pamela and Pat, as long-time and well-loved members of the community, manage to tell those stories with humour and joy, and the people who attended walked out with tears of laughter in their eyes.The Wave Theory, chaired by Megan Kent and Lezlie Shell. Some few years ago Lezlie Shell, an "old timer" by most standards, created "The Wave Theory", assessing what kinds of fans are drawn in and what kinds of stories they read and write. As the community changes, so does the theory..."
What it was: A fan run convention for multi-media slash fen (plural of fan). Warning: Because this *was* a multi-media (many fandoms) con, this post contains non-Trek content. Escapade only sells 150 memberships and so it's a fairly intimate little gathering.
Where it was: Lovely Santa Barbara California (for those that know the area, it was actually in Goleta). I have no idea how much press the weather on the West Coast of the US has been getting, but we have had some rather epic rain storms here recently, and last weekend was no exception. It rained almost the entire time I was there, and at one point we thought we were going to have to sleep on Killa's floor because we couldn't drive back to my parent's place (only 40 minutes away in good weather).
OK, now that you know the bare details, let me get to the fun stuff. I am not a con goer. I've been to all of two cons in my life (one a badly run Creation Trek con and one a big SF con), and so I didn't quite know what to expect. My sister Debra had never been to one and so she was even more a virgin. So we set out with very few expectations, one way or another.
We had a *great* time. I went to a bunch of panels (alas, the only Trek specific panel was at 10am Saturday morning and Deb and I didn't get to the hotel on time): "Smarts Fans; Foolish Choices," a panel about liking bad shows--I sat there and felt smug because my particular fandom is not one I've ever been ashamed to admit to (it passes the "would you tell your co-workers that you're a fan?" test). "Bastards and the Women Who Love Them," pretty self-explanatory, but it was fun to rate the bastards/badguys on a continuum from tortured to unrepentant, and there was much comparison of Methos and Kronos from Highlander. "Cross-overs: Heaven or Hell?" in which one of the conclusions was that you have to love and have an affinity for each show, and that (unless it's a PWP) you really should have a plausible reason for the merging of characters. "Slash 2000," in which we talked about trends in slash, the merging of the 'net and print fandoms, and some of the resentments that occur between long time slashers and the new slashers on the block. We also talked a little about how fandom has changed, and how slashers are much more out about their genre (the fact that we stood up and fought back on ASC last spring wouldn't have happened in the "old days") these days. I also hit a couple of Highlander panels, a Sentinel Panel, a B5 panel and a Xena panel.
We took in several song-vids. For those who don't know what song vids are, they're carefully arranged splices of shows set to music. There was a great multi-media (many different shows) vid to the tune of "Love Shack," and a couple of hilarious vids about Highlander's Four Horseman (one to the Bonanza theme and one to the Monkees theme).
People I met: Too many to mention, really. Friday night, Deb and I managed to hook up with Killa and Kimbuk3 (a long time asfs/asce/ascem denizen) for a fun dinner and I had other opportunities to chat with both of them. They're both very fun people and I'm glad to have met them and to have faces to put to the names. I don't usually have any clue as to what people look like, so I was surprised that Killa's hair is the color I guessed it would be. I also met Brenda Antrim, and [Janis C] and some other people who knew me from the ng. And Debra met a ton of her fellow Sentinel slashers, many of whom are cool, wonderful people in spite of their taste in TV shows (OK, so Blair is very cute, but that's just not enough).
The Dealer's Room was interesting; the pickings were *very* slim for a TNG fan (although I saw a poster for "Moby Dick" and man, does Patrick look good in it--even with hair), but heaven if you're a K/Ser. Also saw a nice picture of Rene, Andy and Alex (taken at some con or other) that we agreed Cam would go wild over. And *yes* I finally gave in (for the first time in my life) and bought a K/S 'zine (First Time #45) because Killa recommended a story in it ("Quirk of Fate" in which a way swishy Q--see my sig quote--goes back in time to convince Spock to get involved with Kirk so there's a precedent for queer starship captains--guess why).
The Art Show was cool; Janis had some of her G/B art on display (including a kinky little drawing of Bashir strung up by his wrists and wearing high heeled boots), and there was tons of K/S art to be had. After Goddess knows how many years, K/S endures. :-)
Best one-liners of the weekend (most courtesy of Debra and her hip flask, and all paraphrased): "Remember, rape and pillage with your knees, not with your back." On being embarrassed of being a fan of a bad show: "It comes down to one question: would you wear the t-shirt?" Someone (was it you, Kim?) on the concept of Vir/Lannier slash: "They may go there, but we don't want to." Debra on Londo/G'Kar slash: "It would only work for me if where was some sort of alien thing where they became attractive when aroused." Someone when discussing a bad line in a story: "Did she really write *that*?!"
Major Trends: With this particular crowd, the hot shows are the Sentinel and Highlander. I've been resisting the lure of Highlander's extremely cool premise for half a year now, and after seeing some very hot drawings and pictures of Duncan and Methos, it's harder than ever to resist. However, even after seeing some equally hot drawings of Blair and Jim, I will leave those boyz in the hands of my talented sister and her pals.Overall impressions: 1) Being a print fan would be tough on the old pocket book, as would going to too many of these cons. 2) Slashers are a fun bunch of people and it's nice to feel accepted, which has got to be one of the appeals of things like this. 3) Driving in heavy rain is really hard on the nervous system (although I already knew that). 4) My sister + a hip flask = many funny lines. 5) Man, Methos is hot! 6) I may not go out of my way to go to a whole lot of these, but I recommend the experience to anyone who can manage it. 7) Damn, I'm glad it's stopped raining. 
A report by Killa, which in she also comment's on Ruth Gifford's con report:
There's not much I can add about Escapade that Ruth didn't say, except how much fun I had meeting her and Debra. She's right about there being scant Trek offerings outside of K/S, but the K/Sers were well-represented and I have to say something about the gorgeous art. Wow, wow, wow... if any of you are into art and get the opportunity to hit that con, I highly recommend it. Some gorgeous stuff by the best in the fandom (you know who you are, S.B.) and available for *very* reasonable prices.
One of my faves depicts Kirk in his quarters a la Requiem for Methuselah, head resting on his hands. Outside in the corridor, a glimpse of Spock... Another I love shows Spock reclining in one of the old style Sickbay jumpsuits. Kirk is holding his hand and turning to face an unseen adversary, while Spock's eyes are on Kirk. A gorgeous sweep of stars and hinted-at intricate skeins thread between them, a beautiful visual metaphor for their deep connection to one another.
Also, must admit that [Janis C's] Bashir drawing was hot hot hot and will remained imprinted in my memory for some time to come. Mmmm, those boots, that pose, that beautiful submissive arching figure...
(Killa reminds herself she doesn't read G/B...)
Ruth wrote: >I don't usually have any clue as to what people look like, so I was surprised that Killa's hair is the color I guessed it would be.
Um, just what are you implying, Auntie Ruth? <g> Are you saying I'm an airhead or something...?
Ruth wrote: >Best one-liners of the weekend (most courtesy of Debra and her hip flask, and all paraphrased): "Remember, rape and pillage with your knees, not with your back." On being embarrassed of being a fan of a bad show: "It comes down to one question: would you wear the t-shirt?" Someone (was it you, Kim?) on the concept of Vir/Lannier slash: "They may go there, but we don't want to."
Debra on Londo/G'Kar slash: >"It would only work for me if there was some sort of alien thing where they >became attractive when aroused." Someone when discussing a bad line in a story: "Did she really write *that*?!"
Ruth left out her own immortal, "I must get rid of this fucking muffin!" and one of my faves spoken at 2 a.m. (not by Ruth), "But I want to watch my bondage movies!" The theme for the weekend was Debra's eloquent, "Oh yeah. They are sooooo doin' it." (Works well while viewing any slashy scene. Try it!) Then of course there was the non-fan (little old lady staying in the hotel) who asked me what was going on in the dealer's room. I explained (the very short and very edited version) to which she replied, "Oh. I just wondered because it looked interesting."
:-D What to say to that? "Oh, it is," was all I could manage. <vbg>
Highlight of the con--the songvid show. X-Files and Highlander vids ruled the evening, though none could compare to the Professionals vid composed to the classic King Missile song, Detachable Penis. (Must be viewed to appreciate.)
Bad news... if Ruth found herself tempted by Highlander, I'm afraid to say I've been unexpectedly seized by a passion for a new non-Trek fandom that is consuming me entire. AND Kimbuk3 caught it too. :-O Hope it wears off...(And no, I wouldn't necessarily wear the t-shirt.) 
The lyrics of one of the filk songs were published in the post-convention report.
"As has become an ESCAPADE tradition, [Melissa D.] provided us with three filk songs, and wewill leave you with the
lyrics of one of our favorites:
Write a Little Kink for Me. (to the tune of "Dream a Little Dream of Me," by Mama Cass)
- Mean guys who like to shove you,
- Harsh slaps that seem to whisper, "I love you",
- But in your zine whatever may be—
- Write a little kink for me.
- Say nasty things that thrill me,
- Black leather gear would certainly kill me.
- While I'm telling you what I'd like to see—
- Write a little kink for me!
- Strict bondage, and chains tightly drawn, dear,
- Not something I'd miss!
- I'm going to stay up till dawn, dear,
- Re-reading this!
- Rape scenes that last for ages,
- So sadistic that they smoke off the pages.
- Please, in your zine whatever may be—
- Write a little kink for me!
- Spiked collars and snug leather thongs, dear,
- Teeth that bite when they kiss!
- I'm going to stay up til dawn, dear.
- Memorizing this!
- Sweet dreams till sequels find you,
- Sweet dreams of men who sneak up behind you.
- But in your zine, whatever may be—
- Write a little kink for me!"