MediaWest*Con/MediaWest*Con 1984

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Convention
Name: MediaWest*Con 1984
Dates: May 25-28, 1984
Frequency:
Location: Lansing, Michigan
Type:
Focus: multi-fandom
Organization:
Founder:
Founding Date:
URL:
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Some Facts About the 1984 Convention

front cover of 1984 program book
back cover of 1984 program
a flyer for 1984's con
  • The theme that year was: "MediaWest*Con IV: The Search for the Midwest" (a play of words based on Star Trek III: The Search For Spock).
  • The First MediaWest*Con Film/Video Competition was held and judged by popular vote.
  • Many fans went to see "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom."
  • The cost was $17, plus three first class stamps (the latter for the S.A.S.E.s).
  • In 1986, the LA Weekly reports that "the highest bid ($800) in the [1984] art auction featured a bare-chested Mr. Spock against a black background cradling a tiny, Captain Kirk in his outstretched hand."[1]
  • Membership was capped at 500.
  • "The MediaWest*Con program book had a very interesting ad which read: "ATTENTION ALL STAR WARS FANS: What do Star TREK fans have that we don't? They have the Star Trek Welcommittee—that's what!" The Star Wars Fandom File of Cincinnati, Ohio, placed the ad. This organization did not last very long, however." -- From Joan Marie Verba, Boldly Writing

Fan Q Awards

For specifics, see 1984 Fan Q Awards.

Skit

The con plays: the Datazine editors presented Star Trek in the style of "Mister Rogers." Nikki Cadwell wrote and coordinated "Trek Wars: A New Enterprise, or... No Hope." Joan Verba appeared in the play, "In Search of Spock" written by Carol Christensen (Reeg).

Masquerade Winners

We are looking for any info or photos of the Masquerade contest and winners.

Art Show Awards

Art show winners were selected by popular vote.

We are looking for any info about the Art Show contest.

Vid Show

We are looking for any info on the vid show winners.

Programming

Some panels: "Fen vs. Mundanes," "Requirements for Hero in Fandom," "Accuracy in Fiction and Art," "In Defense of the Star Trek Welcommittee (Is it Obsolete?)", "British Media Fandom," "BEM-FIC: Writing Alien Characters," and "Japanimation"

Convention Reports

From two fans named Peggy and Diane:
Peggy and I arrived at the Lansing Hilton parking lot at 2:00 p.m., Friday, May 25th. We then sat in the car trying to decide whether or not to turn around and go home. Neither of us was sure we would "fit in" since this was our first fandom convention.

Deciding I didn't want to drive another four hours back to Indiana, I pushed convinced Peggy to get out of the car by promising her that she could spend the entire weekend watching Indiana Jones, if she wasn't having fun. The Hilton was lovely. There was a spacious combination lobby and bar which opened onto an indoor pool. Our room was equally large and comfortable—two beds, color TV, HBO—the works! For food, we particularly appreciated the Denny's directly across the highway—great food and low prices. Ugh! I'm beginning to sound like an ad campaign. After checking into the convention, name tags and all, we set out for the dealers' rooms to pick up zines and whatever else looked interesting. There were three dealers' rooms crammed with tables and dealers and no room to move. But what a wonderful way of meeting and making friends—lots of body contact. I suspect that this was planned to insure mingling. With a stack of zines in hand we left the dealers' rooms in search of our pen pal from Pennsylvania. We had arranged to meet Friday evening for dinner and conversation. On the way to the front desk we saw our first fan in costume. She was a young, curvacious blond dressed in a skimpy Barbarian costume. Peggy commented, "Now I know we don't 'fit in'!" What she really meant was we wouldn't FIT into that costume. Bold people that we are, Peggy and I waylaid the resident Barbarian and asked her to pose for some pictures. She kindly agreed and humored us neofans with an explanation of her costume. Peggy and I mutually agreed not to show these pictures to our husbands for fear we would never be able to come to another convention without them in tow. And, however much I hate to admit it, half the attraction of this con was a chance to get away from home for a few days. Meeting our friends from Pennsylvania for dinner was the first step in making us feel at home. They had been to this convention the year before and gave us inside information on what not to miss. Not only that, since they live near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, we got to see some of the inside happenings and personal photos of Harrison Ford who was filming Witness there in May and June. Later that evening we met with some East Coast friends in the lounge to have a drink and a SW discussion. What a great group of gals! This was a highlight for us, since normally we only have each other and, occasionally, our husbands (when we corner them) to discuss the in's and out's, the flaws and inconsistencies of the SW plot line. It was great fun and we enjoyed their theories of what really happened in the three SW movies and what will happen in the next three. They didn't convert us to their way of thinking, but what they said did make sense, corrected all the apparent plot flaws and inconsistencies, and we hope they are right. They dazzled us with their interpretations of the SW Saga and made us feel very welcome throughout the weekend. The daytime activities consisted of various panel discussions on a wide variety of topics. Peggy and I chose, according to our own interests, but there was something to interest everyone. The most outstanding panel we attended was about the characterization of women in science fiction media through the years. Several of us gathered afterward to continue the discussion until we had to leave because of another scheduled panel. There were lots of laughs, too, most of which were provided by the class of 73 of Dagobah U. One skit was a wonderful combination of SW and ST in with A New Hope was reenacted with Captain James T. Kirk at the helm trying to save poor Luke. Even Indiana Jones appeared running along the Death Star corridors. The second skit was a reenactment of ROTJ in which Vader, Luke and Leia at one point all wore huge red "Family" ties. Their skits were hilariously funny and, believe me, nothing was sacred in their Tacky-Tacky Productions. Saturday evening was the big banquet and Fan-Q Awards presentations. The food, however, was terrible for the price (our only bad comment), but where else can you dine with a great Luke Skywalker and Indiana Jones at your table, not to mention some other wonderful characters from Star Trek and the Road Warrior? The entertainment was two skits. One was a musical version of ROTJ, which left all our facial muscles hurting from constant smiles and laughter. The other was based on Time Travel and hit upon several popular science fiction stories and characters. It was equally enjoyable. After a short intermission, the costume judging began. We had seen many costumes throughout the day, but the best were saved for the contest. Points could be made by the contestants in the ways their presented their costumes, so we were treated to some short, but very entertaining skits. Lumpy was in the audience to encourage the contestants—and he was a show unto himself! Peggy and I thought it especially nice that the prizes for the best SW costumes were furnished, unsolicited, by Lucasfilm. And, although I really can't go into all the winners (my memories are already foggy), I'll mention a couple of our memorable favorites. (Had I known Peggy and I would be asked to write this, I would have made notes.) One of the winners for the best SW costume was Jeanine Hennig who dressed exactly like Oola from ROTJ and her presentation was the slave girl dance routine to the appropriate music. I'm happy to report, however, that Jeanine did not lose her top during the entire presentation! There were two beautiful SW group presentations, one of which was the reenactment of the medal presentation from ANH. That received a standing ovation as the whole room became the applauding rebel soldiers from that scene. It captured much of the initial excitement of seeing SW for the first time. I recall a fabulous Pegasus who won, a superb Nicodemus from The Secret of Nimh, the most beautiful Leia from a popular fanzine illustration and three humorous fellows dressed in nothing but baker's aprons and ties from SCTU. I could go on and on. All were breathtaking and we will be enjoying the pictures we took for years to come. We all met in the lobby after the costume contest to catch buses to see the midnight showing of—what else? Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Needless to say, it was especially fun with a sell-out crowd of fans, but it definitely made for a long and tiring evening. Since this was our only chance to see IJATTOD on a 70mm screen with Dolby stereo, Peggy and I felt compelled to see it again on Sunday afternoon, after things had quieted down a bit at the con. When we returned from seeing IJATTOD, the Art Auction was in full swing. The art had been on display throughout the con and all of it was excellent. The excitement at the auction was contageous and I had to hold Peggy in her chair and gag her everytime an Indiana Jones picture came up for bid. We finally left for the sake of our pocketbooks and Peggy's self-respect. To give you an idea of how expensive this type of collecting can be, one oil painting sold for $700.00! And we could see that the whole Art Auction process had a very "jump-on-the-bandwagon-and-buy" feeling in the air. Everyone urging each other on to buy his or her favorite artist or character. The rest of the evening we spent relaxing, reading some of the zines we had bought and rehashing the weekend.

There were some other unexpected guests at the hotel this year (supposedly this will not happen again) who were causing some trouble in the hallways. After hearing some unpleasant remarks made to one of the con guests outside our door, we called Security and they immediately took care of the problem. What was neat was that a wonderful Luke Skywalker showed up at our door, so we really felt safe, though we wouldn't have minded Han or Dr. Jones being there, too—just in case. (You know, I wonder which would be faster—a lightsaber, a blaster or a trusty bullwhip?) We had a great time and we left for home the next day trying to figure out how we could manage to see IJATTOD again. We did manage on the way home. I mean, why get home early and have to fix dinner, right? The coordinators of this con did an excellent job of making everything run smoothly. If there were problems, we were not aware of them. Our only problem about returning next year is that Peggy is reluctant to attend with a much-awaited and longed-for six-month old nursing and, probably teething, baby on her hip. But, we'll see. A lot can happen between here and Lansing... [2]

References

  1. "Sigh-Fi" an article about slash fandom published in the August 22, 1986 LA Weekly Risky Business, reprinted in On the Double #1.
  2. from Scoundrel #5