MediaWest*Con/MediaWest*Con 1986

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Name: MediaWest*Con 1986
Dates: May 23-26, 1986
Location: Lansing, Michigan
Focus: multi-fandom
Founding Date:
1986 convention theme based on the TV show The Prisoner
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Some Facts About the 1986 Convention

front cover of the 1986 program book
back cover of the 1986 program book
video scheduling, includes vids by California Crew
dealers map
  • This was the convention's sixth year as "MediaWest*Con." The theme that year was "#6" (based on the character #6 from the TV series The Prisoner).
  • A fan remembers: "Who remembers MW*C 6 and "The Prisoner" theme...with the giant Rovers all over the place (including the pool fountain)?"[1]
  • there were 615 attendees list in the program book, as well as 35 apocryphal attendees
  • from the program book: "The Third MediaWest*Con Film/Video Competition entries will be shown at various times in the Video Room during the convention (check the video room schedule). Each convention member is entitled to vote once," -- two of these videos were a collection by the California Crew and something called "Fade to Black" by "Wisconsin Videos"
  • Carolyn Cooper wrote and distributed three daily con newsletters, copies of which were posted at registration, in the con suite, and other locations. Fans who had information for this newsletter were to drop it off at the registration table, at Carolyn's table in the dealers' room, or slip it under her hotel room door before midnight
  • there were seating charts at the Saturday banquet, Sunday lunch, and Monday breakfast -- each table sat 10 people, fans had to present their pre-paid tickets in order to "be allowed near the food"
  • there were many more dealers tables at this con due to a decision to create a category of "Gypsy Dealers," dealers who could set up during the day in common areas to be used later (banquet, presentations) with the understanding they had to move their stuff by late afternoon.

Fan Q Awards

For specifics, see 1986 Fan Q Awards.


The fan skit was "Spied Nights." It was written by Paula Smith.

Fan Fund

Party Suite and Other Gatherings

  • IntroCon had a open party in the Conrad Suite
  • filkers were encouraged to used open rooms and impromptu meeting spaces
  • Imperial Diplomatic Reception in Pat Grant's room
  • 4 of Swords Workshop
  • Rebel Fitness Challenge Workouts
  • Royal Family of Amber charades
  • Who Are You Pulling For, a Star Wars tug-of-war
  • Alliance Breakfast
  • Supreme Order of Imperial Forces meeting and awards ceremony
  • Star Fleet meeting
  • Dragon's Teeth zine premier party
  • Blue Pencil breakfast and discussion
  • Remington Steele Scavenger Hunt
  • Arthur Dent's Tea Party
  • 4th Annual Remington Steele Soiree
  • Spies Like Us Affair, U.N.C.L.E. party
  • Fannish Jeopardy

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.


  • Co-Chairs: Lori Chapek-Carleton & Gordon Carleton
  • Security: David and Cindy Manship, Doug and Vicki Carleton, Ealasaid Cutts, Jael O'Connor, Bill Dyer, Bill Hupe, Bryan Effner
  • Fan Quality Awards: Kim Dyer
  • Fan Fund: Deborah Laymon
  • Art Show and Auction: Gordon Carleton, Karen River, Susan W. Perry-Lewis, Jackie Paciello, Bryan Effner, Jeanne Sullivan, Ealasaid Cutts, Keven Lewis
  • Masquerade: Jeanne Sullivan, Barbara Gompf
  • Fanzine Reading Room: Jan Gosnell
  • Video Room: David Grono
  • Photographer: Bill Dyer
  • Archivist: Keven Lewis
  • Dealers: Keven Lewis and Lori Chapek-Carleton
  • Programming: Lori Chapek-Carleton & Gordon Carleton



  • Magnum PI
  • Why an Imperial Fandom, who wants to be the bad guy?
  • Fancy Meeting You Here, cross-universe stories both fan & pro
  • The 2nd Season Syndrome, worse the 2nd time around?
  • You Do What?, explaining fandom to the mundanes
  • SF in Films & TV, lost in translation?
  • "Aye, Captain," the role of the supporting cast in Star Trek
  • Vogon Poetry contest & other general silliness
  • "The Wraiths," slide show prevue [sic] of the upcoming film
  • Return to Oz Worldcon Down Under, a travelogue on the 1985 Aussie II Worldcon utilizing slides and videotape


  • Manners in the 'Zine Scene
  • Watching/Reading/Writing Hurt/Comfort
  • Han & Luke Fans, compare and contrast
  • Which Came First, The Costume or the Character?
  • Where No Man Has Gone Before to The Voyage Home -- the 20 year mission
  • Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, dissertation & discussion
  • Dinner Banquet and Fan Q Awards
  • skit: "Spied Nights" written by Paula Smith
  • presentations by Terry Erdman: Coming from 2oth Century Fox: "The Manhattan Project," "Space Camp," "Big Trouble in Little China," "Aliens," "The Fly"
  • Costume Competition
  • Practical Self-Defense Workshop
  • Care, Preservation & Conservation of Collectibles
  • The Official Star Wars Fan Club Breakup and Implications
  • The Fan Fund's Future
  • The Fan Q's Future


  • A Female View of Males in Fandom
  • I Told My Dog "Heel" and He Bit My Foot -- Dog Obedience Demo
  • Belly Dance Workshop
  • Dress for Success, Costuming
  • The Mysticism in Star Wars
  • The Equalizer: I Found It in the Classified
  • Going Pro: Breaking Into Professional Writing
  • The Demon/Lover & Why We Find Him/Her Fascinating
  • Mixed Media, how to get the most for your money
  • Being There, pro writers
  • A Consumer's Guide to Smut
  • Can't You See This Horse Loves Me?, Silverado & other fannish westersn
  • Steel Hunting Scavenger Hunt
  • Horseback Writers International Meeting


  • Blake's 7 -- Britain's Answer to Star Trek?
  • Brothers in Arms: Simon & Simon
  • Is That a Gun in Your Holster or Are You Just Glad to See Me? -- Romantic Detective Teams
  • Exercise in Drawing Workshop
  • Deprogramming (Dead Dog Panel)

Convention Reports

A Filk in Honor

In the 1986 issue of Southern Enclave #12, Cheree Cargill penned a filk song in honor of MediaWest*Con.

"In lieu of a con report, the following filk is offered in an attempt to sum up a weekend spent at MediaWest..."
Oh, Lord, won't you get me to MediaWest*Con?
My friends are in Lansing, having lots of fun.
With buttons and photos and zines by the ton.
Oh, Lord, won't you get me to MediaWest*Con?
Oh, Lord, won't you buy me a crate full of zines?
Four dozen buttons to wear on my jeans?
An armload of photos -- it's not what it seems,
But, oh, Lord, won't you buy me a crate full of zines?
Oh, Lord, won't you buy me a Liltz for my wall?
A Wagner or Dunster to hang in my hall?
That portrait of Harrison -- I think I want 'em all!
Oh, Lord, won't you buy me a Liltz for my wall?
Oh, Lord, won't you win me a Fan Q Award?
Worked hard on my fanzine, oh, so very hard.
I'm not a great artist and I'm not a bard,
But, oh, Lord, how I want just one Fan Q Award!
1986 convention T-shirt with a theme from The Prisoner
Oh, Lord, let me party each night 'til I drop!
And fill up on junk food, 'til I want to pop!
I'm having a great time -- I don't want to stop!
Oh, Lord, let me party each night 'til I drop!
Oh, Lord, won't you get me next year to the Con?
The weekend just flew past; where has it gone?
But it's on to the airport; farewell to Hilton.
Oh, Lord, won't you get me next year to the Con?
(to the tune of "Mercedes Benz" by Janis Joplin)

A Miami Vice Party

This "VICER" just came back from Mediawest which was in Lansing Michigan. There I hooked up with other "VICERS" for the very first time... Needless to say I had wonderful time. There I met [Susan H], [Lucy C], [Dani L], & [Mary P]. Mary & I roomed at the convention together. It was many long nights of Vice talk. We also met other fans that had an interest in Vice. We all got together for a Vice Party on Friday night to watch, what else, MIAMI VICE. It was fun. The art show was to die for. Mary & I walked away with what we feel [to be] the two best pieces of art in the show. Yes, the old check books were pretty low after that, but it was well worth every penny. We all had a great time. It was so much fun meeting and talking Miami Vice with others who enjoy the show as much as I do. [2]

General Reports

A con that I was looking forward to very much was MEDIA WEST since I'd heard so very much about it. But I tell you folks, I was greatly disappointed - yes, they had a great art show, and yes, the dealers room was nice. But can you believe they only had a handful of K/S zines, one - which was mine and the other being NOME. Cathy from DATAZINE had others from the gals down LA way but that was all folks. I knew this and it still didn't stop me from buying my other media zines.

The kicker to this con was the unforgivable way they treated Star Trek. Star Trek was like a disease that no one wanted to talk about. I think the thing that pissed all us Trekkers off was the way in which they handled the Fan Q awards. Syn won for best Trek writer and the person who was handing out the awards didn't even mention the category or who won; she just said "Gee, we have a problem here; I don't know how to get this award to the winner." Half the people never knew who won until Barbara Story of NOME finally yelled "I know her and I'll see that she gets it." Barbara then proceeded to ask the presenter to announce the award like it should be. When it came to Caren Parnes winning for Best Artist, they ran out of certificates. But my friends, the funny part to all of this is - NO AWARD for best Trek zine won over zines like. Mainly Trek, Mind Meld, and Nome. Come on! - I just can't believe that. Now I know its only hearsay, but the announcer was heard to comment "What do you expect when you have four pieces of drek" - of course, no award would win. There's more to tell. Neither Joey Shoji or Flora Post won for best Trek filkers - I find that very hard to believe. Joey is a very close personal friend of mine and I know that a large number of people have heard his filks along with other songs that he has written. You mean to tell me that no award is a best choice for these two Trekkers.

I'm sorry - I really wanted to like this con. I had heard so much about it and was thinking of going each year. I can't in all honesty support a con whose attitude towards Trek is such that it shows it doesn't care. If you were a new fan into Trek you sure wouldn't have a good time there unless you knew some of the Trekkers. If you didn't know one of the people in the know you'd feel left out. Not a nice way to treat other fellow fans. When it comes to a good convention my vote goes for SHORE LEAVE every time. No matter what you're into - be it K/S or whatever - YOU are always welcome! After all, Trekkers are the nicest people around. I know myself that if I meet a new fan for the first time I really try to make that person feel a part of the whole scene. [3]


  1. MediaWest Reminiscing on Facebook dated June 11, 2012.
  2. con report by Noel Silva in Bernay's Cafe #5
  3. from K/S & K.S. (Kindred Spirits) #20 (June 1986)