MediaWest*Con/MediaWest*Con 1987

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Name: MediaWest*Con 1987
Dates: May 22-26, 1987
Location: Lansing, Michigan
Focus: multi-fandom
Founding Date:
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front cover of 1987 program book
back cover of 1987 program book

Some Facts About the 1987 Convention

  • the theme was spy shows and the con program reflected it in content and style.
  • this was the first year of the blood drive
  • there were music videos called "Fade to Black," "Jackie Edwards Videos: Music to the A-Team, Outlaws and The Equalizer," Music Videos" The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and Scarecrow and Mrs. King, also videos by California Crew
  • there were readings from "The IDIC Epidemic" by Jean Lorrah
  • there were 44 dealers' tables (there are 13 names of dealers on the waiting list in the program book)
"What's Your Sign?" from the 1987 program
  • there was a con newsletter published each morning
  • 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"
  • from the program book: "Christine Jeffords is planning to hold an informal survey of MediaWest Congoers to learn how many of us have ever been approached by any ratings service to participate in any way in the monitoring of public viewing habits. The object of this project is to provide Neilsen and Arbitron with data to show that fans are a viable demographic subgroup, which, hopefully, will result in our being heard more easily. Christine urges every Conmember to stop by the Phantom Press table and fill out her questionnaire."

Fan Q Awards

For specifics, see 1987 Fan Q Awards.


The con plays were "Gumby Shop of Horrors" (performed Sunday afternoon) and "The Relic Man" (performed Saturday night).

Fan Fund

The fan fund winner in attendance was Maggie Nowakowska.

Party Suite and Other Gatherings

  • Star Wars 10th Anniversary Party
  • Simon & Simon Party: Fiesta de los Hermanos Simones! en vientidos de Mayo, mil novecientos ochenta y siete"
  • Simon & Simon Party: Who Killed the '60's?
  • Miami Vice Party
  • semi-formal filksingers concert ("feel free to join in"")
  • Lost Weyr
  • Alliance Breakfast
  • Star Fleet: Convocation on the Deck (club meeting)
  • Pretty Good Con party
  • The Admiral's Masquerade Ball
  • Poison Pen Press 20 Years of Fan Publishing Party
  • For You Spies Only
  • Banzai International Seminar Party
  • XCon/Triangulum/WorldCon/BrewCon Party
  • sixth annual Remington Steele Soiree
  • Hoofstrikes meeting

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.

Some of the vids shown that year:


  • Co-Chairs: Lori Chapek-Carleton & Gordon Carleton
  • Fan Fund: Deborah Laymon
  • Fan Quality Awards: Kim Dyer
  • Art Show and Auction: Gordon Carleton, Susan Perry-Lewis, Karen River, Keven Lewis
  • Dealers: Lori Chapek-Carleton
  • Fanzine Reading Room: Jan Gosnell
  • Video Room: David Grono, Carloe Grono
  • Photography: Bill Dyer
  • Security: David Manship, Cindy Manship
  • Masquerade Competition/Masquerade Ball: Jeanne Sullivan, Barbara Gompf
  • Gofers: Deborah Laymon, Star Stocking


The official MediaWest*Con page says there was a Simon & Simon slash panel called "More than Brothers?" but it does not appear in the program book.


  • What's New With Dr. Who?
  • Simon & Simon: Still Brothers in Arms
  • Stingray: Collecting Favors
  • Blake's 7: And Now, About This Other Federation


  • Scarecrow and Mrs. King: The Last Straw?
  • Are Star Wars Droids "People," Social Status in the Star Wars Universe
  • The Cannell Panel, or, Even the Lone Ranger Had Tonto!
  • Star Trek IV: It's Good, But Is It Star Trek?
  • Not Hardly Like the Old Days: The Times & The Outlaws
  • White Knights/Dark Knights: Echoes of Medieval Literature in Miami Vice
  • The Chronicles of the Deryni: Exploring the Fantasy World of Katherine Kurtz
  • Dragonriders of Pern
  • Construction & Presentation Techniques for Serious Costuming: Fancy Dressing for Success
  • "/" Fiction
  • Media Fandom: Running on Mutual Trust
  • CPO Smiled as Spock Checked His Pocket Watch: Accuracy for Writers
  • Current Space Exploration Programs
  • No Conjuring Zone: Laws of Magic
  • Indiana Jones/Allie Fox: Adventurer/Pioneer: When Does One Become the Other?
  • Blake's 7: Rebels, Smugglers, Outlaws and Thieves: These are the Good Guys?


  • Star Wars Fandom: Alive and Well If You Know Where to Find It
  • Robin of Sherwood
  • Character Foremost: The Rest of Lee Van Cleef
  • Jean Lorrah: Readings from The IDIC Epidemic
  • Is Star Trek Fandom Stagnant?
  • Star Trek: The Next (New) Generation
  • Was the Return of Remington Steele Worth It?
  • Star Trek Comics & Novels: Pros and Cons
  • Going Pro and How to Get There
  • Artists' Workshop, or Tricks of the Trade
  • The U.N.C.L.E. Affair
  • The Equalizer: Questions of Morality and Trust
  • Fledgling Writers: Getting Started
  • Star Trek and Blake's 7: the Differences and the Similarities
  • Wizards and Warriors
  • Ancient Trekkers: Tales of the Good Old Days
  • Men in Black, Women in Red, Why are the "Bad" Guys More Interesting than the "Good"?
  • The Professionals: "I'm Bodie, He's Doyle"
  • Smut: Why We Read/Write It, or, Try It, You Might Like It!
  • M-M-M-Max Headroom: Wave of The Future
  • Dog Obedience Demo, Or, Your Dog Can Embarrass You in Public, Too!
  • Post Fan-Quality Awards Discussion


  • Dead Dog: What You Did and Didn't Like About MediaWest*Con 007 and Suggestions for Next Year

Convention Reports

I think it was MW*C 7 -- it must have been -- because Blake's 7 was a really "hot" fandom that year and we all thought it would be the theme of the convention -- but it wasn't. I don't even remember what the theme actually was. But Dani Lane did a cartoon that said "Blake Was Here" and in the middle of the night a bunch of "rebels" plastered the flyer all over the convention. Then "someone" bribed the hotel staff to change the sign out front to say Welcome MediaWest Con B7. Of course, everyone involved denied involvement and I remember Lori Carleton just nodded and laughed. [1]
MediaWest was truly an experience! I thought I had outgrown my ability to get by on 3 hours of sleep, but I did it for that weekend. God, the hours spent discussing S&S! [A] and I didn't get in until late Friday evening, and were slightly tiffed... to find they had held the S&S panel at 3:00 that afternoon; so, we tracked down Lori Carleton and scheduled another Simon panel ("S/S: More than brothers?") for the following afternoon. It went very well, although after my initial ice-breaker of "So, you think they're doin' it?", the panel quickly turned into a S&S discussion. And then there was the on-going "who can out butthead everyone else" contest begun by [M U]. (The term "butthead" came from "American Justice", which Jack so lovingly called JP; so it seemed an appropriate name for anyone who did a real klutzy thing, like walk into a light fixture, etc.) We'd meet and compare points at intervals throughout the con; I thought [A] had amassed enough points to give us the championship, but, alas, [M U]'s team came through with some real butthead stunts, so they got the black-and-blue first place ribbon. (We did, however, all agree at the banquet that we would elevate Gordon Carleton to Grand Imperial Poobah Butthead and eliminate him from the running, as we all knew none of us could compete with him!) I guess that will give you a pretty fair indication of how MediaWest went, huh?.... Did pick up several very good S&S zines, most notably Bookends and Who Rides for Justice? #2, as well as More Than Brothers #7, The Brothers File, and Sweet Justice #3. [2]
Re your article on MediaWest: People like you drive people like me nuts with your articles on what MWC is like and what fun it is but people like me would rather be driven nuts by people like you than not have people like you tell us what it's like. so that we'll be determined to go if it kills us!! (Translation: Thanks!)[3]
Actually, MediaWest is an experience unlike anything else. For four days, I am able to put aside work and motherhood and be a fan.... I am able to step into this alternate universe of fellow fans and submerge myself in STAR WARS for days. It was such a different experience attending this year's con compared to last year's, which was my first. This year I barely got into my room when my phone was ringing and Carolyn was on the other line, glad that I had finally arrived. After meeting her, along with her bruised shoulder (but then what would you expect from. someone who trashes Han the way she does), I began to think about the task of unloading my car. (I am notorious for bringing three times more clothes and stuff than I need.) Anyway, I was fortunate enough to secure the aid of fandom's two most favorite husbands -- Mark Fisher and John Hennig -- to assist me with my baggage. After that I made a quick trip to the Dealers' Rooms and scarfed up my contributor' copy of FAR REALMS. It is like a reunion as you walk through the hallways of the Hilton. There are screeches of joy as friends run into other friends. Needless to say, there are a lot of tears and hugs. One really can't help but feel that there are a lot of kindred spirits greeting each other. I know that I have never felt so comfortable with so many new people so soon. The next three days are filled with trips to the Dealers' Rooms to search out the SW zines (of which there are getting to be a paltry few) and standing patiently behind another fan as she sifts through the boxes of stills that contain all of the wonderful photos so many of us enjoy collecting. Then there are the panel discussions, and those who were not in attendance may like to know that there were a great many who attended the one dealing with SW fandom. We all decided that we are still here and that perhaps we are just going through a bit of changing of the guard. I think that with all of the rumors surrounding the filming of the first trilogy, there will be an increased interest in our fandom. It is we fans who have to decide if we want to keep fandom going. Well, I guess that might be the subject of another article so I'll just leave it at that... We went to the Fan Q Awards presentation. Congratulations are in order for WOOKIEE COMMODE and SOUTHERN ENCLAVE for their awards. Saturday evening also features the costume contest, which I am afraid was a bit small this year, but nonetheless had some rather interesting entries. After that, it is party time. It is not unusual to walk down one of the halls of the hotel and see parties having spilled out into the hallways. Sunday afternoon was much the same as Saturday, with panel discussions and then more trips through the Dealers' Room. It seems as though no matter how many times one goes through those rooms, there are more things to see. Then, of course, there is the Art Room to go through. I spend a lot of time there in awe of some of my fellow fans' work. I had my eye on one Luke that I really wanted and prepared myself for what I knew would be strong bidding on him. Well, that night at the Art Auction, I was not fortunate enough to get the portrait I wanted. As I did last year, I had a good friend with me and instructed her to sit on my hand or gag my mouth if I went over my established limit. Though disappointed in not being able to add the wonderful portrait to my collection, I didn't feel too bad since it went for at least $75.00 more than I had intended to spend. The Art Auction is really a lot of fun. It is quite interesting to see two fans go head-to-head to see who's pocketbook will outlast the others. I often wonder how much strain is put on certain friendships, but basically it is all done in good fun, and the auctioneers are always ready to get some action going on hot items. It is really interesting what MediaWest seems to do to time. When I arrived Friday afternoon, I wondered what in the world I could do to fill up all the time until Monday afternoon when I left. By Monday afternoon, I was feeling really frustrated that I didn't get to spend a fraction of the time I wanted to spend with all of the people I wanted to spend time with. I had threatened a few of fandom's best authors to kidnap them and lock them in my room so I could pick their brains for ideas. But, alas, I guess I will just have to go back to letter writing. MediaWest is a truly wonderful experience. I wish that it could happen more often, but then perhaps some of the magic would be gone from it. Part of the wonder of it is that it is so rare and so special. I just want to say that I loved every moment I spent with all of you that I met, and I would encourage anyone who is half-way thinking about attending next year to start saving their pennies and make the pilgramage to Lansing, Michigan. I can guarantee you that you will not regret it. [4]


  1. MediaWest Reminiscing on Facebook dated June 11, 2012.
  2. from issue #6 of Simon and Simon Investigations
  3. in Southern Enclave #17, a fan commented on the Mediawest convention reports (1987).
  4. from "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Art Auction" by Sandi J in Southern Enclave #16