MediaWest*Con/MediaWest*Con 1992

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Convention
Name: MediaWest*Con 1992
Dates: May 22-25, 1992
Frequency:
Location: Lansing, Michigan
Type:
Focus: multi-fandom
Organization:
Founder:
Founding Date:
URL:
the convention theme that year Beyond the Holidome was a reference to the 1991 problems with the hotel
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Some Facts About the 1992 Convention

  • The theme that year: "Beyond the Holidome." It was based on the fact that the previous hotel, The Lansing Holiday Inn West, failed to honor their contractual obligation to provide "all function space" to MediaWest*Con by double-booking two weddings in the main ballrooms. The convention was forced to hold a banquet and the Masquerade in the humidity of the "Holidome" pool area.
  • MediaWest*Con moved to its new location at the Lansing Holiday Inn South/Convention Center.
  • The first Stiffie awards were handed out before night before the convention started. The awards were partially in response to slash fans feeling marginalized in the FanQ awards.
  • A fan comments on the tensions and excitement leading up to this con, and about unrelated controversy a few days before, see Cover Up and the comments on plagiarism.

Fan Q Awards

For specifics, see 1992 Fan Q Awards.

Skit

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Fan Fund

The winner of the 1992 Fan Fund was Rolaine Smoot; she attended MediaWest*Con 12.

Masquerade Winners

MASQUERADE COSTUME COMPETITION/DANCE Masquerade Winners

  • Best Original Presentation - "The Banshee" -- Valeria Meachum
  • Best Re-Creation (TV-Film) - "Belle's Boy" -- Nea Dodson
  • Best Re-Creation (Literature) - "Morpheus, Lord of Dreams" -- Melody Womack
  • Best Humourous - "Ernest Borg Nine" -- Dan Kozinski
  • Best Cheap - "Lori and Gizmo" -- Betsy Wood and Tab
  • Best In Show - "Christine's Debut" -- Janet Paderewski
  • Best Workmanship - "Lena Lamont" -- Rosemary Slocum

Hall Costume Winners:

  • "Edward Scissorhands" -- Melody Womack
  • "the Sea" -- Cindi Ufholz
  • "Shonnon" -- Jesse McClain
  • "Christine" -- June Edwards
  • "The Phantom" -- Angelamarie Varesano
  • "Christine" -- Janet Paderewski

Door Decoration Awards

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

Art Show Awards

A fan recalls that the highest piece of art was a portrait that sold for $400. [1] Art show winners were selected by popular vote.

POPULAR CHOICE ART SHOW AWARD WINNERS

  • Star Trek - "25 Years of Star Trek: Live Long and Prosper," Joni Wagner
  • Star Wars - "Coy Princess," Joni Wagner
  • Quantum Leap - "Certain Majick," Barbara Fister-Liltz
  • Professionals - "Dualities," Suzan Lovett
  • McGyver - "Mister Mac" Karen River
  • U.N.C.L.E. - "Jigsaw" Suzan Lovett
  • Blake's 7 - "Different Seasons," Suzan Lovett
  • Humor - "Boundage," Leah Rosenthal
  • Fabric - "Robert Vaughn," Carol Jones
  • 3-D - "Alpha or Omega," Suzanne Rosema
  • Horse - "Unicorn Appaloosa," Heather Bruton
  • Cat - "Can I Go HOme With YOu?" Jesse McClain (also winner by unanimous decision of the art show staff of the terminally cute award)
  • Dragon - "Lane," Susan Conner

BEST IN SHOW (tie)

  • "Always Remember the Name -- Enterprise" Jesse McClain
  • "Dualities," Suzan Lovett

Honorable Mentions

  • "Two Joneses," M. Holmes
  • "Northern Lights," B. Fister-Liltz
  • "Lake Night Problem," S. Schrieber

Vid Show

We are looking for any info on the pre-1998 vid show winners. In the 1992 Post-con Progress Report, under the heading of Fannish Videos it only says: "We did not received a post-con report from Coordinator Sheryl Adsit."

Here are a few of the vids that were shown that year

The vid room ran nearly constantly due to California Crew doing up eight hours of "best of" tapes. The tapes' playlist and order was posted on the door, making it easier to figure out when your favorite video would play.

Programming

There was a Starsky & Hutch panel on Sunday morning -- panelists were April Valentine, Linda Magee, Pat Massie and MRK

Cheree Cargill, Melea Fisher, Pat Grant, Judith Yuenger held a Star Wars panel: "Unifying Star Wars Fandom". A transcript of the panel was reprinted in Southern Enclave #32. The panelists explained that the idea for the panel came after "We discovered that there were still lots and lots and lots of STAR WARS fans out there but we were all broken up into little groups. And nobody knew about anybody else, so we decided we would try to get us all together in one big group again and have lots of fun and I think we've been fairly successful over the past year."

Convention Reports

Speaking of the con, how did everyone like MediaWest? Did everyone like the new hotel? At first, I found the layout confusing, but once I got used to it, I felt the hotel was just perfect for the con. As for the rest of MediaWest-it was one of the best cons I have ever attended. The highlights for me were all the different SW panels, parties, and, most of all, meeting other SW fans. My reactions/impressions were: what a great group of people! If the goal at MediaWest was to unite SW fandom, I'd say with the genuine and positive attitudes everyone displayed, SW fandom is well on its way to achieve it! Personally, I felt totally welcomes to the fandom ranks. Thank you all."[2]
You can consider this the Completely Unofficial Dinosaur of Fandom Review of MediaWest*Con 12. It boggles the mind to realize that this was my tenth MediaWest, especially when I think of all the things in my life that can be directly attributed to my participation in fandom. Friends met and made, ideas conceived and debated, zines proposed am published- and all of it thanks to that great melting pot of media fan gumbo, MediaWest*Con!

Back prior to May of 1983, I was a typical "closet fan" of sf and media fiction, completely unaware of what was out there on an organized basis. Although as a Star Trek fan I realized there were other people like me who had written their own 'Trek stories for their own amusement, I had no idea SW fans and fans of other genres were also doing the sane thing and on such a grand scale. The first SW zine I countered was Empire Review put out by Ty Barrett. I submitted some stories, and she told me about MediaWest*Con 3. "You've got to go," she told me. "They have hundreds of zines there." Hundreds of zines? I haven't even gotten over the notion of fanzines in the first place, much less hundreds of them! And so I went, and found myself in the middle of a fan's greatest "fool's paradise" (remember, this was the year ROTJ came out) and the rest has been history.

At MWC 3, I met people like Sharon Saye and Samia Martz who become my good friends, as well as some of the "Big Name Fans" who had before only been names in zines to me. What an overload experience! I don't know how much I spent on zines that first year, but I can tell you I'll never forget how much I spent on art. (Must have been some of those "Jedi mind tricks... ")

The yearly trek to Lansing became a Memorial Day tradition for me, a chance to renew friendships, pursue new interests, buy and sell zines, and generally just cut loose and act crazy with a bunch of like-minded people. We survived great fannish debates like the "Church of Ford v. the Cathedral of Luke", disappointments like the cancellation of Alien Nation, and the sheer fun of movies like Last Crusade. Story ideas flew like confetti (some of those stories actually got written!) and, if the jokes, sometimes got a little tacky--well, where else could we have gone to really let our hair down once a year? Over the years, fandom has changed and shaped my life. The experience I gained in editing and publishing a zine helped me make the decision to change careers in midstream, and the support from my fannish friends has helped me through difficult times, like losing both of my parents. Willing to help put something back into the con which had given me so much, I've done stints at MediaWest in organization, registration, and the art auction. One memorable year (1990), I even did all the programming (and once was enough!). Next year will probably see me back at the art auction again, as well as involved in the FanQs (since I no longer publish a zine). It was especially gratifying at MWC 12 to see the advent of the Star Awards. Many thanks to Judith Yaeger and Cheree and everyone else who did all of the work and put on a delightful luncheon/presentation ceremony. Ya done good, guys! SW fandom is not only not dead, it doesn't even look especially sick anymore.

Congratulations to all of the winners, and I know we will see even more nominees and fiercer competition next year. Don't forget to write Dar F with your ideas for SW programming while you're at it; she needs your ideas and more importantly your willingness to be on these panels to be able to schedule them. And don't forget the Fan Q's when you're thinking of SW zines, writers, artists, etc. There's no reason why SW can't regain its footing in the Fan Q's as well as maintaining the Star Awards.

And I want to add a special "hi" to Z.P. Florian. After all these years of wheedling art out of you, it was a delight to finally meet you! All this, and a fellow Sean Connery fan as well! I'm sure there are lots of other "dinosaurs" out there who could tell stories pretty similar to mine. Fandom may not be a way of life, but it's certainly been more than a hobby. When I think of all the fandoms I've been involved with over the years, SW is the only one I've kept coming back to again and again...So, if this is a "rebirth" of SW fandom, I'm glad and proud to be there for the delivery. Looking forward to seeing everyone again at MediaWest*Con 13.[3]
I hope everyone who went had a good time. I sure did. And there were new SW zines to be had-amazing! A new Tremor, a new Dagobah, Bright Center. Gimme, gimme, gimme! I liked the new hotel although it wasn't without its flaws. It was wonderful to have such a huge dealers' room. Even if it was the same number of sellers, having them in one room was a thrill. I was glad to see several SW panels (instead of a lone panel as in years past) and a renewed interest. My Obi-Wan costume got several favorable comments in the halls. I missed seeing any of the folks who do Vader-did I just miss out or weren't costumes as evident this year? I loved seeing Melea Fisher's Leia rut never saw Mark Fisher's Luke. Come on folks, let's get those costumes on! The STAR aWARdS ceremony was fun and the awards themselves were lovely. The art on the certificate would make great name badges. Can't wait to see what Judith has cooked up for next year...".[4]
The hotel was very nice-actually much bigger than the old one. The staff were, at first, a little overwhelmed by the volume of people. Service in the hotel restaurant was slow! Outside of the restaurant, they did try very hard to please everyone. I talked to a lot of the staff and they were having a ball-guess several of then stayed after work to watch the goings on.

The dealer's room was a delight! Very large so that they had plenty of room to make aisles between the tables wide enough so that you weren't constantly crushed. At the other hotel, they had all the first floor rooms for people dealing out of their rooms which was very convenient. They didn't have this here and I missed it. There were people dealing out of their rooms, but they were scattered allover the place. It seemed to me that there weren't as many of than as there were last year, although my mind may be playing tricks because I bought 52 zines last year and 45 this year, so there must have been plenty of places to buy zines!

All of the rooms for the panels and meets were very large and well ventilated. Last year, Forces of the Empire meetings (and most of the SW stuff) were held in a small airless room. Forces of the Empire rented a series of rooms that were just across from the hotel registration desk that was just great for their needs. They had a room which had sofas and a bar and that was the cantina. They had several other rooms off that which they used for a silent auction and the Rebel Breakfast. The blaster battle was great (I sat in the hall smoking and watching since a lot of it seemed to be outside my room). They had to quit because a guy down the hall complained because he was selling out of his room (and half the hallway). Seems he was worried about the stuff he had in the hallway.

The art auction was nice, although I don't think that they had as much nice stuff as they did last year. Still don't like their system much. There were a couple of things that I would have liked to have bid on but, with their rule of anything with more than 1 bid going to auction, I wouldn't bid on than because I don't want to spend my evening sitting at the auction. It just takes too darned long.

The masquerade was okay. One of the neatest costumes was a guy who had made a Borg costume complete with sounds and a speaker that allowed his voice to sound inhuman. Most of the best costumes that I saw weren't in the masquerade. One lady had a beautiful replica of a Victorian costume complete with parasol and hat and button boots. It was really beautiful!

Now to the best part! The Star aWARdS. I did the announcing in the Corellian costume I had made. When we played the music from the ceremony in SW and Melea Fisher (as Princess Leia) and Pat Grant (as an Imperial) marched in and up to where I was. We started with the 1990 awards. Since the winners had previously been announced, there were no surprises. Of course, the fun part of all this is that the audience really got into this and were making all sorts of comments. The last awards that were given for 1990 were to the three groups/clubs Southern Enclave, Forces of the Empire, and Sons and Daughters of the Force. Pat was giving out the certificates and Melea was putting the medals around their necks. Of course, it was really funny when Melea put the medal around Pat's neck (for Forces of the Empire) and the audience went wild saying it was history in the making. Probably the only time that Princess Leia 'would give a medal to an Imperial! And, with that, Princess Leia tried to strangle the Imperial with the medal!

There was much anticipation for the 1991 awards, as no one but Arwen Rosenbaum (who printed the certificates) and I knew who the winners were! It was sort of like Oscar night! From the list, I pretty much knew who was there and who wasn 't. There were two winners at the con who didn't attend the ceremony and I tried hard to get them to cane without coming right out and saying they had won an award! Melea won a medal for cover artist and Pat put the medal on her or at least tried to- but her [Princess Leia hair] buns kept getting in the way! Everyone had a super tine and half a dozen or so people came up to me and asked if I was going to make this a yearly thing! I went into the dealer's room after the banquet to give Kathy Agel and Pat Nussman their awards. Someone had already told Kathy and she nearly jumped over the table to hug me! Pat wasn't there but I gave her medal to her friend. It was nice to see the certificates adorning the tables of those who won and everyone wore their medals for the rest of the day.

Catherine Churko had said to me in a letter, "A good ritual is a tonic for the mind and spirit," and believe me, it was! I am hoping that it will give SW a shot in the arm and, of course, I hope that it will boot more people in the butt to vote for the 1992 awards!" [5]
MediaWest turned out quite well this year, I think. Things went better than I would have thought possible with a hotel that never had to deal with us before. I like having twice the function space, and more stores within walking distance. On a personal level, the only sour note was that my convention sweatshirt was lost/stolen. It was only the second convention shirt I have ever bought, and the first for myself. [6]
What a great con MediaWest 12 was and what wonderful SW panels and activities! The First Annual STAR aWARdS was the highlight of the convention, as you can see from the photos in this issue. As bad as last year's MWC was, this year's was that good! The new hotel was spacious and accommodating; the rooms were bigger and each came complete with a small refrigerator and coffeemaker. While the service at the hotel restaurant was rather slow and the menu expensive, a special room service snack menu was offered with reasonable prices. The one time we tried it, service was amazingly fast and the food plentiful. There were also lots of restaurants within walking distance as well as two banks (for emergency cash transfusions via ATM machines) and a shopping center (including a large Target store). Con facilities were very large and the dealers' room was big enough to accommodate all the dealers without having them spread out in various nooks and crannies, as had become prevalent at the old hotel. And there was plenty of room in the aisles so that you weren't swept along in a human tide. The art show room was almost too big for the amount of art. Panel rooms were big enough to hold a fair-sized gathering. The four panels I served on were all well-attended but no one felt crowded.

Of course, it wouldn't be MediaWest without a few screwups. At the last minute, the hotel refused to allow us to bring food into the Star Awards banquet and insisted that they cater it. We had a nice buffet of hamburgers and hot dogs, baked beans and potato salad, and it turned out that ours was the only catered affair at the whole con! For a mere $3.00 (or more as donations were requested to cover the extra catering cost), it was the best deal at the con.

The annual blaster battle had to be cut short because of complaints by a dealer who was selling out of his room on that floor and by a woman who was trying to get her child to sleep. Because the hotel is five stories tall, we would like to advocate to Gordon and Lori Carleton that next year separate floors be designated as a dealer's floor (because the room dealers were scattered throughout the hotel and difficult to find), a blaster battle floor, and a quiet floor for those who want no disturbances.

But overall it was a great convention and our efforts to unify SW fandom have made great strides since last year. Pat Grant related Lori Carleton's comment that the SW fans were now the largest organized group at MWC! Who says SW fandom is dead? [7]
The 1993 MediaWest convention was excellent. Most of the panels on SW were very well attended. Tammy Olsen videotaped them and sent copies to me and Cheree Cargill. Cheree is going to transcribe the SW panels and they will appear in SE. I attended two parties -- the Rebel breakfast given by Forces of the Empire and the SE get together. Both of them were held in rooms and there were so many people at each of them that you couldn't move in the room and the parties spilled out into the hallway. Again this year, I believe the SW contingent was the largest group there. Maggie Nowakowska is compiling a history of SW fans. [8] She would like people to list the year they got into SW and a little blurb about how they got into it, what they were doing, etc. If anyone is interested in this, her address is [redacted] She'd love to hear from all SW fans. The convention filled early and I would suggest that anyone who plans on attending in 1994 get their membership in NOW and also call the hotel NOW and get a room. Both memberships and rooms were selling like hotcakes. They had some beautiful things in the artroom but again I disliked their policy of anything with two bids going to auction. In my opinion, the auction is over long, boring and forces the prices too high. I won't bid on anything that has already been bid on. I won't spend hours sitting in the auction room. There's too many other things I'd much rather be doing. I did not attend the skits but judging from the laughter, they must have been pretty good. The masquerade was very disappointing -- only 8 entrants and I saw much better costumes in the halls. Cheryl Pryor, Lin Ward, Debbie Kittle and Z. P. Florian set up a SW doll display in the art room that was the greatest! They had Luke on Tatooine, the awards ceremony from ANH, Lando on Bespin, etc. Caused a lot of talk. Next year this probably will be set up in the Forces of the Empire cantina. It was very well done and these girls deserve a reward for a job well done. The dealers had to stand in line to get tables for next year and the tables were going very fast. Cheree Cargill told me that when she got to the head of the line, they told her that they only had 3 tables left and there were still at least 20-30 people in line yet! They at first talked about a lottery but later decided to limit everyone to a single table and maybe do a little moving around to accommodate them all. That may mean the aisles are a little smaller next year but hopefully not too much. After the con, I was amazed at how many people stayed over and left on Tuesday morning. We all sat down in the lobby and talked and talked. During the con, there is so much going on that you really don't have the time to sit and talk to the people you would like to talk to. After I got home, I got on my computer network with a bunch of the SW people and somebody said, "Why is it that 5 days at MediaWest go by like 5 minutes and 5 minutes at work seem like 5 days?" How true! SW zines that made their debut at MWC 13: A Tremor in the Force #7, Cheree Cargill, editor. Bright Center of the Universe #3, Ming Wathne, editor. Imperium #3, Arwen Rosenbaum, editor. Jandra, a SW story by Lucy Rhonur. There were several multi-media zines containing SW as well as Alliance and Empire #1, which debuted at Revelcon. Also, I am doing a minizine which is at this moment unnamed. It will be available just for the cost of the paper. It will contain a listing of SW and multimedia zines containing SW and contain a list of the stories contained therein and a brief synopsis. The thing so far contains almost 500 zines and Ming Wathne will be adding those I don't have to it. If you're making use of the Corellian Archives or want to buy old zines, this listing will help you.[9]
The art show. Except for Z. Po's portrait of Han Solo and her price- lessly creative SW doll exhibit, there was a total lack of SW related art. Why is this ... especially since SW fans are, I believe, the largest one group attending MWC. SWart doesn't even have to be the main char- acters, though you'll get no complaint from me if dozens of Han -Solo's showed up on the art show boards! But there are those who favor even space vistas ... place an x-wing or the Falcon or a star destroyer for those Imperials among us, in a galactic starfield '" voila! SWart! Cartoons ... surely we haven't exhausted all the humor in the SW universe. I make this plea because I can't even make two ends of a circle meet on paper, never mind drawing any- thing remotely recognizable. It was just so dis- heartening to see such little representation in that area while the rest of SW fandom is running, jumping and leaping at lightspeed. [10]
This con is a limited membership, and limited art space to members only (although, you can buy a supporting membership that will let you show). They have a good sized room that they pack wall to wall with media art. If you can catch an actor's likeness, then you belong to this show. Portrait work of actors is in big-time demand (as long as the actor is). I've seen things go for $900! I have no idea if they take mail in at all - but I know Heather is attending. Last year, I took a 1/8 of a panel. Sold all of the three pieces I showed, and more than made up for the cost of it all. [11]

References

  1. "They had new art slats this year. Interestingly, Media West is the only place I know who has board that extends all the way to the floor. And they sell that floor level space as hanging space! Heather made good money here this year. I hear the top most sale was a $400 piece with an actor's face." -- comment in Artistic Endeavors #3
  2. A fan's convention report in Southern Enclave #32 (1992)
  3. A fan's convention report in Southern Enclave #32 (1992)
  4. A fan's convention report in Southern Enclave #32 (1992)
  5. A fan's convention report in Southern Enclave #32 (1992)
  6. A fan's convention report in Southern Enclave #32 (1992)
  7. A fan's convention report in Southern Enclave #32 (1992)
  8. see "A Brief History of SW Fantime" at Proposed Zines, as well as Southern Enclave #33
  9. A fan's convention report in Southern Enclave #36 (1993)
  10. A fan's convention report in Southern Enclave #36 (1993)
  11. from Artistic Endeavors #1