MediaWest*Con/MediaWest*Con 1994

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Convention
Name: MediaWest*Con 1994
Dates: May 27-30, 1994
Frequency:
Location: Lansing, Michigan
Type:
Focus: multi-fandom
Organization:
Founder:
Founding Date:
URL:
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Some Facts About the 1994 Convention

1994 program book cover
  • There were approximately 70 dealers in the dealers room and 25 room dealers.
  • The convention organizers Gordon Carleton and Lori Carleton obtain their first convention email address on AOL.
  • The advertising section in the program book announced that Gordon Carleton "has designed a series of fannish "wallpaper" for Windows PC users in the form of small bitmap (.BMP) Images designed to be tiled (repeated to form a pattern), representing a number of fandoms. Send SASE for details."
  • From the program book: "Anyone: who accesses any of the electronic bulletin boards is asked to send Media West*Con copies of anything referring to the convention that appears on the nets. Since we do not subscribe to GEnie, CompuServe or Prodigy, we have no idea what rumors might be swirling through those services, and we appreciate any help in tracking down comments. etc., as well as the opportunity to "set the record straight on a timely basis."
  • Mailboxes Etc was onsite to offer fans a fanzine shipping service: "Buy too many 'zines to carry home? Need to ship boxes of merchandise home because the airline won't let you on the plane with tons of baggage?"
  • From the program book: "Gordon has designed a series of fannish "wallpaper" for Windows PC users, in the form of small bitmap (.BMP) images designed to be tiled (repeated to form a pattern), representing a number of fandoms. Why look at hardware or software advertising on your PC when you can replace it with symbols of your own fannish interests? Send a legal-size SASE for info." (It is unknown if there was a fee charged for this fanwork.)
  • There were ads in the porgram book for: Star Trek Welcommittee, Friscon 1994, "LeapLine" ("317-SAM-0808, Scott & Dean news too!"), Weekend in the Country #7, IndyLeap 94, and various zine ads in the program book.
  • At the back of the program book was an announcement of the new room lottery that would go into effect in 1995: "This system was set up after long discussions with the Holiday Inn South after we received many complaints that people were shut out last year before they had a chance to even attempt to reserve a room at the Holiday Inn South. To date, we have received complaints from approximately 25 people who do not like the new system. Give it a try for 1995, and we are open to suggestions on how to handle room reservation requests at the hotel for future years. For those who wonder, we have always determined MediaWest*Con's location based on the amount of function space. The Holiday Inn South is the largest hotel in Lansing, and also has the largest number of nearby hotels. Because we live in Lansing, we do not anticipate moving MediaWest*Con outside the area. There are facilities with more function space, but they are more limited In terms of immediately available hotel guest rooms."
  • Orion Press one of the largest Star Trek fanzine publishers dropped out of the FanQ Awards. Five years later the Orion Press noted in a post to alt.startrek.creative that: "We simply ignore the award, much like we do the convention itself."[1]
  • from the post-con report: "Those of you who read your Program Books know we offered a prize to the first person to turn in the correct identities of each character (and the fandoms their costumes represent) as pictured on the Program Book cover. For those of you who wanted to know the official answer, here it is: Mighty Mouse/Batman, Pink Panther/Dr. Who, Mickey Mouse/Star Wars, Roger & Jessica Rabbit/U.N.C.L.E., Bullwinkle/Northern Exposure, Little Mermaid/SeaQuest, Michigan J. Frog, Gertie the Dinosaur/Jurassic Park, Pinocchio/ST:TNG, Woody Woodpecker, Mr. Magoo/Alien Nation, Fred Flintstone/Star Trek (TOS), Betty Boop/NYPD Blue, Minnie Mouse/Star Wars. No, we didn't say they all represented fandoms. Kudos to whoever thought Woody Woodpecker was a "wood vampire," and suggested Michigan J. Frog was the DNA donor for Jurassic Park; wish we'd thought of it! Blankman T's were awarded."

Fan Q Awards

For specifics, see 1994 Fan Q Awards.

Skit

Saturday night skits included "The Naked 'Toon'" by Cathie Whitehead, and "Shakespeare At The Con" as adapted by Ken Keisel.

"We apologize for the delays due to costuming problems. The playswere also carried on the hotel's closed circuit channel, for those of you who weren't taping the last episode of ST:TNG."

Fan Fund

The winner of the Fan Fund was Linda Shadle.

Party Suite and Other Gatherings

There was a Real Ghostbusters party, a Starsky and Hutch party, and others.

On Saturday, the members of Virgule-L mailing lists hosted a joint room party with the Strange Bedfellows APA.

There was also a full-page ad in the program book for "A Party with Chris Potter (Peter Caine), a private party sponsored by Toronto Trek in which the actor would be present to sign his autograph. Tickets were $20, fans had to have a membership to Toronto Trek VIII, 150 tickets were available. There would be a cash bar.

Masquerade Awards

Seth Bonder, Winston Howlett and Roberta Rogow were Masquerade judges.

The awards were:

  • Honorable Mention in Workmanship (Beading): "Lady Nadia," by Melody Womack
  • Best All Around Workmanship: "Dinner Is Served," by Mary Jean Holmes
  • Honorable Mention -- The Callahan's Crosstime Saloon Award
  • For the Most Ghodawful Pun: "Anomaly," by David & Cindy Manship, Barry Marlaw, and Kim Dyer
  • Best Historical Recreation: "1893 Ball Gown," by Karen Pauli
  • Best TV/Film Recreation: "The Crow," by Wolf and Laura and Shelley
  • Best In Show: "Sister Scrvalon's Traveling Salvation Show," by Connie Olberding, Tina Fisher, Martynn, Connie Edwards, Bruce Hubert, Ann Wortham

Door Decoration Awards

X-Files fans wrote about an X-file themed door decoration: "It had a whole bunch of headlines from the Weekly World News and the Sun about aliens and vampires and such, and a glowing X, like the title from the series. It was cool!"[2]

  • Best In Show: "Reichenbach Falls", Room 569
  • Enforcement
    • 1st Place: "Ask For Caine," Room 249
    • 2nd Place: "S&H--A Love Story," Room 304
    • 3rd Place: "Justice," Room 267
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy
    • 1st Place: "S.S.R.N. Seaview," Room 434
    • 2nd Place: "X-Files," Room 514
    • 3rd Place: "Animaniacs W ater Tower," Room 567
  • Media Personality
    • 1st Place: "Your Brain On Ford," Room 226
    • 2nd Place: "2 Hunks On A Door," Room 318
    • 3rd Place: "All Men Are Not Equal," Room 504

Art Show and Auction

Art show winners were selected by popular vote.

At the art auction a Highlander drawing sold for over $600. Karen Eaton sold some cartoons and Suzan Lovett's MUNCLE piece went for over $400.

From the post-con report:

The only real problem was a miscommunication concerning the acceptance of credit cards (we don't).

The auction started on time and finished before midnight. A hand written auction list was posted prior to the start of the auction, and a complete printed auction list soon followed. The list was shown on the hotel's closed-circuit TV channel as well. We were able to begin buyer pickup and payment during the auction. Special thanks to our auctioneers, who sacrificed their throats in the line of duty. Announcements of the Art Show awards (as determined by popular vote) were also carried on the in-house TV... Proceeds from Mug Shots and Veronica Stade's "Falling Stars" quilt went to the Fanzine Taping Service for the Visually Handicapped.

Winners:

  • SCIENCE FICTION (tie): New Kids In The Quadrant -James Wappel & In The Beginning - Joni Wagner
  • FANTASY: Robin or Sherwood - Warren Oddsson
  • DETECTIVE(tie): Dragon & Tiger- Barbara Fister-Liltz & Steele Yours - Joni Wagner
  • SECRET AGENT: Days Of Their Lives - Suzan Lovett (MUNCLE)
  • ANIMATION: Their Names Are Bruce & Dick - Larry DeSouza
  • HUMOR: Cutting Humor - Leah Rosenthal
  • 3-D (tie): Time Warp - Kate Nuernberg & Chess, Anyone? - Preston Gustine
  • FABRIC: David - Carol M. Jones
  • WESTERN: All For One - Kate Nuernberg
  • HORROR: Time To Play - Frank Liltz
  • PORTRAIT (tie): Knightfall - Frank Liltz & La Famille - Barbara Fister-Liltz
  • CRITTER: Tight Fit - Jesse McClain
  • BEST IN SHOW(tie): The Highlanders - Warren Oddsson & Trinity- Barbara Fister-Liltz
  • MUG SHOTS/FAVORITE THOUGHT: I Don't Drink...Blood - Barbara Fister-Liltz
  • MUG SHOTS/SICKEST MIND: Tiny Little Tea Leaves - Leah Rosenthal
  • MUG SHOTS/FAVORITE NOSTALGIC: Dragon Flagon -- Scott Rosema

Vid Show

From the 1994 Post-Con Progress Report

HUMOROUS:

VIDEO BOX:

SONG INTERPRETATION/SINGLE MEDIA: (three way tie)

  • "Goodnight, Saigon," by California Crew- Brave Co.

SONG INTERPRETATION/MULTI-MEDIA

  • "Storybook Lovers" by Icy Optiks - California Crew

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Programming

Friday

  • Stephen J. Cannell series: Is there more going on here than just car chases and catchy music? Discussion group.
  • Buddy shows: Can partners from two different backgrounds build a trusting relationship? D. Hicks, C. Rancourt
  • Role playing : Why are all you people dressing up when it isn't even Hallowe'en? T. Cason, P. Grant
  • Horror: Why do we love to be frightened and/or grossed out? J. Hoffman, H. Nachman, D. Rojano
  • Babylon 5: Can it avoid the inevitable comparison to Star Trek? G. Blog, M. Espenshade, J. Gold, K. Keisel, Martynn
  • Writing: Is it possible to collaborate and still remain friends? B. Cope, J. Evans, M. Urhausen, C. Walker
  • Alien Nation: Have the novels helped regenerate the fandom? T. Bogolub, J. Cassell, J. Fennick, S. Hovde
  • Theatrical combat: Using swords, rapiers and other sharp instruments without hurting your opponent. The Ring of Steel.
  • Lethal Weapon: Can the fandom survive without another sequel? Discussion group.
  • Star Wars: Darth Vader - Man or machine? T. Bentrup, D. Hoyt, M. Schuller, V. Wilson
  • Writing: How much research should I do so I sound like I know what I'm talking about without inundating my reader with too much detail? F. Driver, D. Hicks, K. Parker, S. Wisdom
  • Star Trek: Deep Space: Has Michael Pillar stayed true to Gene Roddenberry's vision? J. Monis, P. Poole, L. Sandler, A. Smith, B. Storey
  • Theatrical combat: An open workshop. The Ring of Steel
  • The Professionals: Is this fandom episode-based or fanfic-based? M. Brin, G. Rsher, S. Powell.
  • Phantom of the Opera: Why did this particular play spark such a dedicated fandom? G. Rtts, J. Mergenhagen, H. Nachman, R. Schindler, L. Thomas
  • Quantum Leap: In a series based on changing history, can they say Sam "never" returned home? B. Cope, G. Himes, T. Librande, D. McLevy, K. Norquest
  • Art: How do I overcome the problems unique to erotic art? T. Cason
  • "Young stuff": What is it about these stud puppies that we find so appealing? S. Garinger, D. Meinking, H. Nachman, M. Urhausen
  • Odd couples: Why do we fall for not quite human heroes? H. Commodore, S. Himmanen, S. Kaminsky, G. Kapmanis, E. Landman
  • Highlander: What ultimate effect will the Watchers have on the Immortals? G. Blog, J. Mergenhagen, l. Savignano, R. Schindler, C. Schlein
  • Computers: Will the wide spread use of computer networks have an adverse effect on fandom? J. Littrell, M. Micklin, S. Moore, C. Reed, K. Yost
  • Kung Fu: The Legend Continues A: How does Caine's philosophy fit into the 1990's? T. Blaas, J. Kelley, A. Smith
  • X-Flies: Is this more than just "The F.B.I." meets "The Twilight Zone"? E. Dickenson, J. Hoffman, K. Keisel, Martynn, C. Rancourt
  • Editing: How much is too much, or when does it stop being editing and become rewriting? C. du Veritas, K. Parker, S. Powell, J. Yasner
  • Slash: How can you rationalize your favorite hero in a slash relationship without conceding he must be gay or bisexual, or is there room in slash fandom for homophobia? B. Cope, D. Rsher, S. Garinger, D. Hicks, A. Teitelbaum
  • Legends: Does media preserve the intended spirit of the original concept? J. Littrell, l. Mangan
  • Last of the Mohicans: Is it more than just a period piece? J. Casselbury, S. Magee, R. Stuemke
  • Lovejoy: Is he a divvie or a charlatan? J. DeVore, G. FISher, C. Getrost, S. Smith
  • Editing: How can I preserve the integrity of my zine without scaring off my writers? J. Evans, S. Garrett, J. Kelley, C. Rancourt
  • Wiseguy: Why has this series generated predominantly slash fanfic? C. du Veritas, D. Rsher, A. Teitelbaum, L. Thomas
  • Forever Knight: What separates this series from other vampire incarnations? V. Clark, J. Hoffman, D. Meinking, S. Powell, L. Savignano
  • Northern Exposure: Can these people be for real? M. Srin, G. Himes, S. Hovde, S. Kaminsky, J. Mailander
  • Sandbaggers: How would these characters handle today's political changes? Discussion group.
  • Writing: I have a great idea for a fan story, but how do I get started? T. Bogolub, S. Moore, J. Webster, A. Wortham
  • Sidekicks: Where would our hero be without the help of his faithful companion? T. Casselbury, S. Ranagan, S. Smith
  • Computers: Cyberspace and the information super highway. Discussion group.
  • Bonkers for honkers: Men with big noses and the women who love them. Discussion group.
  • Actors vs. their characters: Following an actor from one project to the next, or just how dedicated are you? F. Driver, T. Ubrande, M. Schmidt, H.Stanislow
  • Kids in fandom: Can we teach them fandom is normal despite the "bad press"? Discussion group.
  • Star Wars: Has the fandom remained true to the original trilogy? Z. Florian, J. Webster, V. Wilson, J. Yuenger
  • Writing: Is it possible to write a romantic story without sex? A. Dodson, J. Hindman, J. Mailander, R. Stein
  • Rat Patrol: Why it's still going strong after 28 years. L. Carr, J. Gold, Susan Hall, D. Laymon, M. Plait
  • Silliness in fandom: Why it's important to make fun of the shows you love and how to deal with fans who have no sense of humor. J. Fennick, J. Kelley, M. Macomber
  • Feminism: Can you have a strong female character without it turning into a "Mary Sue"? J. Evans, A. Masters, K. Norquest, L. Savignano, J. Yasner
  • Canadian TV: Discussion group
  • Kids in fandom: How to protect your kids from "adult" themes, or why aren't there any G-rated cons anymore? Discussion group.
  • Partnerships: Where are they now, and would they still be partners today? Discussion group.
  • Beauty & the Beast: Did the consummation of Vincent and Catherine's love alter the romantic feel of the series? T. Blass, T. Bogolub, T. Cason, C. du Veritas
  • Nightly filk fest.
  • Military series: Is there more going on here than just patriotic flag waving? Discussion group.
  • Moody Blues: An alternate religion or just some singers in a rock and roll band? R. Dickin, P. Feldman. S. Powell
  • Costuming: Is there more to it than just putting together the right look? J. Kelley, C. Keogh, K. Norquest, M. Womack
  • Aging in fandom A: Menopause: Is it me, or is it hot in here? Discussion group.
  • Violence on TV: Is it the danger that many would have us believe? Discussion group.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Why has the adult fanfic been almost exclusively straight? H. Beck, S. Powell, L. Sandler, S. Smith
  • Male bonding: What is it about two guys "bonding" that intrigues us? Discussion group.
  • Dark Justice: The discussion group. Discussion group.
  • Aging in fandom: Shrinking typeface, or, funny, zines haven't always been this hard to read, and other concerns as fans reach 40 and beyond. Discussion group.
  • Smut: What is the appeal of adult fanfic. or why do we love to carry the universe further than it was intended to go? H. Beck, T. Bogolub. T. Cason, J. Fennick
  • Alien: Did the fandom die with Ripley? Discussion group.
  • Extraterrestrials: Do media portrayals of evil aliens really prejudice public opinion? Discussion group.
  • Vampires: Are they menacing predators or misunderstood victims? H. Beck, T. Cason, J. Cassell, M. McKinnon, H. Stanislow

Saturday

  • Photography: TV photos, or how can the right camera setting give you photos of your favorite fandom? J. Enright, M. Schmidt
  • Annual Blood Drive.
  • Alien Nation: Have the novels heiped regenerate the fandom? U. Boyle, T. Cason, M. Espenshade, Susan Hall
  • Writing: How much research should I do so I sound like I know what I'm talking about without inundating my reader with too much detail? M. Brin, G. Flits, J. Morris, C. Rancourt, J. Yasner
  • Going "pro": How can I use the skills I learned in fandom to further my career or start my own business? H. Commodore, A. Masters , L. Sandier, L. Stephens
  • Star Wars: Are the novels and comics canon? Discussion group
  • Brisco County Jr.: More than just another western? B. Cope, J. Hoffman, H. Nachman, K. Norquest, A. Smith
  • Syndicated series: Is it possible to build a fandom on a series that has no "regular" time slot? G. Blog, J. Evans, S. Aanagan, C. Schlein
  • Quantum Leap: IIf Sam could leap home, would he? M.J. Frank, S. Hall, S. Wisdom
  • Writing: Is it possible to write a romantic story without sex? K. Agel, S. Powell, R. Stuemke, M. Urhausen
  • Hurt/comfort: Why are we still bashing the ones we love? B. Franjevik, D. Meinking, C. Rancourt, A. Schindler
  • Kiefer Sutherland and Lou Diamond Phillips: A fandom based on the actors multiple roles. TM Alexander, [April Valentine], S. Garinger, L. Johnson
  • Forever Knight: What separates this series from other vampire incarnations? J. Cassell, C. du Veritas, J. Mergenhagen, H. Nachman, B. Storey
  • Sea Quest DSV: Is this more than just Star Trek underwater? L. Carr, P. Rood, J. Gold, N. Hildebrand
  • Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman: Is there more to this show than just a hunk in tights? A. Dodson, S. Kaminsky, J. Lundberg, M. Womack
  • Writing: How to write a better story workshop. C. Walker
  • Vampires: Are they menacing predators or misunderstood victims? J. Hoffman, J. Lorrah, D. Meinking, Terry O'Brien, S. Powell
  • Filking: Is there more to it than just learning how to sing on key? C. du Veritas, J. Mailander, L Mangan, R. Rogow, L. Savignano
  • Buddy shows: Can men and women work together without sleeping together? M. Baskin, T. Blaes, G. Rsher, S. Moore Ball.
  • Theatrical combat: An open workshop. The Ring of Steel.
  • X-Files: Is this more than just "The F.B.I." meets "The Twilight Zone"? H. Bruton, H. Commodore, J. Gold, H. Nachman
  • Dark Shadows: Did the new series help or hurt our appreciation of the original show? K. Resch, M. Robin, D. Rojano, S. Wisdom
  • Conventions: Is there more to organizing a con than picking a date? J. Kelley, C. Keogh, D. Langsam, A. Masters, K. Norquest
  • New Age and Paganism: How has the resurgence of holistic techniques helped us cope in today's stressful environment? J. Chadwell, A. Dodson, L. Savignano
  • Fannish Jeopardy: Cops & spies.
  • Science: How much of a role does real science play in science fiction? K. Parker, P. Richards, S. Smith
  • Star Wars: Zine editors panel. K. Agel, C. Cargill, M. Wathne
  • Starsky & Hutch: Has any other series been able to recreate the relationship of these two partners? T. Bogolub, B. Franjevik, D. Hicks, L. Mangan, L. Magee
  • Computers: Will the wide spread use of computer networks have an adverse effect on fandom? G. Blog, S. Clerc, S. Himmanen, C. Salmon, A. Wortham
  • E. Alward, [April Valentine], J. Evans, J. Yasner
  • Slash: Why ask why, or why must we always explain what it is about slash that we find enticing. S. Garinger, J. Mailander, D. Meinking, C. Reed, L. Thomas
  • Babylon 5: Can it avoid the inevitable comparison to Star Trek? E. Dickenson, S. Aanagan, H. Nachman, T. O'Brien, l. Sandler·
  • Publishing: Now that I finished my zine, how do I let my potential customers know about it? E. Alward, A. Dodson·, S. Garrett, S. Powell
  • Actors vs. their characters: Following an actor from one project to the next, or just how dedicated are you? T. Bogolub, B. Cope, D. McLevy, R. Schindler
  • Dr. Who: The Doctor-Companion bond--can one survive without the other? H. Beck, W. Hyres. K. Parker, L. Truant, J. Yasner
  • Renegade: Is there more to this show than just a hunk on a Harley? J. Cassell, J. Littrell, l. Savignano
  • Quantum Leap: Slash - what's with all the paranoia? J. Randell·, l. Rogers, l. Starsky
  • Writing: Is it possible to collaborate and still remain friends? J. Fennick. J. Hindman·, J. Kelley, R. Stein
  • British TV showa: What are they giving us that American TV doesn't? S. Ballasch, Susan Hall·, J. Moleski, P. Richards
  • Westerns: Is the new crop of westerns a sign that we want to return to a simpler time? K. Larson, M. McKinnon, D. Pleasants·, A. Smith, J. Wells
  • Sherlock Holmes: How has Grenada TV put a new spin on this old favorite? J. Casselbury, S. Smith, l. Stephens·, l. Thomas
  • Fandom: Whatever happened to IDIC, or why does almost every fandom have to splinter into separate "cliques"? M. Brin·, V. Clark, D. Hicks, K. Norquest, B. Storey
  • Star Trek: Deep Space 9: Has Michael Pillar stayed true to Gene Roddenberry's vision? M. Espenshade, J. Evans, D. Langsam, J. Lorrah·, A. Wortham
  • Writing: I have a great idea for a fan story, but how do I get started? A. Dodson, F. Driver, J. Mailander·, S. Powell
  • War of the Worlds: Would Armageddon really bring out the best in people? M. Baskin, H. Bruton, C. Keogh, D. P1easants, C. Rancourt·
  • Animation : From series to graphic novels: can we take these cartoon characters seriously? J. Dewey, K. Larson·
  • Theatrical combat: A demonstration. The Ring of Steel
  • Fandom: Is this just a hobby, or Is there something more going on here? L. Mangan, A. Masters, C. Reed, M. Robin, L. Stephens
  • Star Trek: Has the original series been able to hold its own against the two new generations? H. Beck, T. Slaes, T. Bogolub, L. Sandler, J. Yasner
  • Editing: How much is too much, or when does it stop being editing and become rewriting? J. Hindman, T. O'Brien" R. Stein, S. Wisdom
  • The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: How would these characters handle today's political changes? F. Driver, D. Rojano, S. Smith, C. Walker
  • Picket Fences: Have continuing storylines helped or hurt the series? C. du Veritas, S. Himmanen, M. Urhausen
  • Quantum Leap: Can this series make a successful leap to feature films? J. Himes, T. Ubrande, P. Poole, M. Schmidt>
  • Art: Can computer graphics be considered fan art? J. Kelley, T. O'Brien
  • Loners: Is part of the attraction that we'd like to team up with him ourselves? Discussion group
  • Plays and Masquerade.
  • Smut: Is there more to S/M than just leather and whips? H. Beck, T. Slaes, T. Cason, F. Driver, J. Mailander
  • Miami Vice: What was it about these characters that made them so compelling? Susan Hall, M. Platt
  • Nightly fllk fest
  • Spoofs and satire: Are they humorous distractions or political statements? H. Beck, J. Evans, J. Moleski>
  • Robin of Sherwood: How did life in Sherwood parallel life in today's world? J. Fennick, M. McKinnon
  • Science fiction: Can any of today's sci-fi stand up to the classics of the 50's and 60's? Discussion group.

Sunday

  • Time Trax: Is this more than just another cop show? M. Espenshade. G. Himes. M. McKinnon
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: What direction would we like to the feature films take? T. Blaes', G. BIog, T. Bogolub, L. Sandler
  • Writing: How much research should I do so I sound like I know what I'm talking about without inundating my reader with too much detail? J. Evans, J. Hoffman, T. O'Brien, S. Powell, R. Stuemke
  • Music videos: Is there more to making a video than putting music over video clips? J. DeVore, G. Martin, M. Schmidt
  • Computers: Will the wide spread use of computer networks have an adverse effect on fandom? K. Dyer, P. Gonzales, K. Larson, A. Masters'
  • Extraterrestrials: Are they really out there? J. Chadwell, K. Parker, P. Richards
  • Slash: Is it anti-women, or just pro-men? S. Flanagan, M. Urhausen, J. Yasner
  • Quantum Leap: In a series based on changing history, can they say Sam "never" returned home? S. Flanagan, D. Glosson, J. Moleski, P. Poole, B. Storey
  • Is it possible to write a romantic story without sex? E. Alward, T. Cason, J. Fennick, D. Langsam
  • Nick Mancuso: the man and his roles. L. Keeper, M. McKinnon, P. Spalding
  • Lovers: What is the enduring appeal of star-crossed lovers? Discussion group
  • P.I. shows: Could these people really get away with some of the things they did? Discussion group
  • Feminism: Can you have a strong female character without it turning into a "Mary Sue"?
  • GEnie online services: A map to the information super highway. (A one hour demo will follow in the Party Suite, Room 363.) K. Agel, M. Bloemker, A. Masters', Terry O'Brien M. Baskin, T. Bogolub, M. Brin, H. Bruton, D. Hick
  • Writing: Seminar for advanced writers. C. Walker
  • Vampires: Are they menacing predators or misunderstood victims? J. littrell, H. Nachman, L. Savignano, S. Wisdom
  • MacGyver: the panel. J. Freitag, J. Gold, J. Hoffman.. K. Paulie
  • Highlander: What ultimate effect will the Watchers have on the Immortals? M. Baskin, J. Cassell, N. Hildebrand, M. McKinnon
  • Star Wars: Has the fandom remained true to the original trilogy? P. Grant, M. Schutler, J . Yasner
  • Actor. vs. their characters: Does meeting your favorite actor alter your view of the fandom? G. Asher, G. Ails, J. Kelley, J. Wells
  • Smut: What is the appeal of adult fantic, or why do we love to carry the universe further than it was intended to go? J. Mailander, L. Mangan, S. Powell, M. Urhausen
  • Star Wars: Unifying the fandom. C. Cargill, M. Wathne, J. Yuenger
  • Disabilities in fandom: Are there more media role models now, or are the disabled still an invisible minority? J. Hindman, K. Norquest, R. Stein
  • The Return of Sherlock Holmes: A thousand apologies and one empty explanation - theories on the hiatus. B. Bills, M. Kelly, G. Martin, L. Stephens
  • Stereotypes: Does using menacing minorities and other stereotypes continue to fuel ignorance and racism? T. Cason, A. Dodson, D. Hicks, K. Larson
  • Theatrical combat C: An open workshop. The Ring of Steel
  • Eroica: What is it about this animated series that has sparked such a strong fandom? J. DeVore, J. Dewey, L. Mangan
  • Fannish Jeopardy B: Science fiction
  • X-Flies: Is this more than just "The F.B.I." meets "The Twilight Zone"? J. Casselbury, P. Gonzales, S. Himmanen, D. McLevy, M. Womack
  • Editing: How much is too much, or when does it stop being editing and become rewriting? A. Dodson, J. Lorrah, D. Pleasants, C. Rancourt, A. Wortham
  • The Professionals: Why has this series generated predominantly slash fanfic? G. Fisher, J. Mailander, S. Powell, L. Thomas
  • Forever Knight: Bold women characters. T. Ingalls, J.M. Van Dyke
  • Star Trek: Are there any new Issues left to explore in the Kirk/Spock universe? V. Clark, K. Resch, L. Sandler
  • N.Y.P.D. Blue: Is this cop show too blue for you? J. Cassell, M. McKinnon, D. Meinidng, M. Uhausen, J. Yasner
  • Sitcoms: Can you base a fandom on a sitcom? B. Cope, C. du Veritas, B. Storey
  • Slash Talent In Fandom (STIFfle) Award. presentation
  • Publishing: How can I publish a zine without going into hock? J. Evans, S. Powell·, A. Stein
  • Censorship: The looming threat? C. Jenkins, H. Jenkins, L. Mangan
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea: What ts it about this show that makes us overlook the primitive special effects? K. Agel, P. Ames, T. Bogolub, G. Fitts., J. Walls
  • Star Trek: Deep Space 9: Has Michael Pillar stayed true to Gene Roddenberry's vision? H. Beck, A. Hall, M. Kiesel, Martynn
  • Kung Fu: The Legend Continues: How does Caine's philosophy fit into the 1990's? L. Carr, E. Dickenson, Susan Hall, C. Schlein
  • Fandom: What films/series/books generate fandoms, and why? E. Alward, S. Ballasch, H. Commodore, D. Hicks, J. Yasner
  • Babylon 5: Can it avoid the inevitable comparison to Star Trek? T. Blaes. B. Franjevik, D. Langsam. R. Rogow. M. Womack
  • Writing: I have a great idea lor a fan story but how do I get started? J. Hoffman, T. O'Brien, C. Rancourt, C. Walker
  • Religion in fandom: Is it possible to hold on to traditional values despite the nontraditional views of fandom? L. Balzer, M. Brin, A. Hall, J. Hindman, S. Smith
  • Fandom vs. Hollywood: Just how much does an actor/series creator owe its fan following? A. Dodson, M. Piatt. M. Robin, L. Stephens
  • Blake's 7: Were they freedom fighters or terrorists? S. Ballasch, B. Barker, C. Keogh, A. Wortham
  • Writing: Is it possible to collaborate and still remain friends? T. Bolobub, T. Cason, C. du Veritas, J. Lorrah, S. Powell
  • Fan Quality (Q's) Awards presentation
  • Star Wars: The new novels. Discussion group.
  • Editing: How can I preserve the integrity of my zine without scaring on my writers? T. Blaes, G. Blog, A. Dodson·, F. Driver
  • Slash: Is it a fandom unto itself? S. Garinger, J. Mailander, L. Mangan, C. Reed
  • Classics vs. remakes: Is older always better, or newer always improved? H. Beck, J. Cassalbury
  • Writing: Alternate universe-- what is it, and why do some writers have trouble with the concept? Discussion group
  • Art Auction.
  • Cop shows: From Adam 12 to N.Y.P.D. Blue: Have we come too far, baby? Discussion group
  • Red Dwarf: Is there substance behind the humor in this show? G. Blog, G. Himes, P. Richards, S. Smith
  • Nightly filk fest.
  • Buckaroo Banzai: Cult classic or relevant social commentary? T. Cason, J. Littrel, J. Moleski, J. Morris, L Savignano
  • Space: Humanity as invader or invaded, or are we our own worst enemy? H. Beck, G. Blog, C. Keogh·
  • Fandom: Why does most of Hollywood view fans with a critical eye, and what can we do to overcome our negative image? C. du Veritas, S. Hovde, J. Randell, M. Schmidt, H. Stanislow

Monday

  • Lois & Clark: The New Adventure of Superman: Is there more to this show than just a hunk in tights? T. Cason, M. Espenshade, C. Getrost, J. Lorrah
  • Indiana Jones: Has the series altered the fandom? S. Smith, J. Webster, J. Yasner
  • Dead dog panel.
  • Slash: Why ask why, or why must we always explain what is about slash that we find enticing? B. Cope, F. Driver, D. Hicks. L. Mangan, M. Urhausen
  • Writing: How much research should I do so I sound like I know what I'm talking about without inundating my reader with too much detail? A. Dodson, D. Langsam, J. Mailander, A. Rogow, J. Webster
  • Smut: Is heterosex in fanfic an endangered species? T. Bogolub, T. Cason, L Savignano, A. Schlindler
  • X-Files: Is this more than just "The F.B.I," meets "The Twilight Zone"? T. Blaes, B. Cope, M. Micklin, S. Moore, D. Roberts
  • Dr. Who: The Doctor-companion bond: Can one survive without the other? G. Blog, J. Kelly, T. O'Brien, A. Smith
  • Going "pro": Now that I've honed my writing skill, how can I crossover into mainstream writing? J. Mailander, L. Sandler, M. Urhausen

Acknowledgements

From the program book:
Co-chairmen (and your hosts) Lori Chapek-Carleton and Cordon Carleton would like to thank the following
 staffers for their hard work: Sheryl Adsit (Fannish Videos), [Darlene F], Ann Teitelbaum (Programming), Deborah
 Layman (Fan Fund), Keith Grunenwald and Seth Cults (Security), Jesse McClain (Art Show & Auction & Security), Jan
 Gosnell (Fanzine Reading Room), Karen M. Klinck and Marybeth Gauthier (Art Show & Auction), Jeanne Sullivan
(Gofers and Fan Quality Awards), Vivien Sheffield (Art Show & Auction), Andre Lieven (Masquerade), Bill Hupe (Registration Dealers), Kim Dyer (Blood Drive), and, additionally, Scott Rosema, Mary Jean Holmes, J.R. Holmes, Paula
 Smith, Linda Ruth Pfonner, Ann Hupe, Peg Kennedy, Barb Gompf, Roberta Stuemke, Bjo Trimble, Mary K. Urhausen, Becky Cope, Sharon Saye, Laura Thomas and De Chapman. Also MCA /Universal (the Shadow, Wolf), Columbia (Blankman, Flintstones), and NLP (The Mask) for promotional giveaway items.

Convention Reports

I'm finally a paid member of Media West, and got a flyer in the mail the other day. Aside from the incredibly annoying cutesy 'toon' jokes running throughout, it's a pretty good precon. I was interested to see the panel listing--a lot of the slash ones sound almost like someone has been eavesdropping on our list and the apa:
  • Why have Professionals and Wiseguy generated predominantly slash fanfic?
  • ST:TNG--Why has the adult fanfic been almost exclusively straight (because slash fans have better taste...?)
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea: What is it about this show that makes us overlook the primitive special effects (I keep waiting for Betsy to explain that to us!) (of course, this topic would work equally well for B7...)?
  • H/C--why are we still bashing the ones we love?
  • Slash: Is it a fandom unto itself?
  • (This one is terribly written) How can you rationalize your favorite hero in a slash relationship without conceding he must be gay or bisexual, or is there room in slash fandom for homophobia?

How could I have overlooked this panel topic...THIS topic was incredibly badly written. Among other things, Traditional values does not necessarily [equal] Religion does not necessarily [equal] Traditional views

  • Religion in fandom: Is it possible to hold onto traditional values, despite the nontraditional views of fandom?

On the other hand, I'm planning to attend at least one panel:

  • Sidekicks: Where would our hero be without the help of his faithful companion... [3]

Fav button of the con: Proud to be a Netlaw...

Honorable Mention: Sam and Al's Excellent Adventures, two righteous dudes on a mission from God.

Best decorated room of the con: Sharon F's--she brought all of her Pros pictures and had lots of them blown Waaaaaaaay up. There were a couple of Doyle at almost life size... sigh.

Fav quote of the con: "Remember, when slash was first being written, it was done by women who didn't *really* believe anal intercourse was possible."

New Slash Letterzines!: 'Tea for Two'--a new Pros letterzine--tell your non net connected friends. Actually I don't really mean that; I believe for some people that waiting a month or two between responses would be worth it to have a Pros only environment... Also: S/A: an adult letterzine dedicated to Quantum Leap slash fandom. (and another new QL "/" lz for British fans--the first british QL zines are coming out now too....)

Biggest new fandoms:
Voyage ... had 5 new zines 2 or 3 slash...
X-files: X-philes was the only zine I saw, but there was gobs!!! of art and discussion.
*Animaniacts* had zines...sigh.
Not much Highlander zines, but some great art, including the $600+ most expensive piece in the art auction (Connor, Duncan and Rodrieguez (Sean Connery))
QL: suddenly a huge gen fandom--I must have seen 20 zines; 6 or 7 slash zines as well, though most aren't very impressive.
Other flyers:
Dark Fantasies II [cover by Suzie L, includes: Pros, B7, Muncle and a sequel to the S/H x Pros (set in WWII) story in DKI, (with special guest star from Forever Knight)
Unprofessional Conduct 3--I don't remember what people said about #2, but #1 had a few good stories--available from Sara S. across the pond. (and sigh, no mention of a Sebastian story)
Dead of Night--a slash vampire QL novel by Annabel Lee (Does anyone remember anything else she's written?))

S/H fans-- Remember A Place to Hide (circa 1983?) I bought part two, [[A Place in the Sun]]. It is wonderful, but don't get your hopes up: the last words in the zine are To Be Continued...and there is no promise she'll ever finish it. Also, new S/H zine asking for subs, they want to come out for Fall (maybe I should ask them if they'll premiere at Virgule...) called "...Turned to Fire"

Went to the STIFfy awards to pick up awards for Charlotte Hill and Manacles Press: had very mixed feelings. The nomination forms (and process) are not well thought out, and neither is the voting procedure. The awards seem to go to the best known name regardless of the quality of the story or art. On the other hand, when you first get into a fandom, buying award winning zines is one way of trying to make sure you aren't buying TOTAL dreck. Sigh. Anyone who has seen one of the nominating forms and is willing to think about how they can be written more intelligently, I'd love some help on them.

Does anyone know what "Champions" is? Someone was talking about a Pros/Champions "/" zine...

So, overall, I had a great time--But as might have been expected, with Charlotte and I both in a hotel room, neither we nor our roommates got much sleep, and we talked non-stop. So, I feel like s*#t this morning, and would (if it wasn't the end of the month, and I hadn't just taken Thursday and Friday off) be out of here right now.

Damn, I knew I'd forgotten something--I hope somebody else will review the List (/apa) party...I just know *I* had fun...

Following is a list of what I bought, (and/or for who I bought it). Feel free

to ask for reviews over the next few weeks; (remember, without nagging it won't happen.) [4]
MWC DEALER'S ROOM: 91 tables, which is scarey by itself. There were quite a few zines I was interested in, and I got nostalgic and bought a couple of things I'd never

expected to buy, including T'Hyla 13 (a menage Trek zine that I hoped would have good Spock/McCoy--I was, I'm *very* depressed to say, disappointed--it wasn't very good); Dyad 15 (with a lovely Marilyn Cole, I think, Bodie-as-cyborg cover and a neat Pros cyberpunk story concept inside. The story wasn't great, but it was definitely interesting and readable. My table neighbors were M Fae & Nancy, which is always pleasant. Our zines look a bit alike, and our prices are almost exactly alike, so it's easy for only one person to watch everything in the slow times. And since we all know, like and trust each other, it makes dealing tables a breeze.

MWC PANELS: I only attended two: one, a "The impact of the Net on fandom" panel, bored me even though there were two list members on the panel. There was much more conversation about "The Net" than there was about "Fandom," and while I understand the excitement of net people about the net, it basically wasn't what I'm interested in.

The other panel I attended was one that Lezlie Shell and I had discussed attending already: "How can you have your heroes in a gay or bisexual relationship without conceding that they're gay or bisexual--OR is there room for homophobia in fandom?" It wasn't pretty, from a sweetness-and-light point of view. Everyone on the panel held the same point of view (which I think is a criminal mistake on *any* panel); if you're going to present two sides of something, you need representatives from both points of view, which *definitely* didn't happen on this panel. Panelists kept saying, "We're not calling anyone homophobes," and people in the audience kept saying, "then what's the word doing in the panel title?" I mean, from a literary perspective, the word "or" is like a mathematical "equals" sign.

Lezlie, Sandy and I were all much of the same opinion, which is that a) "homophobe" is a strong, over-used and socially diluted term, and the panelists have no right to ascribe it to a fannish group with which they disagree; b) fans have a right to posit any view they want, including the We're not gay we just love each other point of view, without being inept, stupid OR homophobic; and c) slash is a *women's* cultural writing environment, not a gay men's, and we have no social responsibility to satisfy the social requirements of a gay male culture.

It was a little odd to be defending the We're not Gay position, given that I so rarely write it that way. But I was just incensed that *anyone*, especially people who claim to be liberal in their opinions and beliefs, would just bandy the word "homophobe" about in reference to a group who happened to have a different opinion from them. The position of liberal bigotry is no less abohorent to me than the position of conservative bigotry. It's still bigotry, impure and simple.

MWC LIST PARTY: The list party started at 9:00 pm on Saturday night in Carol R.'s hotel room. It was combined with the APA party, since there were so many overlapping members, and after "Dick" was played in the hotel room, we adjourned to the bar, the big-screen television and its corresponding VCR, and alcohol. We aired "The Homoerotic Guide to Wiseguy", a lovely 45-minute tape that a genius in northern California, Diana, compiled. It consists of adorable clips from the series, and even Lezlie Shell agrees that it's cute. Then we showed some songtapes from the Media Cannibals, which were all very good; there were WG, Pros, B-7 and some mixed.

After that we killed the big-screen tv, drew our wagons up into a circle, and failed miserably at a round-robin discussion. Shoshanna was determined to make it work, but the various personalities in the room were not. We ended up breaking into four smaller groups and running different discussions, and it was wonderful to put personalities and faces to names....We discussed many things, including the idea Betsy's planning of posting old list topics for possible new conversations, etcetera, how to better communicate brusqueness and sarcasm on the list without sounding cruel or bitchy (the general answer to that was, "shut up, Charlotte"), who's really an asshole on this list and who isn't (suffice to say that whoever was present were the cool, nice people, and whoever was *absent* was the problem-causing-jerk! heh heh), etcetera.

All in all, a great deal of fun. [5]
Well, the B7 list party had a fair number of dual-list people there. We watched a lot of B7 videos, many by Carol M and Leigh M. (I won't touch that spelling), but first we watched a tape that Sharon D. had given to me, saying only that it must have come from Houston, since she

otherwise could not account for having a B7 songtape in her possession. Anyway, the tape was much admired by Carol and Leigh for the skills displayed, and for song choice by many. Jane Mailander made Sue turn up the sound for 'Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves'. Later Lezlie told me this tape was probably made by Katherine Scarritt. Is this true? Sue C. has my copy and is cloning it to pass around. We also watched Nicole's wonderful video to (the title has disappeared from my brain, but it is a perfect song choice for Blake and Avon). Sue just started on Tashery and Gayle's tapes when I left....

Panels. I missed most of the slash panels because I was standing in line or eating lunch or something, but I did make the homophobia panel, where Lezlie and Sandy and Charlotte Hill acquitted themselves admirably, with support from the six or so of us sitting in front of them. All I wanted the panel to do was to admit that the topic sentence was poorly written, and did indeed imply that they were calling other people homophobes, but the panelists would not even do that. However, I don't think they intended that phrase to sound as strong as it did. It seemed to me there was considerable agreement with Charlotte et al., but no panelist could bring themselves to actually say it. They appeared to have prepared for quite a different discussion and wanted to 'keep to topic' in spite of audience determination to talk about other kinds of fan attitudes.

Zines. I bought less than last year - one canvas bag instead of two - but I'm not catching up on a new fandom now. The only B7 slash I found was Evasive Maneuvers, which I've not read yet. In B7 gen, Southern Seven 8 and 9 are out, as is Hellhound 8. There was a fair amount of Pros, including one gen zine; I bought Murphy's Law and Continental B&D, which I have not read, but C B&D has a lovely cover of B bending D backward over the hood of a 50's style truck. What else? Oh, No Holds Barred 6, an all Pros issue. I skimmed it in the van. The long story is based on Somewhere In Time, and Bodie is a pianist. Not for the Pros traditionalist. The sex scenes read like 'insert sex scene here'. There were a couple other things, and some circuit stories, but I can't remember them just now. Oh, yes, I sort of got Other Times and Places V foisted on me, but it does have an enjoyable rewrite of Ladyhawk for Bodie and Doyle. Bodie is Phillip Navarre, and Doyle is Raimund D'Anjou. Lovely line: in it's first appearance the tiercel hawk is described as screeing 'like a tiny, ferocious angel.' [6]
All those that attend the con will tell you that the rest of the year seems to drag along while the five days at the con seem to fly by in an instant! Somehow there never seems to be enough time to do all the things that you want to do or get a chance to talk to all the people you want to. Usually you pass them in the hall or dealer's room and wave.

You don't eat regular heathful foods, don't get enough sleep, are forever going up and down halls searching for rooms that are selling things and then seem to spend your time sitting on the floor rummaging through boxes searching out musty old zines, wading your way through the dealer's room, going to parties and talking to anyone and everyone and call it FUN! You come home exhausted and drained. Is it worth it? You'd better believe it! To me, the most important part of the con is meeting people you haven't seen since last year, making new friends and best of all being able to talk about your favorite fandom with people who (I) understand what you're talking about and (2) don't look at you askance and utter, "huh?" Going to the panels gives you a chance to discuss the movies, the stars, the books, whatever and listen to other points of view. Most of the SW panels at MWC were well attended and the discussion was lively in most cases. The Rebel Breakfast hosted by the Forces of the Empire was held (oddly enough) in the Imperial Room and was simply terrific. For $2.00 you could stuff yourself. Forces of the Empire held a dance that was a blast, especially since just about everyone came in costume. There were Imperials, a Tusken Raider, a bug, some Corellians, Jawas, Luke, Leia, Darth Vader, Jedi Knights, and I hardly know what else. There was another SW party called the Kessel Downport Party -- lots of munchies and a lot of SW talk. The SE party was held in Cheree's room -- it was wall to wall bodies! Again, more munchies and lots of laughter. Later the party adjourned to my room and went on for hours -- nobody wanted to go to bed. I'm sure that by now you know that there was a lottery for rooms in the hotel for next year. The line was looong and it took about 2 hours to get to the head of the line. Cheryl Pryor, Lin Ward, Z. P. Florian and Debbie Kittle set up another doll display. This one was in the Imperial room. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held to open the viewing on The Carolyn Golledge Memorial Hospital with Carolyn cutting the ribbon. They had several scenes of Han in the hospital with some rib tickling signs. They also had a scene of Han about to cut open a taun-taun with Luke lying unconscious and an ice cave with Luke hanging from the ceiling and a Wampa lurking nearby. (See photos elsewhere in this issue.) They already have plans to set up another display next year. If you attend, please be sure to drop by the Imperial Room to see it and be sure to bring your camera. Besides the panels, there was a fanzine reading room, a video room, the art room and the dealer's room. The dealer's room always seemed to be crowded. In addition to the fanzines, there were pins, stickers, toys, books, jewelry, photos, artwork, posters, etc., available. A veritable shopper's delight! There were quite a few of us who stayed over until Tuesday. Monday night there was a birthday celebration for Marti Schuller (who will positively cringe at this reference!). Everyone sat outside in the courtyard and two girls (whose names unfortunately I've forgotten) from Forces of the Empire entertained us with a beautiful story and "The Ballad of Luke Skywalker." Both girls wove magic with their words and song. Thanks!

SW items seemed to be selling like hotcakes! I overheard one dealer who was selling the new SW pins say that if he had known they were going to be such a hot item, he would have brought more of them.[7]
I just got back from MediaWest, where I had a fabulous time! I highly recommend this con to anyone interested in more than one fandom who wants access to tons of zines, and likes the idea of being at a con that takes over an entire hotel!

[L M] was kind enough to pick me up at the airport in Detroit, and we drove up to Lansing together. We started the con with an amusing encounter in the hotel lobby. We were waiting for a cart to take our luggage to our rooms when a pizza delivery man entered. Lorraine and I both said "Hi." Apparently he suddenly realized that it was MediaWest weekend, because he stopped in his tracks and exclaimed, "It's you again. I'm rich!" I guess fans must order a lot of pizza, and tip well! While at the con, [B F] and I did our best to spread the "gospel" of Starsky & Hutch. In addition to serving on the SH panel, we decorated my room door with photos of the guys (and David Soul's quote in which he says that, in his opinion, the show is "a love story between two men who just happen to be cops."), and hosted a room party Saturday night. I'm thrilled to say it was a definite success! [B] had had the idea to serve "Starsky" and "Hutch" refreshments. So "Starsky's Snack Bar" offered Cokes, Fritos, and cookies, while "Hutch's Health Food" had apple juice, Tropicana Twister, raw veggies and dip.

Some people drifted in and out, but we had a core group of about twenty gals, most new to fandom, who wanted to watch episodes. I had had visions of getting to know new people by chatting with them -- an idea that had to be discarded. "Show us the one where Hutch gets hooked on heroin," they demanded. "We want to see the one where Starsky gets poisoned!" We watched Coffin, The Fix, Shootout, and Satan's Witches, and a couple of gals came back the next day for Bloodbath and Sweet Revenge. One woman who hadn't seen the show since it was originally aired kept saying, "I remember this scene," and "I remember that line!" S&H does make a strong impression! As far as conversation, forget it! If anyone even whispered to someone else, the whole room went, "Shhh!" (Even if S&H weren't on the screen!) I found all this interest a very encouraging sign! Several people commented that they'd loved S&H for years, but had no idea a fandom existed. "Why, yes," we answered sweetly. "There j_s a fandom!" We were able to get about twenty names on a mailing list, so we can contact some of these folks later. And of course, several want copies of the episodes. (Sigh. I guess that's my mission in fandom...) Another highlight for me was having the party interrupted by the committee arriving to tell us the door had won second prize in the door-decorating contest. Well, with material like Paul and David to work with, how could we miss? Along with seeing old friends, meeting all these avid new fans made this a wonderful weekend for me. [8]
What I Did At MediaWest. Short form: I went, I saw, I purchased... Long form: Every Memorial Day weekend, Lansing, MI becomes the hub of the fanzine universe for the duration of MediaWest. This was MediaWest 14, or Four-Toon as the progress reports insisted on calling it. The theme of the con was supposed to be cartoons but the only manifestation of the theme seemed to be the tiresome Fuddification of the progress reports where Rs were replaced with Ws--pwogwamming instead of programming, weading woom instead of reading room, and so on. Happily, this...humor ..did not bleed over into the con itself.

In addition to the panels and huge dealers' room, there were (are, really, because this is all true every year) many room sales where people try to unload their used zines or sell other things (jewelry, tarot readings, massages...), room parties for just about every fandom, fan fiction awards (the Fan Qs and the Stiffies...please don't ask), a video room, a fanzine reading room, and most importantly--a coffee maker in every room.

This was only the second MediaWest I've attended and I had an even better time than last year (even though I managed to escape with some cash in my backpack) because I knew more people. Used Zine Sales: Karen and I arrived around 3, checked in, went to visit Lorna Breshears and the people she was staying with. Oh, all right, we went to check out the used zines in her room--but we were also visiting. Then back to our rooms to wait for Catherine who turned up just as the VCR hook-up guy was leaving. The first thing we did was hit the halls for used zines sales. Even though it was only Thursday and the con hadn't officially begun, plenty of people were open for business. Unlike last year, there were comparatively few used B7 zines for sale. I'm not sure why, but I suspect we struck and mined out the mother lode last year.

A few more people were set up on Friday, but there still wasn't much in the way of B7 stuff, although I finally scored a _Powerplay_ 1 (still looking for 6) and _Fifth Season_ 2. The most often encountered titles were _Chronicles_ and _Horizon_ (fan fic, not newsletters). It makes me wonder if tastes in fan fic are culturally determined. By a complex and tortuous bit of free association this leads to...

Panels: The B7 panel (the only B7 panel) was on the ever popular topic of whether Blake was a terrorist or freedom-fighter. I spent most of the time wishing I had a printout of Micky's essay to hand to the only member of the panel who is not on this list....and wondering if she was really Judith Seaman under another name. 8-) It was frustrating listening to the discussion after being on the list--no one really backed up their opinions with specific examples, let alone quotes. It was also aggravating to hear opinions and interpretations stated as unarguable truths--Burning Bush Syndrome is not unique to this medium--and wanted to make up signs with IMO and YMMV on them. For next year's B7 panel, I'm going to suggest a topic about the differences between North American and British (and maybe Australian) fan fic. The title would be something like Blake's 7 Fan Fiction: Bloodthirsty Yanks and Bloodless Brits? And I thought I'd suggest a Friday or Saturday slot--by Sunday everyone is too wiped out from buying, selling, and partying to engage in...er...frank and candid exchanges of opinions. We also went to two of the Computers and Fandom panels. Well, Catherine and I had to go to one since we were on the Saturday panel. About 3/4s of the audience at the Friday session was made up of people from this list. We briefly touched on what's available, fan fiction on- line, academics researching fandom, personality clashes, censorship on pay services, and new people coming into through the net. The Saturday session was derailed before it started by some twit who brought up the totally unfannish issue of e-mail stalking. When a few us managed to wrestle the conversation back to fandom and the net, the topics were mostly the same as the Friday session with a bigger emphasis on gender and copyright because I wouldn't shut up about them. Parties: Catherine and I hosted the list party Friday night. We had a larger turn-out than I expected, which was great, and everyone seemed to enjoy the song vids we played (except maybe two of the vid makers, but they took it well 8-). I know I had a good time meeting some of you face to face for the first time, and seeing some of you again.

Sorry you missed it, Jean. Next year, we'll put up more and better signs. Oh, and we're going to have an entrance requirement: you have to say something nice about Blake. 8-) Come on, you have a year, you can think of something complimentary by then... Door prize for the best one, maybe? After our panel on Saturday, we went to the second annual Tea for Tarrant, held by Carol McCoy, Leigh Motooka, and Lorna B. Carol is so wonderful...if only we could cure her of this Tarrant fixation...The Gan doorstop was a stroke of genius, but I vote we remove the batteries from Leigh's videocamera next year.

Art Show: From a Blake's 7 standpoint, not good. Leah Rosenthal's cartoons, a few by Jane Mailander, and one Suzan Lovett picture were all the B7 art in the show. The Lovett picture was the cover of Evasive Maneuvers, one of the B7 zines that debuted at the con. The background and costumes are lovely--great fantasy fodder--but the faces were not up to her best, not even Blake.

Dealers' Room: Pretty much the usual merchandise except there seemed to be less B7 stuff. Maybe I'm paranoid, but there didn't seem to be as many photos, T-shirts, key chains, etc. as last year. Quantum Leap was popular, and I saw some Highlander and some other smaller, emerging/resurging fandoms like (ick) Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Cable networks have much to answer for, IMO. There was the usual superfluity of Pros and Dr. Who, too.

There were a bunch of new B7 zines: _Southern Seven_ 8 and 9, _Log of the Hellhound_ 8, _Zen and the Art of the Rebellion_ 3, _Evasive Maneuvers_, _Airwaves B7 Special_ 2...I'm sure I'm forgetting something. The only new print for sale was the magnificent "One Safe Harbor" (a beautiful drawing of Blake and Avon that goes perfectly with "Sleeping Beauty"). I also got a matted print of the cover of _Powerplay_ 4 and 7--Blake at a campfire, Avon behind him with an hour glass--and "Legend" by Karen River. The best items for sale weren't in the dealers' room, IMO, but in a room on our floor--video prints. You find a scene in an episode that you want a photo of, freeze the video on the right frame, and the video printer makes a print of the picture. This is what I've been praying for! The only drawback (aside from not having one of these of my own) is that I only had backup copies, not the pro tapes, with me so the picture quality is not as sharp as it could be. But I don't care--I now have a picture of Blake on the couch and Avon leaning over him at the end of "Horizon," Blake in anguish with Avon kneeling next to him in "Pressure Point," the two of them on the ground in "Hostage," Blake with his hand on Deva's shoulder, the clone with his arms encircling Rashel, and a lot more...I got a little carried away...

That about covers it. To be honest, I don't remember a lot of details like who said what at the panels because I was having to much fun and there was so much to do. As usual, the best part of the con was seeing friends and meeting people in-person that I've only spoken to electronically. [9]

References

  1. Orion press publisher's post in Fan Q Awards and an ASC writer dated February 7, 1999.
  2. Letter from a fan in X-Talk issue #1 dated Sept 1994.
  3. In 1994, Sandy Herrold posted two reviews MediaWest to the Virgule-L mailing list. They are reposted at Fanlore with permission. This one is before the convention.
  4. In 1994, Sandy Herrold posted two reviews MediaWest to the Virgule-L mailing list. They are reposted at Fanlore with permission. This one is during the convention.
  5. Charlotte Hill published her convention report shortly after Sandy Herrold. Excerpts from the convention report are reposted at Fanlore with permission.
  6. This rounds out the reports from Virgule-L in 1994, reposted at Fanlore anonymously with permission.
  7. from a Star Wars fan in Southern Enclave #39
  8. from Frienz #25
  9. Lysator, Sue Clerc, dated June 2, 1994, also published in Tarriel Cell v.7 n.5