Omnicon

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Convention
Name: Omnicon
Dates: July 16-18, 1976
Frequency:
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Type: fan-run, celebrity guests
Focus:
Organization:
Founder: Don Rosa
Founding Date:
URL:
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Omnicon was a Louisville, Kentucky Fantasy annual science fiction, fantasy, and media convention.

It was held July 16-18. It may have been the first Omnicon. A 1976 flyer says the con used "to be a part of "Rivercon."

a flyer for 1976

Chairs were James Van Hise and Don Rosa. "Star Trek" vice chair and publicity was Lee E. Staton. Other staff: Michael and Robert Zarrillo, Marvin Meyerhoffer.

It was held at the Ramada Inn Bluegrass Convention Center.

Con guests of honor were Frank Brunner, Mike Kaluta, and DeForest Kelley.

The dealers' tables were $30 in advance, $40 at the door. Admission tickets were $7.50 in advance, $10 at the door.

Program Brochure

The Souvenir Book

The editors of the con souvenir book were Della Hawks and James Van Hise. The book contained episode summaries for many television shows (complete with little illos), a reprinted 1963 interview with Rod Serling, fan art, reprints of movie posters, a list of the movies shown at the con, and some ads. There isn't anything (aside from the list of movies and the short bios of the guests of honor) about the con itself.

Con Report

OMNICON, Louisville's first fantasy convention materialized at the Bluegrass Convention Center July 16-18. There were tons of comics, acres of posters, "Star Trek" paraphenalia, artists, s-f movies and TV shows, and Dr. McCoy. I attended, and if you didn't, you should have. There are far too few entertaining events in this area to ignore one of this calibre.

The feature attraction was, of course, DeForest Kelley. Looking slim and rested and handsome, Kelley gave four hour-long talks, two on both Saturday and Sunday, signing autographs after each. His suntan was surpassed only by his patience. It became obvious that the same people were showing up at each talk and he was forced to say several times, "At the risk of repeating myself. . . ." By the second day he looked tired, but remained gracious and charming.

OMNICON also had two outstanding comic book artists with stunning displays of their work; Frank Brunner ("Dr. Strange," "Howard the Duck") and Michael Wm. Kaluta (the late and much lamented "Shadow"). The two gave a 90-minute seminar on Friday.

The movies were numerous, and the prints of the films I saw were excellent. Episodes of "Star Trek" and Other things to do and see included a fascinating exhibit of old comics from chairman Don Rosa's collection, a trivia quiz (Rosa again), "Star Trek" and TV exhibits, a war games room, and a dealers room. Several of the dealers were more than reasonable on their comic prices: one young man selling at a third below the Over-street guide (fine to mint), sold a "Conan" number one for $15 and spent the rest of the day saying no to the people who kept coming over to ask if he still had it.

And as if these good things weren't enough; the convention book itself is an important piece of work for an s-f fan. Besides containing artwork by Don Rosa, Mike Zeck, and Frank Brunner (the cover is adapted from one of his works), there are complete indexes for every episode of "Star Trek," "Wild Wild West," "The Outer Limits," "The Twilight Zone," "The Green Hornet," and "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."

In retrospect, the only fault I found with OMNICON wasn't really OMNICON's fault. It was in the behavior of some of the people who attended. And all of the people who didn't. The small turnout was disappointing. This affair deserved much better. [1]
If there is another OmniCon in Louisville, I would show up for that... The OmniCon second annual convention is doubtful because of the large sum of money the promoters lost. [2]

References

  1. from Star Trekkin' #6
  2. from Paul G. Burnett, editor of Assignment: Star Trek #17