ReKWest*Con

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Convention
Name: ReKWest*Con (pronounced "request con")
Dates: July 4-6, 1975
Frequency:
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States
Type: Trek relaxacon combined with SF
Focus: fans
Organization:
Founder: Paula Smith, Sharon Ferraro
Founding Date:
URL:
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front cover of the program book
back cover of the program book

ReKWest*Con was put on by Sharon Ferraro and Paula Smith. It was a combined Star Trek and general Science Fiction con that preceded SeKWester*Con.

Science fiction illustrator Frank Kelly Freas was the celebrity guest of honor. Fan guests of honor were Bob "Yang" and Anne Asprin. Toastmaster and special guest was Gordon Dickson.

Lori Chapek and Gordon Carleton sold copies of Warped Space there, something that increased that zine's readership dramatically.

The con included the premiere showing of "The Capture" a humorous slide show written by Bob "Yang" Asprin and drawn by Phil Foglio, shown and narrated at various conventions in the 1970s. It was inspired by a (very real) SF charter cruise that Kelly Freas and Gordon Dickson were on in the Bermuda Triangle, involving many of the leading SF authors, artists, editors, and fans of the day. The Capture Coloring Book was published a year later.

This con's successor was at one time to be called "InKWest*Con," but this was changed to "SeKWester*Con."

Spectrum #19 contains a con report.

Paula Smith talks about this con in a 2010 interview with Transformative Works and Cultures. See A Conversation with Paula Smith.

Cons in the Series

Programming

  • films shown: The Star Trek Blooper Reel (20 minutes), Nosferatu, three Warner Brothers cartoons, Tomorrow is Yesterday, The Day the Earth Stood Still -- The Star Trek episodes ("The Apple," "Patterns of Force," "Patterns of Force," "Enterprise Incident," "Cloud Minders") listed in the program did not arrive in time to be shown at the con
  • there was an art show, a dealers' room, a masquerade, a slide show/dramatic reading

Friday

  • Re: Kwest*Con: Comments on Last Year's Con (S. Ferraro, P. Smith)
  • Weapons: From Ugh to Boom (Gordon Dickson, Yang Asprin, Kelly Freas)
  • Cartoonists' Panel (Kelly Freas, Gordon Carleton, Phil Foglio, Doug Rice)
  • Dorsai and the Childe Cycle (Yang Asprin, Gordon Carleton)
  • Dinner Break
  • Masquerade (judges were Kelly Freas, Yang and Anne Asprin, Patti Helmer)
  • Pool Party

Saturday

  • How to Run a Con (S. Ferraro, John Benson, Lori Chapek, Patti Helmer)
  • Gordon Dickson on Folklore
  • Lunch
  • GoH speech, Kelly Freas
  • Fannish Fan vs. SerCon Fan (Yang Asprin, Anne Asprin, Patti Helmer)
  • Neofan Panel
  • Cocktail Hour
  • Banquet
  • Toastmaster: Gordon Dickson speaks, dramatic reading and slide show of "The Capture" (art by Phil Foglio, words and music by Yang)

Sunday

  • Makeup Demonstration, limited to 12 attendees (Yang Apsprin and a victim)
  • Art Auction
  • special surprise silent movie
  • Re-KWest*Con, comments on this year's con

Reactions and Reviews

Well thought out, quiet, informal, small (158 registered members), enjoyable; all these describe ReKwest*con. The program book, featuring artwork by Kelly Freas, Phil Foglio, and Doug Rice, and an article by Bob (Yang) Asperin on the how and why of success in costume competition, was very well done. The convention itself opened at noon Friday and ran quite smoothly through Sunday evening, (The Hole in the Deck Gang and the Dorsai saw to that.) The only difficulty was that the Star Trek films were not shipped in time for the convention, but even this disaster was not sufficient to destroy the pleasant time had by all. The art show was the finest I've seen: it featured many works by Kelly Freas, Elizabeth Pearse, Joni Wagner, De Peterson, Phil Foglio, and other fan artists. Indeed, the time one spent in there was measured in hours. The dealer's room had an assortment of fanzines and souvenir items, mostly Star Trek. Activities included films, panels and a masquerade, which was the highlight of Friday's doings. Kelly Freas, Yang and Anne Asperin, and Patti Helmer were the judges. One had to look twice to find Kelly, though. He materialized m the form of a Klingon, and quite effectively stole the show. Saturday evening brought the banquet, followed by The Capture, a superbly presented slide show featuring artwork in slides by Phil Foglio, and narration by the Mongol Art Players.' (How to conquer the Universe with a tube of cobalt blue and one Gremlin.) The art auction, in keeping with the pace established by the art show, went on for hours, astounding artists and bidders alike. Kelly Freas was Guest of Honor, and Gordon Dickson was Toastmaster and special guest. Fan guests of honor were Bob and Anne Asperin. Friday and Saturday evenings, devoid of scheduled activities, were filled with filksinging and parties, swimming, and Trektalk, and everyone enjoyed themselves. Remembering last year's program book, I searched diligently for this year's cryptic clue to coming attractions. I found it on the back cover in fine print: "Tune in again next year gang--sometime, some station for...InKwestCon. Wonder what they're up to now... [1]

References

  1. by Steve Clarke in A Piece of the Action #30