South of Oz (convention)

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Name: South of Oz
Dates: June 14-16, 1991
Location: Hyatt-Orlando Hotel, Kissimmee, Florida
Focus: Beauty and the Beast
Organization: sponsored by "The Florida Beauty & the Beast Helper Communities" in association with The helpers Network
Founding Date:
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South of Oz was a Beauty and the Beast convention that was held in 1991 in Orlando, Florida. It was subtitled Where Magic Meets the Sea and Dreams Become Reality.

The convention also published a charity zine under the same name: South of Oz.

The con guests were Ron Perlman, Roy Dotrice, and Jay Acovone.

The "VIP Guest Chairperson" was Pam Smith of the Emerald Coast Helphers Society.

The con charity was "Make-A-Wish Foundation, Inc."

Convention Reports

I read a lot of bad rumors about the South of Oz con. And I want to tell all of you that they were sadly mistaken. Though pro-Diana's out there, most fans who attended wanted Catherine back. And the possibility of Diana and Catherine being friends,.... But back to the con. All three guest stars had a wonderful time. Roy ("Father") joked about a food fight at theb anquet, and promply thereafter threw shredded rolls out at the fans' tables. Who sent them right back. It broke the ice and led to a very enjoyable evening. The music videos were well edited. Various rescue scenes played to "My Boyfriend's Back"; Joe Maxwell was highlighted in : "That's What Friend's are For," to name a few. Also at the dinner they did 'The Shadow Play," which told of Catherine and Vincent's story by a storyteller far in the future. And how every so often a child with Vincent's face appears to unite the Tunnel world. This is a must-see, so when the flyers come out you might want to get the South of Oz Con Video. Special highlights are the amateur and professional costume contest, which one lady won as Catherine (all bandaged up,as in the first episode). She also took best in show. Karl was Vincent during the Masquerade party and later at the Winterfest banquet. He also did a fantastic job in the make-up workshop.... I had a wonderful time at South of Oz. I enjoyed meeting people I knew only through their zine work. And attending the writers and artist workshops. Dorothy and Betty, who did TunnelCon were there, and they are planning Tunnel Con II in Las Vegas once again. So hope to see everyone there. Keep the Dream alive.[1]
"The banquet Saturday night was very special as well. We entered the hall through a tunnel! It was a wonderful touch, and The Chesapeake group had also reconstructed Vincent's chamber. Beautiful work! Unlike T-Con, guests were allowed to pick their tables when they registered, which was nice. (Don't get me wrong when I compare the two cons, please! I enjoyed T-Con very much, and will probably attend #2!) Awards were handed out by Roy Dotrice for the art and fanzines. Let's see... Claire Sieffert won Best in Show for her beautiful Catherine portrait. This same portrait also went for $1000 att he art auction! Beth Blighton and Barbara Gipson won several of the other awards. I was incredibly pleased when Sue Krinard (yeah, Sue!) won the Crystalline Award for her B&W cover on Kaleidoscope II,and that this zine won for Best Dramatic zine. Other winners included Kathy Cox for Destiny IV and Blighton for her beautiful artzine cover. The only award I was surprised at was that TT was ignored in the letterzine category. (Or maybe I shouldn't be, hmmm? At any rate, I think you deserved to win, Barb. We thank you for your vote of confidence, Liz!)

I thought the banquet, for the most part, was well-paced and I liked that we were served the food rather than having a buffet. Each guest was presented with a gift and spoke a few words also. We were shown three music videos during the evening and they were a big hit with the audience, especially one called "My Boyfriend's Back," which included scenes of Vincent coming to Catherine's rescue! It was very amusing. Speaking of videos, I also saw another one later in the evening that was simply fabulous. I can't remember the name of the song, but it dealt with C&V's parting and included V's last kiss. Now, I know you Classic fans are screaming (trust me, everyone was sobbing) a tthis point, but as the song ended the video picked up at the point in"Remember Love" where Vincent awakens from his dream to find Catherine i nhis arms. It was perfect and wonderful and, at least for me, took away all the pain and negative power of the third season. I hope this video is made available to fandom as a whole.

On Sunday, the con held a "Healing the Rift in Fandom" panel. To be honest, I thought this was a very bad idea, and while it wasn't the total fiasco I expected, it didn't go a long way towards accomplishing its mission. Several panel members had some logical, positive and helpful things to say—Kay Simon,Jeanne Cloud, and Sharon Wells—about the labeling, people being entitled to their own opinions, etc. Unfortunately while Jeanne was saying it was a mistake, Wiltse's response to the labeling was that itwasa"valid response to behavior." Huh? Also, many audience members voiced the sentiment that we must not set "limits" for the future and that the absence of one character should not ruin chances fora movie. Given the fact that fans such as myself have absolutely NO interest in a B&TB movie WITHOUT Linda Hamilton, I find it frustrating to be told that I am "limiting" fandom.[2]
Thank you to the South of Oz steering committee for the return of Kim Taylor's popular music videos, which disappeared for a week from the video room at the convention. However, as it took over four weeks for the promised "overnight' mailing to reach us here in Virginia Beach, we are understandably disillusioned;and it is unknown whether Kim Taylor will entrust them to anyone to be taken to future conventions.[3]


  1. Tunneltalk Vol 2 No 4-5 (1991)
  2. Tunneltalk Vol 2 No 4-5 (1991)
  3. Tunneltalk Vol 2 No 4-5 (1991)