You may be looking for T'Kon, the British Star Trek con.
|Frequency:||there were two, 1978 and 1979|
|Location:||Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States|
|Focus:||fans, Star Trek|
|URL:||A Brief History of MediaWest|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
"What If We Gave a Fannish Convention, and Everybody Came?"
An illo printed in IDIC #6 in December 1978 has the caption: "What If We Gave a Fannish Convention, and Everybody Came?"
It illustrates several things: the intimate fannish nature of this con, the lens through which media fandom was regarded by a small group of influential fans, and the clique that fandom can be.
Portrayed in the illo:
- canon media characters such as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, C-3PO, Spock, Darth Vader, the scrod from Star Wars, and at least one Andorian
- BNF fans such as Phil Foglio, Leslie Fish
- original characters created by fans such those in the Klysadel by Anji Valenza and the self-insert characters from Landing Party Six
- science fiction creations such as Hokas.
Cons in the Bigger Series
- Kwest*Con (1974)
- ReKWest*Con (1975)
- SeKWester*Con (1976)
- SeKWester*Con, Too (1977)
- T'Con (1978)
- 2'Con (1979)
- Mos' Eastly Con (1980-1991)
The first con was March 24-26 1978. It was held at the Hilton Inn in Lansing, MI. Attendance was limited to 250. There was an art show, dealer's room, a costume show, a Saturday night banquet and a Sunday brunch. It was "completely accessible to handicappers" as per a flyer.
The program book contains 16 pages. The wraparound front cover is by Gordon Carleton. Other art is by T.J. Burnside, Melly Frame, and Dan Gauthier. The program book contains some info about the con, but mostly ads for zines, clubs, and things to buy.
There were two con skits. One was a musical parody called "Tiptoe Through the Fanzines" performed by Jean L. Stevenson, Juanita Salicrup, and Leslye Lilker (Saturday night) and "Pigs in Space" was performed at Sunday breakfast.
From the MediaWest History page: "Panel topics included fanzine heroines, creating alien cultures, Darkover, science in fan fiction, sexism in fan fiction, art for publication, the political, economic, & social structure of the Star Wars universe, filk, costuming, reviewing & editing 'zines, going pro, and K/S. Fan Qs were awarded, and a Pigs In Space sketch was performed."
T'Con 1978: Welcome from the Program Book
This is your Captain speaking ...
I hope you'll enjoy your stay. You'll be cruising for approximately two solar days aboard T'Kuht's finest starship — in fact, T'Kuht's only starship. The T'Kuhtian Clipper was built by Starfleet and given to T'Kuht as a gift in gratitude when the Federation was granted the rights to build a base on that planet when Vulcan, our sister planet, refused.
Our course is set from Sol III round trip to T'Kuht. We hope the entertainments and recreational facilities on board will be sufficiently stimulating. The CIipper was designed to be accessible to all Federation members who are native to Class M planets, so I hope all of you, humanoids and non-humanoids alike, will be comfortable.
We will not be responsible for anyone leaving the ship, via shuttle or airlock, until the trip is completed. Any such venturing into space along the way is at your own risk.
In a moment, your stewardess will explain energency space suits and point out the location of the escape pods. Have a good trip.
T'Con 1978: Programming
- a con suite
- Penthesilean and/or Atlantean Pool Party
- art show
- the con skit, "Pigs in Space," was presented at the Sunday breakfast
- dealers' room
- panel: Fanzine Heroines (Jean Lorrah, Anne Elizabeth Zeek, Roberta Rogow)
- panel: Scrod and Other Fannish Oddities (Paula Block, Jackie Paciello, Jan Lindner)
- panel: Creating an Alien Culture (Paula Smith, Roberta Rogow)
- panel: Darkover (Debra Langsam, Debbie Goldstein, Robbie Brown)
- panel: Science in Fan Fiction (Ann Popplestone, Eileen Roy)
- panel: Sexism in Fan Fiction (Eileen Roy, Gordon Carleton)
- panel: The Political, Economic, & Social Structure of the Star Wars Universe (Joyce Yasner, Paula Smith, Paula Block, Jackie Paciello, Carol Lynn)
- panel: Art for Publication (Gordon Carleton, Connie Faddis, Alice Jones, Jeff Johnston)
- panel: Costumes (Gail Pittaway, Amy Harlib)
- panel: The World Star Trek Con (Rich Kolker)
- panel: Reviewing & Editing 'Zines (Roberta Rogow, Joyce Yasner, Connie Faddis)
- panel: Copyrights (Mike Short, Jean Lorrah)
- panel: Going Pro (Joan Winston, Paula Smith, Amy Harlib)
- panel: K/S, The "Porn" Issue, Homosexuality & Bi-Sexuality in General (",u>moderated by David Manship & Leslie Fish -- this will be an open floor panel, we received too many volunteers to do it any other way...")
- on Sunday night, the last night of the con, "The Wizard of Oz" was on television
- panel: Writers Workshop -- Don't Make Him Say That! (panelist unknown)
- panel: Surviving Conventions (Rich Kolker, Jeff Johnston)
- panel: How to Survive the Post Offal (Juanita Salicrup, Leslye Lilker)
- Filksongs (filksinging with Leslie Fish and Melanie R)
- Banquet, Entertainment, and Presentation of Fan Quality Awards
T'Con 1978: Con Reports
To our dismay, the hotel had not booked the UFP-SFC, inc. rooms together; in stead they split us up on three sides of the swimming pool. All together, we had nineteen people and seven rooms — this is much better than nineteen rooms and seven people.
Not much happened that night, con-wise. Jan and I found that we shared the connecting door with Dave Manship and Cindy Myers. The four of us went swimming, and afterwards Cohmen joined us for a little sabre fighting. Totally exhausted, we all got to sleep toward the wee hours.
Saturday morning, after a $! breakfast in the Coffee Shop, we stood around in the dealers' room as a Rebel Soldier and a Sandperson. Jan and Paula Block as Luke Skywalker posed for some funny "Luke's Revenge" pictures. There was also a girl there as a Sandperson with her Sandbaby! She and Janet posed for a "Tattooine Gothic" picture.
Our table, highly noticeable because of the beautiful yellow and black sign executed by Dawn Uebel, soldFLEET, Paulie Gilmore's buttons, and paperback books. We also took orders for our rare and valuable issues of Starbase Ten and Starbase One.
The art room had the usual stuff - some fantastic things mixed with the mediocre. I was impressed by some very good pencil works by Alice Jones, and some excellent watercolors by another artist. I was turned off by the two tables of Leslie Fish's work. Quantity does not equal quality, I'm afraid.
The Saturday Night Buffet/Banquet was amazingly good! The food was downright delicious and the help particularly patient.
What impressed me the most this year were the costumes. At the last two area conventions, Sekwester*Con and Sekwester*Con, Too, the costumes were, well, cute. They were pretty and flashy, but it just seemed that no one put a vast amount of effort into their apparel, with the great exception of a few. This year, it seemed as if everyone tried to go out of their way to make a costume that not only looked great, but was logical and functional. Considering the apathy that I've seen in this club with costumes, the Banquet was a sight for sore eyes. The best costumes that I saw at the con were; the Stormtrooper made of foam and paper-mache; the paper-mache Darth Vader. Janet Wells' Sandperson; the Andorian; Mary Kay Willey's Wookiee the Rebel Pilot; Jackie Paciello's Greedo; and Randy Kaempen's Luke Skywalker. I'm sure there were many, many more wonderful costumes, but these few really struck me the most.
While the art auction transpired, a number of the fencers went to the natatorium. Let's hear it for the Starfleet Fencing Corps! Thank you, Jan, Marc, Cohmen, Bill, & Pat for several good fights.
That night we partied in the Federation Con Suite. We stayed up all night and bitched and listened to Cohmen's tape deck. We recruited a few new members, it seems!
[snipped]I only have two regrets after T*Con. I didn't meet Denise Boghosian whom I've been trying to find for the past four years now, and no-one mentioned my being in the Starfleet Medical Reference. Oh, well! I guess no one collects autographs anymore! 
The second con was held at the Hilton Inn in Lansing, Michigan on May 25-28, 1979.
I've been in fandom a while... and in general, I've had a great time, and gotten to know a lot of wonderful people. And I've seen a concept come alive. The IDIC. It's a beautiful symbol, folks. And its meanings are even more so. And most of us are good examples of those meanings. But there is something unkind and cruel among us. It's the 'love letters.' The nasty, malicious, threatening, and now, anonymous letters that are being sent to people. Hey, folks, IDIC is all of us. Fandom is all of us. And not one of us has the right to treat anyone else in such a manner... When one of us stoops to such childish meanness, it reflects on all of us... But if this sort of thing goes on, how can we really live and believe in them?"
Also in the program book is a photocopy of a court order, a default judgement with the plaintiff (Lori Chapek-Carleton) being awarded $922 by the defendant, the Michigan State University Star Trek Club regarding rights to some early issues of zines, likely Warped Space.
T'Con 1979: Welcome from the Program Book
From the program book:
This is being written by the 2'Con chairman closest to Lansing, since Paula is too far away to get this done in time to get to the printer's and back in time for the con.
Basically, I hope everyone reads their program book and checks the blackboard and/or any other signs we put up to notify people of last minute schedule changes. We take no responsibility for sudden changes; we expect some to unavoidably occur. We'll try to let you know beforehand. If not, take comfort 1n the fact that we'll probably be just as surprised as you arel If you have any questions, Just ask. Our film program will be posted and constantly updated. Fast-food joints are down Saginaw St. (which the hotel fronts) — you can take your cars and/or the city bus system, which loops thru the Hilton's driveway. If you drove here, fill up your gas tank as soon as possible. While a gas shortage Isn't expected, you never know ...
Don t forget that there's a pool, sauna, and Jacuzzi handy.
There will be a Chicago In 1982 Worldcon Bid Party sometime over the weekend; location to be announced.
SUPERMAN is playing In East Lansing and at a Lansing Drive-in over the weekend; we suspect that ALIEN will be opening in East Lansing as well. There's a carnival a few miles east of the hotel on Saginaw over the weekend, too, 1n case anyone finds the programming totally boring.
If you can make it, come to the Dead Dog panel Monday afternoon, and tell us what you liked and didn't like about the convention. You an submit your comments in writing, if you like. Rumor has it that Joyce Yasner and Devra Langsam will move the Mlchicon from Kalamazoo/East Lansing to New York State next year; we suspect we'll have it back here in two year's time, then.
Membership just topped 300 attending as I write this (May 24th), and Leah Rosenthal pointed out that at the time she counted, people from 33 different states and two other countries had signed up to attend. We got over 150 people signed up for both the breakfast and lunch, and over 180 signed up for the dinner banquet. Over 100 people voted for the Fan Q Awards, and we're happy people got into the spirit of things.
Enjoy the con! (Please ... )
T'Con 1979: Programming
- filksongs were sung by "Salvage 3" (Jean Stevenson, Juanita Salicrup, and Leslye Lilker)
- a skit called "The Dead Engineer Sketch" was performed by Martynn, Nancy Hillman, Linda Melnick, and Trinette Kern
- the con skits on Saturday night were "Mr. Jones Saves the Day" and "And the Scrod Shall Rise Again"
- Spocky Horror Picture Show was performed.
- the Fan Qs were awarded
- some panels: "Created Worlds," "Star Trek and the Movie, What Changes Will It Make?", "An Overall Look at Star Wars as a Fandom," 'Eroticism in Fandom, How Should It Be Handled?", "The Philosophy of Violence," "Partners," "Fringe Fandoms: 'Starsky & Hutch,' 'U.N.C.L.E.', 'Battlestar Galactica', 'Superman', 'Rocky Horror', 'Dragons, Darkover& Dernyi,'" "Long-Time Fans Reminisce," "How to Survive the PO," "and "Nessie, UFOs, and Genetic Engineering," and panels on Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Wars fandom, eroticism, filk, 'zines, pro novels and pro market, and fringe fandoms.
- there was a Georgette Heyer Tea, an art show, dealer's room, and a video room
T'Con 1979: Flyers
T'Con 1979: Con Reports
... the huckster's room was a zine fan's dream! Literally dozens of zines, photos, buttons, etc, etc, etc. The freebie table itself was three layers deep in zine flyers! Needless to say, the traveler's cheques flow out of my pocket in their haste to be exchanged for Facets, Time Warp, Syndizine, Skywalker, etc, etc! I wanted almost every zine I saw! Not only that but, due with undying thanks to Martynn, I was selling RV 2 every time some fan asked what-is-that-with-the-gorgeous-Martynn-illo-of-Solo-on-the-back?!
Before I knew it, Jani and I were standing in line to go to lunch, chatting with Kay Mc, Dayle P., Amy F., and Leah R. Con members were 99% the most friendliest, most open and generous fen I've met to date. Lunch was not much to talk about (the food, that is) but the singing trio of Lilker, Stevenson, and Salicrup destroyed the attendees with their rendition of "Tiptoe Through the Fanzines." Some zine ed really should print those lyrics!
Saturday proved to be a crowded, interesting day, morning and night. I made it to a panel on Alternate Universes at with Eileen Roy and Leslie Lilker read for Jai and Sahaj a declaration of children's rights which was one of the two funniest such documents over devised. Then the SWs fandom panel, vocally attended and further honored by the presence of Joni Wagner whom Judi H., Greedo, and PoBlocki all jumped up to salute, came to the consensus that this new madness could go on for a "thousand generations" with or without 12 sequels!
We were disappointed when the announced filksing did not materialize Saturday night. But that was remedied by a startling Star Wars schism that developed early Saturday night. Approximately 65% of the con members decided to go to one of two local movies, thus clearly delineating their diverse philosophies as regards the basic box offce appeal of Mark Hamill (in Corvette Summer) vs. Harrison Ford (in Hanover Street). Those who have met or corresponded with either Jani or me will know that we concur completely and enthusiastically with the Ford-fen and that we went happily off with Judi H., Jackie P., Kelly Hill, etc. to see Hanover Street!!!
The rest of Saturday night was taken up with small groups roaming, talking, filking and slowing sliding into sleep (ZZZZZZZZ).
Sunday saw the bidding in the art show get frantic, fiery, even downright Corellian... The art show itself was incredible! Martynn, Connie Faddis, Joni Wagner, Jane Rafferty, Signe Landon, Susan Perry, Lisa Mason, Phil Foglio, PoBlocki, and uncounted others created beautiful, awesome, hilarious, absolutely marvelous pieces of wonder My favorites were Martynn's "Hug", Susan Perry's Ford Portrait, Joni Wagner's "Kirock and Miramanee" and Phil Foglio's "Phrase!" I can't decide between "The Hug" and the Perry portrait of Ford as my choice for Best of Show, but would you believe Susan Perry said, in my hearing, that she doesn't even like Harrison Ford?
Sunday was indeed a day that "will be long remembered." It also saw the founding of the League of Corellian Independents. Jani and I, or rather our personae, jumped at the chance to become charter members. And have you ever seen what happens when a Wookiee (alias Mark Hyde) walks into a room full of female Corellians?
Amidst all this excitement we were back and forth, in and out, of the huckster's room, upping written bids on artwork, havning badges and buttons and friendships made all over the con. Jani filked for uncounted numbers of cassette recorders and fen, all of whom wanted copies of the lyrices, asap! I wandered happily, hawking RV 2 like a stack of newspapers over one arm, and Jani has the pictures to prove it! Hours, including those of the banquet, passed in a daze, except for moments like Gordon Carleton's entry into the banquet in a tux! At which a certain fan threw a napkin over his arm, and Greedo shouted "Waiter!"
The art auction lasted from 8:30 to 12:45, and the bidding, including that for Foglio's "No Smoking" sign from the art show door, was fierce!.... Martynn's "Hug" sold for $165.00!!!
[...][On Monday, after most fans left, other fans] sat around most of the day and night to compare story ideas, summer prospects, and WindyCon plans. We bought more artwork and commisioned some. We negociated with various writers and artists to submit to ReVisions and Twin Suns. We sold all but 4 copies of RV 2! We sang, talked, and even packed! We just kept on going fannishly, till about three AM Tuesday morning... 
... as a die-hard SW fan and an ex-Trek person (I didn't even know fandom existed when I was into Trek back in '67, '68, '69!), I was upset at the attitude evidenced in the huckster's room by some Trekfen who would pick up a zine, find out there was SWs material in it (odd, Galactica et al didn't seem to get the same reaction) and very rudely SLAM said zine back on its table. I intend to address myself to that more fully in the lead editorial of OtherWhen's new zine Twin Suns when it debuts in the spring, but for now suffice to say I was appalled. Please, people, if we don't hang together [as fans]...
[snipped]Congratulations are due to Martynn and Maggie Nowakowska for their Fan-Q's; I understand Martynn's still in hyperspace about it. She did note, however, that the $165 which this editor
jacked upencouraged the "Hug" to sell for only made a small dent in the emotional hassles pursuant to having to sell the piece. That women really does not like to sell her Solos! I don't blame her -- If I had them I wouldn't want to either. Thank you also to Sue Perry for the fantastic Ford which now adorns my wall... When Joan Winston was auctioneering it, she noted, "Those eyes are ALIVE, folks!" All too true. 
Thank you, to everyone who voted for me, and everyone who participated in the ((Fan Q)) Awards voting. For me, knowing that my stories have brought enjoyment to so many people is a deeply felt thrill. For a storyteller, the greatest satisfaction comes from knowing you have fully filled your audience with enough goodies to keep them past 'finis'. Your acknowledgment of my stories will keep me smiling for a long, long time. The award it self is respectably assuming and occupies a readily visible space by the door to my office. I hope to have a chance to meet all of you when United Airlines and circumstances feel more benevolent than they did this spring. 
I must admit to being really quite moved by the presentation of the Fan Q. I think all the artists nominated have been doing such a tremendous job that they each deserved special commendations too. As for me, as I tried to get mouth in gear with brain on overload at the time of the award, I owe a large measure of my success to the editors (You may take a bow! Applause! Bravo!) who provide the exposure and vehicle for my art to circulate widely (I get letters from Germany about my art in WARPED SPACE) and to those incredibly talented writers who keep sending me manuscripts that just automatically send me running for pen and sketchpad, and lastly I owe a huge debt to those readers and art critics who write the critical and/or complimentary LoCs to 'zines and personal letters to me. As a postscript, I guess I owe a hell of a lot of inspiration to good ol' Roddenberry & Lucas for their wonderful images. (And a private thank you to a certain H.F. for having such a face as drives one to draw ... ) ... Anyway, I hope I've given credit where due. 
There were five of us in the car on a wet and cold night with the possibility of a gas-less return. Why is it that all con reports start out like this? In our case, like many others, it was true; however, unlike most con-goers, not all of us were Star Trek. fans. Sue, Karen and I were all of an age, but Liz was not yet 16, and accompanying her to her first out-of-town con was her mother. It speaks well for the lady that she did not totally crack up after a six hour ride with us up and back. This was my first con where I was not working on the committee; and I can tell you that I was looking forward to it. It lived up to my expectations.
The first panel I went to was on Saturday and what a way to start a con—to see a fight between Jai and Sahaj (they had made up by the end of the panel, however, and were on their best behavior the rest of the time). Also on the panel were J.M. Eilke (Future Wings), Eileen Roy and Leslye Lilker (Jai and SahaJ), Devra Langsam (Kershu), Leslie Fish (The Weight), and Paula Block and Jackie Paciello-Truty (The Continuator) — that is, that's who was supposed to be on it and thereby is my gripe for the con (one gripe for the whole thing might not be too bad, but it was frustrating)... I didn't know everyone, nor did I know what they had written or where. If there was ever a formal moderator for any of the panels I saw, then they weren't doing their job, because no one was properly introduced to the audience — and from some of the questions and mutterings I heard, I was not the only who was getting lost. So very early on I had to the idea of telling you who said what — I don't know (usually I'm getting to know a few people) so I will have to provide you with the gist of what went on. As I started to say, the panel on Created Worlds was most interesting. All of the panelists seemed to have a full grasp of "their" world and its happenings, both past, present and future — a thing common to most SF authors whose work I enjoy.
The luncheon featured a singing group called SALVAGE 3—composed of L. Lilker, J. Salicrup, and J. Stevenson. I especially enjoyed their rendition of "Ode to a Kraith Vulcan", dedicated "to Jacqueline Lichtenberg, who started it all" and "Bedding Amanda" (to the tune of "Waltzing Matilda"). As you may have gathered, the songs saluted (?) some of our favorite and best known fan authors — including some of the singers, and Jean Lorrah, to whom "Amanda" was dedicated.
Afternoon panels were interesting. The best attended was "Eroticism in Fandom — How Should It Be Handled?" The discussion soon evolved into more of a SHOULD it, with specific reference to the K/S premise ((that Kirk and Spock have a homosexual relationship)). Tempers were high, and so were emotions. Serving on the panel were Martynn, Carol Frisbee, Theresa Holmes, Alice Jones, and Leslie Fish. However, there was so much participation from the audience that it seemed as though the whole room was on the panel. While not wishing to pontificate, the thing I heard the K/S group saying which I found inappropriate was that in their minds, their interpretation IS part of aired ST— rather than the philosophy that one creates in "alternate" universe based on what one "sees" in aired ST. That idea I could not support, as I seriously doubt that a television producer/director/actor in the 60's would have ever had that concept in mind, and if you say what I heard them say, that would have to be the case. Alternate universe, I can understand how some people might find such a concept interesting, but I cannot accept it as being part of the aired universe. Nuff said.
The next panel, on "The Philosophy of Violence," provided some interesting moments of thought, as the point seemed to be agreed upon by all the panelists that it is much easier for a beginning author to "hurt" characters to provide the drama required, rather than to write the character and plot through other means.
Sunday morning the panel on "Pro Novels and the Pro Market" was interesting. It would seem that a number of people have become very frustrated at trying to get a Star Trek novel into professional print. The lesson of the panelists (Marguerite Krause, Joan Winston, Joyce Muskat, and Mary Schmidt) was that if someone asks for money from you to read your novel, they're no good. Reputable agents do not apparently do such a thing.
The next panel was on "Zines, Trend and Quality." Featured were Dotty Barry, Roberta Rogow, Dixie Owen, and Anne Elizabeth Zeek. The consensus was that while prices have to remain low, reducing type to too small a size (i.e. to illegibility) and having sloppy printing is also not appropriate. There were some complaints about zines which do not accurately reflect in flyers the proportionate amount of art, poetry, and fiction they feature.Also featured on Sunday was a panel on "Censorship". Everyone agreed that it was not something we want to see imposed on us from above, while reserving the right to decide what we, as individuals, choose to read — and warning people to be sure that all advertising reflects what it is we may be buying. Those are the highlights — and I will say that the car going home was not filled with conversation, as all of us except Liz's mother and the driver (Sue) were buried in zines.
- A Brief History of MediaWest accessed October 4, 2012.
- from Dean Calin in Fleet #21 (April 1978)
- from a report by Ronni S in ReVisions #3
- from a report by Jani Hicks in ReVisions #3
- from Maggie Kowalski in Warped Space #42 (September 1979)
- from Marytnn in Warped Space #42 (September 1979)
- from Jean Airey in Zeor Forum #1 (January 1980)