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ZebraCon 4 (1982)

ad for a video tape of this con, printed in the last issue of S & H

Zebracon 4 was held on October 15-17, 1982 at the Hyatt Lincolnwood in the Chicago area.

Membership fees: Attending: $20.00 + 3 legal-size SASEs. Supporting: $5.40 (or, $5 + a 40¢ stamp) + 3 legal-size SASEs. Supporting (England): £4 + 3 SAEs. If you wanted your Hoka/bear/dragon/sheep to have a name badge, apocryphal Persona Memberships were also available for $1.00 each.

The most popular panel was a slash Starsky & Hutch panel and the convention raised an additional $125 for Tabby's Fan Fund and $500 for charity.

The fan guest of honor was Tabby Davis.


Membership had been capped at 125. The con had 69 people in attendance and 34 supporting members.

From the second progress report:
There will be no at-the-door admission. We must have 65 people in order to put on this convention- and as of this date we do not. So tell your friends, tell your families, tell your goldfish - help us get the membership we need! All paid members (Attending and Supporting) get 3 Progress Reports, a name badge, and the Program Book. The Awards Banquet is included in the fee for Attending Membership, but you are responsible for other meals.

The Hotel

From the first progress report:
Our hotel is the beautiful, elegant, and lavender Hyatt Lincolnwood. Room rates are as follows: Single or Double Room $38.00; Triple $53.00; Quad $68. It is $15.00 per extra person, per night. Five huge suites are also available for the wealthy among us, at $138.00pernight. The entire Tower Wing is being blocked off for us, and we must fill 25 rooms both Friday and Saturday nights to fulfill our obligation to the hotel for the function rooms. We ask that you please not crowd 12 people in a room without paying for them, as everyone will suffer.

Video Room Issues

From the first progress report:
Due to the ambiguity of the current legal situation concerning videotapes, ZEBRACON is not programming any video presentation, and therefore, membership to ZEBRACON in no way constitutes payment for the viewing of video programs. We will, however, provide space for videophiles to get together for private showings of their favorite tapes.
From the second progress report:
Since we've been forced to give up the [Con] Suite [1], the situation re: video is really up in the air. Whether or not we can afford to take another room Is entirely dependent on the number of members we get...we should know something definite by the time PR3 comes out. We would like to provide a space for videophiles, but it depends on how many members we get.
From the third progress report:
... if you have any tape you'd like to show - and a machine to use - you can choose a time and list it on the board. We cannot provide video machines or tapes this year, sorry.

Some Food Tidbits

From the first progress report:
The Hyatt is famous for its kitchen, and we promise you a banquet that will knock your socks off. (Smug Californians: fresh fruits & veggies are available at this hotel!) Menu: fresh fruit cup, Chicken Kiev, rice pilaf, glazed carrots with raisins, zucchini & tomatoes oregano...and for dessert, chocolate brownie and vanilla ice cream with fudge sauce. *sigh* Milk, tea, coffee, iced tea also available. Please do not bring any liquor into the Banquet! The bar is right next door and you are welcome to stroll over and buy yourself a drink.

From the second progress report: " The Dead Dog Breakfast on Sunday morning will take place in one of the function rooms. To whoever asked - yes, you must bring your own dead dogs."

Con Library Suggestion

From the second progress report: "Paula Smith has generously offered to set up a 'Library' in the Dealers Room, with a lot of old and out-of-print S&H zines available for reading. Thez ines may not be taken out of the Dealers Room, but there will be chairs, floor space, etc."

Following the 1982 convention, one fan suggested that Z-Con consider setting up a Fanzine Library:
It 's been frustrating not to be able to afford attending a con and purchasing zines this year. I sure wish we had a library of zines available for loan throughout fandom for those of us hard hit by Reaganonimics. If the logistics of a mail order library are impossible to imagine, at least maintaining an archive that would be available at Cons for those of us who couldn't get certain zines over the years could be nice. At some of the ST cons I've attended in past years, I spent some very pleasant hours in the 'library' with out of print zines. Perhaps such a library could be financed through fan-reader and author contributions, maintained by the committee that runs Z-Con, the (S&H) letterzine, or else a committee elected by the fans through the con or l/zne. [2]

This particular library, meant to be available at cons, was never established, but other Starsky & Hutch lending libraries were later created. See Lending Libraries.

Convention Reports

Hooray for Z-Con, enough warm hugs to last us through the winter. Great people, panels and partying. It was wonderful to visit with [T] and [S] from England, [W] and [K] from down under, and [N] from Israel along with friends from all over this country. The only problem it was not enough time to visit long with everyone. As usual I felt like a revolving door, barely stopping long enough to say hello. Thank you all for the best Z-Con of all.[3]
(69 people in attendance, 34 supporting members, that the well-attended panel was a S/H one, comments that nobody was around on Saturday with the editor commenting they were all upstairs watching song tapes, there was a banquet, some awards for trivia and fiction contests, and folks read aloud from zines, a reminder that an 8-hour videotape of the con was made and is for sale, comments that there are three Starsky and Hutch cons, Z-Con, CopCon and doesn't name the other one.) [4]

Companionship, caring, Chicago, Z-Con IV —a dream come true. The weather in the windy city was still,
 clear, and warm and the atmosphere in the Lincolnwood
 Hilton was lavender, bright and congenial. From check-in to check-out, Z-Con IV was an enormous emotional high. I remember asking Karen at the end of Z-Con III what she was going to do for an encore. She didn't answer, she just did Z-Con IV. (see, Karen, does this take me one of your rah-rah girls?)

The con was a mixture of panels, dealers' room; chocolate, cheese and champagne for breakfast, lunch and dinner; Queen and tons of people — not to mention all that pizza — in our room; and the massive search for a stapler that could handle Strange Justice. (I would like to thank Barbara Green Deer for rising before dawn on Saturday to drive me out to her house and loan me Grand-father Stapler for SJ. Alas, it wouldn't staple the blasted thing. Barbara. I don't know how we managed in this fandom before you — even if we did have to tie you to the chair and force feed you that stupid Aaron-Spelling cop show — and I hope we never have to manage without you.) There were new friends, old friends, special friends and that's what this fandom is all about.

I especially enjoyed the S\H panel because in addition to Edith, Amy, Karen and I talking to the attendees, there was a discussion among all those present, whose ideas are as valid and as interesting as any of those of the panel members. I hope we will be able to continue this discussion when the clan gathers next.

The banquet -- ah the banquet. Not only was the food eatable, it was actually good. My compliments to the chef, the ConCommittee and the staff at the hotel -- the service was as good as the food. (Jean, will you please tell Diana that I had nothing to do with the selection of the chicken, the zucchini, or the chocolate...

The Huggys. The ballot arrived with PR#3 and was one of the most difficult ballots I have ever seen -- but it had nothing to do with the categories. My problems arose from the quality of the material from which I had to chose what I rated the best. [much about the Huggy Awards snipped] [5]

I simply could let ZebraCon 4 go by without saying how absolutely fabulous it was. Karen didn't lie about the colour of the hotel either -- it was wonderful. Unlike what we we'd been promised, we were not all in one section of the hotel, but this didn't matter a bit, and in fact made for quite a bit of fun by the time Sunday and JammieCon rolled around. Just picture 20 or so ladies trooping around the hotel corridors in their various night attire....

ZebraCon 4: 3-4 days of love, warmth, caring and sharing. It began Thursday night with pizza in Diana and Kendra's room while we watched HBS. Friday morning was our first experience of Tessie' where we were first introduced to what became known as the dreaded fruit spear -- even the oatmeal for breakfast was accompanied by the spear with cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew melon, and pineapple. For me, a trip to the Dealers' Room was next on the agenda. Mistake! Every time I walked in to that room, I walked out with my arms laden. I managed to buy several scripts (THE FIX included) and a number of zines -- in addition to the ones I'd had on order to be picked up at Z-Con, so many buttons, etc. From there it was to the Art show, and what a stunning display that was. Voting was NOT an easy task. Congratulations to all the winners. The writers workshop was well underway by the time I arrived, but I made it just in time to hear the stories written about the photos that had been handed out. I was so pleased to read Jan's letter in S&H#37 and to know that she intends to publish those efforts. Put me down for a copy, Jan. Somewhere around 3.30 I managed to fit in a hamburger (with a fruit spear) and then it was back to the Dealers' Room. Dinner was accomplished with much frivolity and brandishing of fruit spears and then it was on to the Get Acquainted party. Uncle Ima put in an appearance duly greeted all and sundry, treating all to his special kind of humour.

I want it known that Paula Smith is a living doll, and I have a wonderful illo (for which I was ostensibly outbid!) as a birthday present to prove it. Paula, I love ya!

Next day was a carbon copy of the first, Dealers' Room (alas), Art Show, panels, food, and then back to the room to try and repack my case while Paula, Susan, and Karen fell about laughing, swearing I'd never get the thing closed. The banquet was wonderful and I think everyone actually enjoyed the food -- well maybe Karen L wasn't too thrilled, but I kept telling her they couldn't put vegemite in Chicken Kiev. The awards were announced and then it was on to the auction. Bidding on all items was fast and furious -- I only wish my meager finances could have kept up with it (not to mention my suitcase). Karen was the lucky highest bidder for the kiss from [David M]. She collected with grace and dignity (What?!). Susan and Karen L were already asleep by the time Paula and I staggered back to the room in the wee small hours of Sunday morning.

A few hours short of sleep, and then it was on to the dead dog breakfast of coffee and doughnuts in [Karen B's] room. This was the breakfast where they plugged in the coffee pot and urn for tea and promptly blew all the electricity in their room.... Sight-seeing was next on the agenda, with a tour of Chicago....

Back at the hotel, things were heating up for JammieCon. The company, the song tapes, everything was beautiful, and I was really sorry when Monday rolled around and we had to leave. Jean said that the numbers were down, but that gave the whole Con a "family" feel. I concur fully. It was a wonderful feeling at that Con, with less people, there was more chance to talk to everyone. Thank you to everyone who attended, and those who attended in spirit, too. [6]


  1. Due to less attendees than expected and therefore less cash for "the little extras."
  2. S & H #38 (January 1983)
  3. S & H #37 (December 1982)
  4. S & H #38 (January 1983)
  5. S & H #38 (January 1983)
  6. S & H #38 (January 1983)