ZebraCon/1986

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ZebraCon 6 (1986)

Zebracon 6 was held July 4–6, 1986 in the Chicago area. Membership was capped at 125 people.[1]

Convention Reports

S&S fandom was present, if not in force, at ZebraCon in Chicago July 4th, in the form of [three names redacted], myself and a few other hardy souls who came to our S&S panel. This panel was sort of funny, as I didn't know I was doing. It wasn't until I got there and saw my name printed on the convention program, and didn't get to even talk to my co-panelists til after the panel had started. Also, there were three on the panel and 4 or 5 in the audience, but what the heck, it was fun. A few S&S episodes were shown at the Con, but as they only had Beta machines (boo, hiss, and no VHS), I couldn't show anybody the stuff I'd brought with me. We've been making S&S (and S/S) songtapes...[2]
I believe I could do something like that once every month! (Once a week would be too often, I think — moderation in all things.) The aspect I found most enjoyable was being exposed to so many new and different interpretations of our boys. While I pick up other ideas from the letterzines and fanzines, it's so much more exciting to be with other fans and exchange thoughts. The panels were wonderful forms for exchanging thoughts and debating perceptions. But I also found it just as enlightening to be in the video room and listen as others pointed out bits of dialogue or business I hadn't noticed in just that way before. After so many years of viewing I seem to have fallen into a rut of 'how to watch," and it was quite refreshing to be exposed to so many new points of view. In particular, I enjoyed Pam's PMG panel and Marian's writer's panel. Pam: I wouldn't mind seeing your presentation turned into a full-fledged panel, if a VCR could be dragged into the panel room. I also can't wait to see what you do with Soul's body... Marian: I've hated every writer's conference I've ever attended, but I could listen to you discuss the craft for hours. (Maybe it's the topic?) Next con, would you consider setting up private tutoring sessions? [3]
I think we need to find out what is in the water supply at the Holiday Inn-O'Hare. Why? Because I missed more sleep in the time I spent at ZCon than I have in years and it's Monday and I'm STILL not tired. So maybe there was something in the water. More likely, it was being surrounded by friends... friends who understand perfectly why you're still interested in a cop show that went off the air six years ago. Friends who can help you catch up on what your two favorite men are doing now ... and bring PICTURES! ZebraCon was pure, unadulterated fun (especially the trip to the Amtrak station.) The panels were interesting and informative. The dealer's room had a wide variety of items for sale. Several zines debuted at the Con — The Goliath and Nightlight, to mention but two. (Hint: Buy them -- they're very good.) The highlight of the Con was on Saturday at the Awards Banquet. Tabby Davis was given a richly deserved award for her efforts on behalf of British fandom, and, *SIGH* the Ultimate Birthday Present: the shirt off Paul's back (worn in WAIT TILL YOUR MOTHER GETS HOME.) She was quite literally speechless. As was Suzan Lovett after winning Best Dramatic Illo, Best Artist, Best Writer and Best Zine in the S&H division of the Huggy Awards.

We listened to some incredible limericks from the winners of the writing contest. Next, we were treated to some beautiful songs from [April Valentine] and Sheila Willis. Marlene and Tyrone (David and Pat Massie) dropped by to demonstrate their ... well, I'm not quite sure what it was but they were unforgettable.After we caught our breath, the inimitable duo of Paula Smith and Jody Nye took over with their play, 'Scales of Just-As-Good,' which gave us a sword-wielding Hutch (Paula) and a Starsky with an accent that caae from somewhere farther east than New York (Terri Beckett). Carole Swoboda was a scene-stealing villain and Jody Nye a sinuous sea serpent (or was that sea-sick sea serpent?) [April Valentine], Pat Massie, and [Billie Phillips] gave excellent back-up as the Greek ... er, Swedish-Norwegian chorus. A side-splitting time was had by all. Following that, [April Valentine] and Pam Perry led us in singing "The Rose."

After a short break, we re-convened to auction off the gorgeous pictures from the Art Show. Paula and Karen made sure things moved on at a lively pace. Sunday was a day to sleep late, look for bargains in the dealer's room, and, unfortunately, say good-bye to friends. There was, however, the promise of next year, as Karen and Jean have decided to do it AGAIN (bless their hearts!) Hope to see you all in the fall of 1987! [4]
A con is different for each attendee.... A few more chapters of Master of the Revels were available for reading and were being passed page by page around the room with avid interest. Other visiting was crammed in, but time, as always, slipped away and we had to call a halt to get some sleep, darn it. Friday was busy with registration. Karen gave me ay "Queen Mary" size con T-shirt, the trivia lists and program book, etc., and "I tucked my Huggy ballot into the box. Then on to set up my table next to Suzan Lovett in the dealer's room; and into the Art Room with my artwork and papers for [Jean C.], who as always ran a beautifully organized art show. She and Karen make this convention a pleasure because it is run so well. Even standing in line and setting up I was visiting old and new friends. As I settled behind my table figuring on long periods of just sitting reading the new zines or listening to tapes, I discovered there wasn't a minute when someone wasn't coming over to visit. It was wonderful, my Walkman stayed in the bag as I showed old con pictures and talked of happy memories to everyone who came by, including our distance-covering fan friends; [T S] from Australia (who was mobbed by delighted readers telling her how much we all enjoy her writing); Terri Beckett from England (who brought over some lovely Vas and Dex drawings as well as the good news that Jody Nye will be distributing that lively universe to eager fans); and Tabby Davis from England (who brought a copy of her sold-out 10th Anniversary tribute to S&H and all their fans, her zine Celebration which later won the Huggy Award for best zine. I had voted for it myself thinking it best represents what S&H fandom is all about; a collection of good stories, poetry, artwork, comments, and other contributions by fans both visible and behind the scenes whose love keeps this fandom going.) Having these special people here made us all realize how wide-spread the love of S&H and the other cop-oriented characters included in the ZebraCon festivities has become. No matter how far away we are in miles from one another, we all share common interests that bring us very close to one another...That's the kind of con ZCon has always been. Friday was filled with panels. Other folks will have to tell about those as this was my first time to have a dealer's table of my own and I stayed there meeting all the con members as they strolled by browsing. Being next to Suzan Lovett who later became the Star of the Awards presentation along with [Jean C.], who also added to her collection of well-deserved winnings, was fun. Suzan is not only extremely talented, but a darned nice lady and a good friend, there to help whenever needed. Friday night was like the previous evening with dinner in the restaurant which ended up in a doggie box back in our room to be nibbled at leisure along with wine coolers. We all compared zines to lake sure nobody missed anything, and the visiting continued. I had almost forgotten it was the 4th of July and Miss Liberty's anniversary until we were reminded that we could see the display right out the hotel windows since we were high on the twelfth floor and commanded a good view from hall and bedroom windows of the waterfront fireworks ail along the lake. The art auction is always a highlight of the con for me even though this year the money was tight and nothing went over $100, unusual for ZCon and especially for Suzan's exquisite work. Some people (Tabby included) got real bargains that night! I bought my needlepoint bears and a delicious Martin by Jean, and some other good stuff the next day when 'leftovers' were being sold and traded in the dealer's room. Sunday was one long goodbye, the lost heartbreaking time of any con.[5]
JENNINGS: One thing I really enjoyed was going to the writers workshops at Z-Con. They were very Interesting and Informative, as well as a great place to get together with other writers.

POP STAND: Tell me about the workshop.

JENNINGS: Marian Kelly handled the one this year, and she brought up the fact that most writers use too many flashbacks; too much telling (S&H rescued so-and-so) and not enough showing. She also gave us a lot of helpful Information about the L.A.P.D., which Is wonderful for those of us who don't live In L.A. and wouldn't know the correct siren procedure, or what branches have control over what areas than a hole In the wall. If you're a nit-picker like I

am, these are things you really want to know."[6]

References

  1. The Hatstand Express #9.
  2. from Simon and Simon Investigations #2
  3. from The Who Do We Trust Times #4
  4. from The Who Do We Trust Times #4
  5. from The Who Do We Trust Times #4
  6. Popstand Express #14.