ZebraCon/1995

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ZebraCon 12 (1995)

The ZCon t-shirt for 1995 depicted various fan favorites as characters from Shakespeare. Starsky was Puck and Hutch Oberon. Doyle was Ariel and Bodie Hamlet. Illya and Napoleon appeared also, as Duncan and Petruchio. They were based on Suzan Lovett's interpretations.

There were 155 registered members listed in the program book. All members were listed by legal name (first and last), their city of residence, and their hotel room number. By the time of the third progress report (Sept 1995), there were still 8 names on the waiting list.

This year the convention struggled to meet their "room quota." If they did not meet the quota, the cost of the function space increased. This was noted in the third progress report in Sept 1995:

"HOTEL: If you haven't made your room reservations yet, do it now,. And if you're trying to be cute and save a couple of dollars by not telling the hotel you're with the con, be advised that if we don't fill the number of rooms we guaranteed, the price of the meeting rooms goes waaay up - like several thousand dollars - and we wouldn't be able to pay it unless we cancelled the party. And if that happens, it would be the last ZCon, no question. Is saving a few dollars worth it???

In spite of this the event was capped at 225 people.

The progress report also pointed out other attendee shortcomings:

"T-SHIRTS: The response this year has been very disappointing: not even 50 shirts ordered as of 9/1. One problem might be that after years in fandom, most of us have nine thousand shirts already, but still... We'll extend the ordering deadline till Sept. 20, but that's it. And there won't be any extras ordered this time, either. HUGGY AWARDS: Another disappointment (what's wrong with you guys this year?) — only a handful of people bothered to send in nominations. Therefore, the stories/zines listed on the ballot (enclosed) are representative of the taste of just a small percentage of you. You do not have to be a member of the con to vote, so feel free to send the ballot to friends if you like. It's a very good idea to fill out your ballot before the con, when you have time to actually think about it and not just vote for what everybody else in your group is voting for. If you're mailing in your ballot, be sure it gets here before October 10!"

Vid Show

Playlists and vid show reviews from the 1990s and 2000s are being collected at ZebraCon/Vid Show.

Art Show

From the second progress report:

"SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS: Jean would like to tell all you artists that she is planning a "Bad Boys Corner" in the Art Show, so if you'd like to bring your favorite villain, be sure to let them know at check-in that it's meant for the special section. Also, we're having an artists' contest this year. The challenge: draw the Sandman. A prize will be *awarded for the best interpretation of Morpheus, voted on by the members. Why the Sandman? Why not? We like him?"

Convention Reports

I HAD A GREAT TIME!!!!!!!!!! Nice to meet all those people who were just names on envelopes or on email before--one major advantage to having a dealer's table. One fan from Scotland brought me bookmarks with the MacKenzie clan tartan & motto on them--small things can often thrill me more than big things, and that certainly did. Ate too much, didn't drink

enough, was amused at the amount of chocolate my roomies and I brought to the con. And great roomies they were--Debbie, Caroline, and Beth--hey, next time you bring a VCR cross-country, bring some tapes, too!

Sold stuff, bought stuff, made a major score by grabbing a collectible item: the Pros Crimebuster Kit. (It has all these cool toys: gun with detachable silencer, telescopic sight, extra magazine, and shoulder support; holster; CI5 ID badge; secret code watches; camera; radio that doubles as a water pistol, plus the box has this great photo of Shaw and

Collins actually using the toys and trying to look dead serious about it. I was highly amused to see "HG Toys" imprinted on the gun).

Most memorable con moment was when I found out we won the Best of Show award for our "Stray Cat Strut" vid -- very rewarding feeling, that. I have to say, I'm surprised we finished that vid as quickly as we did, considering the number of Doyleys lounging around Sandy's living room, forcing her to pause to rewatch prime Doyle moments every few minutes, with loud sighs all 'round... Yeah. [1]
"What a lovely time it was.

THE PEOPLE: Lots of wonderful fans from both coasts and everywhere in between, and international visitors as well. The number of people who are also on the list was entertaining

The ESCAPADE Party: (name changed to protect the fragile feelings of those other fans of that nasty old-boys fandom) The party on Friday night went really well, I thought. I never got to a liquor store, but Kathy S. and Gayle G. fixed that by coming up for a visit and gifting us with some very pleasant wines (chardonays and zinfandels). People were buzzed enough by the time we worked our way to the "bag-o-wine" that they didn't notice the drop in quality. Songvids were played, furniture was re-arranged, Morgan Dawn copied stories onto floppy disk for people, and I had a very nice evening, personally.

The art show was lovely, and I found myself leaving with a Suzie Lovett

Frank/Vinnie with Roger on the side called, "On the Outside, Looking In." Beautiful pencil, lovely emotions... now I have to convince myself to hang it (I don't usually display the more obviously graphic stuff). *sigh* :-)

I went into the con looking forward to new Pros zines, and I wasn't disappointed. Reviews to follow later this week, but I'll say now that D-NOTICE was worth the wait. I'm really enjoying it. Same for BeneDictum, I was wonderfully surprised by M Fae's story, liked (though was slightly weirded out by) Helen Raven's, and have saved Sebastian's for last, for some odd reason. I'm a few pages into it right now, and loving it all the way.

Saturday we had an "accidental" party that was really quite fun. more noise, more party, more people in our suite, and the bag wine was apparently inhaled, because it was gone EARLY. Thanks to all who helped keep me from having a wine hangover on Sunday. :-) I had an entertaining

misunderstanding with Rachel Sabotini that I may use to write a Pros story--great laugh about *that* the next morning, I can tell you :-).

Sunday was equally pleasant, though there was that painful nostalgia of saying "goodbye" as people kept leaving. Seeing Z-Con end always makes me sad, and the only way I know to avoid it would be to leave earlier... and that would be sad, too.

All in all, I had a wonderful time and have many nice compliments to Karen and Jean and everyone who helped, and I'll attempt to make a more organized "report" later... still too pleasantly nostalgic at the moment to analyze further. [2]

I heard about ZebraCon and put that on my list of to-dos sometime, for when I become really rich. But then a study opportunity took me to the US in 1995, so I added in an extra flight to Chicago so I could attend the Starsky and Hutch Mecca convention. It was fantastic. I met Suzan, my great hero, and talked to her a bit. I met fantastic other writers whose work I loved, and publishers whose work I admired and gratefully enjoyed, and lots of fans I'd been corresponding with for many years now.

Meeting the Big Name Fans that had previously only been names on a page followed by their fantastic work, was wonderful. And sharing the space with so many like minded people who loved the same guys I loved, is one of the things that only conventions can do for a fan. I shall never forget the S&H trivia Twister game. It ruled! [3]
On talking to some of the people at the Con I have come to the conclusion that the reason why the British do relatively poorly at the awards is because they do not get nominated and the reason for that is because they don't nominate themselves which it seems is what the Americans do. The motto is, therefore, nominate UK stories, authors and Presses for both the Huggies and the Stiffies to get them on the ballot papers! Unfortunately I was very disappointed with the dearth of new S&H zines (only 2.5 zines - half of one had been available at Mediawest) and about 5 Pros zines and this is billed as an S&H/Pros convention. [4]
UNCLE Zcon and the Lovett Masterpiece: Before Visions, there was ZCon. I drank a lot, watched a lot of UNCLE and [played] Cluedo with Catherine, Debbie, and other friends, and zoned out. It was bliss. We also got a Vid Contest preview when all of the folks going to the Led Zeppelin contest wanted to see each others' vids and cue their tapes for the contest. A Pros vid to "Stray Cat Strut" was a big hit and earned many a well-deserved moan at the contest, too. At the charity auction, Catherine (with donations from Debbie and me) won the Suzie Lovett "Your Fantasy Here" drawing. Although the drawing came with the stipulation that mix and match pairs were not allowed, Catherine talked her into our collective dream— Blake and Bodie. She seemed quite keen on the idea, actually, and I think asked to see Debbie's story. We ail have copies of the drawing now and they're gorgeous. [5]

References

  1. In 1995, Alexfandra posted the following convention report to the Virgule mailing list, posted here with permission. Her convention report also included brief reviews of the fanzines she purchased: D-Notice, Nudge Nudge Wink Wink #4, and Leather and Blue Jeans #2. Check the zine pages for the text of these reviews.
  2. In 1995, Charlotte Hill posted her review of the convention to the the Virgule-L mailing list. It is reposted here with permission.
  3. comment by galadriel13 at V-con Early Bird Panel "Past of our Fandom", October 17, 2014
  4. from Late for Breakfast #27
  5. from Rallying Call #16