franzeska: (Default)
franzeska ([personal profile] franzeska) wrote2014-01-21 04:05 pm
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Wincon con report & Escapade pimping

Wincon con report and Escapade

So... I have tried to write a Wincon con report multiple times, and, each time, it has come out as an impenetrable wall of invective and swearing. But I think it's important to write con reports, so I'm wrapping that unpleasantness into something a little more positive. Here's the short version:

Wincon's website is very glitzy and professional looking, which lulled me into thinking the con was equally slick. In reality, the con is a poor imitation of other cons in its class, most of which have crappier websites but better dissemination of news, more competent concoms, and better programming. It is supposedly multi-fandom but felt very much like a Supernatural con that has added a few other fandoms. It is supposedly not slash-specific, but I've heard more love for the ladies and for het ships at slash cons. It has a relatively young average age compared to other cons in its class, yet twice as much cliquish cane-shaking and complaints about the kids these days. I did come with a group of people, but I devoted plenty of time to trying to meet new ones. No dice. I have never in my life felt so roundly snubbed, ignored, or unwelcome at a con. (This is me we're talking about. I accidentally make friends with people on the bus and in line at the supermarket. Being alone and sad is not a problem I normally have at cons.) I have never felt like newbies were so wholly unwelcome, including at Con*Strict, a con of around 25 people who've all known each other for years that I walked into alone, ill, and pessimistic. (Everyone was super welcoming and I had a fantastic time despite being under the weather.) I walked into WinCon optimistic and well. Between the con and the ever-present cigarette smoke, neither lasted.

To add insult to injury, the concom was extremely smug about WinCon being unusual when it's actually part of a whole group of similar cons and also extremely smug about how much of a feminist safe space it was when it is actually much worse than other cons I have attended. In addition to plenty of creepy hating on female characters from the mostly female attendees, there was also a disgusting drunk guy stepping on women's feet on the dance floor. He was large, scary, and out of control. He also appeared to be there with the con organizer, so it's not like anyone was going to report him. She sat and watched him scare women from the dance floor, including the one who told me he smashed her foot twice but just kept on leaping around after muttering "Oh, sorry". Nobody should have to tell the concom that was not okay. Some safe space! (No, I do not want to hear huffy defenses in the comments here. It happened. Passive-aggressive explanations won't make it better.)

I feel cheated. This con was not as advertised. I could have spent that money on a much more deserving and fun con, and it hurts all the more because cons of this type often live or die by a difference of a few members.

Cons of this type? What does that mean? If you go to any of them, you can probably already guess all of what I'm about to say, but that's a tiny fraction of online fandom, so here's a rough description for anyone else who stumbles across this post. Simply put, WinCon is in a class with fancons that are slash cons or that have a similar vibe to a slash con. These cons are all run by volunteers, most of them barely break even, and they tend to have 50-100 attendees, though some of them shoot for more. There often aren't day passes or they're extremely limited, and the price for the whole weekend is ~$100. (I mention this for perspective. Yes, they're much more expensive than a lot of anime or gaming cons. You're not being ripped off: it's just hard to pay for function space with <100.) They're 90-100% women. The top authority is an unpaid volunteer concom with individual attendees doing smaller volunteer tasks like manning the registration table for an hour or two during the con. They usually run Friday-Sunday with a vid show on Friday and a dance and/or party on Saturday or vice versa. Their main programming is discussion panels led by volunteer attendees, usually on a mixture of fandom-specific and cross-fandom meta topics. There are no guests, fan or pro. There tends to be a LJ fandom-y vibe with fic and meta being very important. The more oldschool ones have dealers' rooms and/or zine libraries. Some have an art show. Most have a con suite, a swap table, and some kind of charity raffle. Overall, they're kind of like a more organized fan sleepover party. Do not fall for WinCon's bullshit attitude that it is the ~lone LJ-in-real-life~ experience. Cons of that flavor have existed for decades, and while many of them are dead, a bunch are still live and kicking.

Extant, ongoing cons I have attended that fall into this general category, all of which I recommend 100x more than WinCon: Con*Strict, CON.TXT, Escapade, SHareCon, Tribal Forces, VividCon.

Special mention goes to BASCon, which is "on hiatus". I move back to the Bay Area only for our local slash con to die! Wah! If it had only gone a few more years, I could have dragged a good dozen new people into going, and that might have made all the difference. Yaoi-Con is also local to me. The last time I went (circa 2003), it had some distinct differences from Western LJ-y fancons, but it's more similar to these than to ComicCon or actor cons. MediaWest*Con is an oldschool Media Fandom con, so it does things like segregate slash and "gen" (i.e. het), and it's less LJ-y, but there's a general similarity.

Cons I have not attended that I hear fall into this category: Muskrat Jamboree, Pacificon/Bitchin' Party, REVELcon, Vidcon/Southern Media Con, VidUKon. (And probably others on the Fanlore slash cons page, but I haven't heard as much about them.)

WinCon moves around the US. I'm not a fan of cons that move because I find that they tend to be very destination-oriented as though I'm going to go to one big con every year and plan a whole vacation around it. I go to cons to see fans, not to leave the hotel and sightsee--which means I also don't like it when everyone I'm there to hang out with constantly disappears, as was the case with WinCon. The cons above are spread across the US: Seattle, San Francisco, LA, Las Vegas, Houston, Chicago, Lansing (Michigan), Boston, DC, and central Florida. There's plenty to choose from if location is your main constraint, and I see proposals for new cons on Tumblr all the time. Hell, if you're in the Bay Area, you can come sleep over on my couch and we will eat bad microwave popcorn and watch slashy movies and it will be much better than WinCon.

The thing that bummed me out the most about WinCon was the panels. I liked almost none of the proposed topics. Yeah, I should have been more careful to check the con LJ (not the glitzy but never-updated website that looks deceptively like it should have actual news on it). Yeah, it's not entirely the concom's fault I missed the panel suggestions period. But I notice that Escapade tends to do things like extend the panel deadline when people don't submit enough ideas or when the concom fails to notify people that the deadline is approaching. The first notice I got about WinCon was a friend reminding me that voting was about to end. The con organizer snottily told us that you don't need to be her friend to be on a panel; it just looks that way since no one volunteered to run anything. Guess what? I would have volunteered to run any topic I knew anything about. There were none.

That said, I should still have volunteered because the panels were universally awful. A too-large panel-panel sat up at the front of the room and shared in jokes with each other while failing to call on anyone else. The same people were on the majority of the panels I attended, and not only were they cliquish but they were awful public speakers too. In a few cases, they confessed they knew little about the topic at hand. I don't go to fancons to be lectured. I go to fancons to discuss. Even in panels where I had nothing to say, there were many people in the audience being ignored in favor of this Wisdom from On High approach. That might be appropriate when there are celebrity guests, but it was repulsive here. The more "casual" panels at WinCon were held in the room that doubled as the hang out space. It wasn't a con suite and had no food, but it was noisy, so that the panels kept asking other fans to shut up because they couldn't hear their own discussion. Awful, awful, awful.

VividCon does have a room setup with chairs facing forward, partly because it has a lot of audiovisual stuff that makes moving chairs into a circle unworkable. However, many "panels" consist of a moderator prowling the room, looking for people to call on. Only a few topics are in a lecture format, and they tend to be technical ones where the presenter has prepared ahead of time and knows information the audience doesn't. VVC also has a rather narrow topic that lends itself well to lecturing. Escapade is a multifandom slash con and more similar to WinCon. Most "panels" there end up arranging chairs in a circle to facilitate group discussion. The other cons I mentioned above tend to either rearrange chairs like this or go with the prowling mod working the room. Having the same bad public speakers hold forth on every topic without calling on the audience or preparing ahead of time is absolutely a failure of the concom and there is no excuse. Not at WinCon, not at any other con. You can and should expect more for your money.

But enough bitching. The essential point I'm getting at here is that most dinky fancons could really use new people. Most are way under capacity or hovering a little below. Most could use more active attendees who suggest panels, offer to run panels, advertise the con, hold room parties, etc. etc. etc. Other attendees are a huge part of what makes any of these cons feel like "LJ in real life". (...I say as I post to DW and scroll through Tumblr.) Too few attendees or totally apathetic attendees take a lot of life out of a con. A few enthusiastic people can inject life back in. Support your local con today, yadda yadda.

I adore VividCon, but for a more general con, Escapade currently gets my #1 vote. Lots of vidding-related panels but also lots of non-vidding stuff. Lots and lots and lots of meta and multi-fandom panels, so rare fandom-loving me always has at least one thing to attend in any block of time. Tons of people who like m/m/f pairings or ship het and slash in different fandoms and no particular "slash only" vibe. A general vidshow that accepts non-slash vids too. (I wouldn't propose a m/f panel topic or send an ultra shippy het vid, but people aren't touchy about getting ~icky cooties~ in their pure m/m slash or anything.)

And lots of cool people go, both just plain nice and fun people I've met by going to Escapade and people I know from impressive online reputations whom I'd like to meet. The concom is really making an effort to welcome new people and to get fresh blood in. No stick in the mud "offa my lawn" here. But it's also a con with a zine library and people who've been in fandom since velociraptors roamed the earth. (No, no, not the anonymous sort, though I hear there will be several there this year.) In an era when new fandoms seem to be born, flourish, and die every week, running into fans and fandoms that are older than dirt is fun. It provides a nice sense of continuity.

Speaking of which, I am planning to have a room party at Escapade this year. Last year, I attempted to murder jetpack_monkey with a birthday vid. The year before that, I had my own birthday party at the con. But this year, I'll have recently turned 33, which both makes me an adult hobbit and marks approximately 20 years since I got into fandom. (Season 1 Scully, STILL THE BEST CHARACTER EVER!) I think that calls for alcohol a party, don't you? Details TBA, but anyone at the con is welcome.

Escapade posts a list of members online. The con can definitely have more than 98, and it's not till the very end of February, so you've got plenty of time to sign up. Join us!

Panel nominations are now closed, but I nominated every freakin' fandom and meta topic I could think of, and the suggestions from other people all look fantastic. At this stage, there should be something there for everyone. We have an amazing list to vote on soon. (Soon?) Don't forget to vote!

I've been going through the list. With 113, I don't want to forget to vote for anything that looks awesome, especially if it was proposed by someone other than me. Escapade has four tracks of panels: General/meta, Fandom-specific, Tech/Workshop, and Alternate programming/video. I rarely find single-fandom panels interesting, but that still leaves three whole tracks at any point in time, so I never lack for panels to attend. For anyone whose eyes are glazing over at that list, here's my summary of what's been proposed this year. It won't be any less tl;dr, but it's in a different format, so...

Fandom-specific: Almost Human, Arrow, Big Bang Theory, Community, due South, Elementary, Grimm, Haven, The Hobbit, Hockey RPF, Lost Girl, Magnificent 7, The Mentalist, Orphan Black, Pacific Rim, Person of Interest, The Professionals, Sherlock, Sleepy Hollow, Star Wars, Supernatural, Teen Wolf, Welcome to Night Vale, White Collar, and a bunch of flavors of Marvel Cinematic Universe and related things.

Vidding-related: Festivids discussion/mini vidshow, vidding 101 how-to, vidding discussion from the perspective of a non-vidding viewer, vids to weird sources/extreme AU vids, general meta about why we vid, vidding aesthetics, and another round of The State of Vidding Fandom.

Out of these, I'd really like to see The State of Vidding Fandom make a reappearance. We did this last year or the year before, and it's basically the "Is everyone on Tumblr or what?" panel. It would also be a good place to discuss stuff like gifsets with music suggestions if none of the other panels on stuff like that make it. The others are old favorites or random things that came to me while friends were bitching about vids. I hope people are still interested in a Vidding 101 because I had fun running that before, and Escapade has plenty of attendees who haven't vidded since dinosaurs and betamax roamed the earth. I have no strong feelings on the others, but I like Escapade having a strong vidding presence, so it's good to have vidding panels.

Zines: Two different 'are zines dead forever?' panels. They'd be combined, of course, but I hope a zine panel does make it because money and physical fan projects are an interesting topic. DIY zines and doujinshi are alive and well, and I've seen some hardcopy projects on Tumblr. I don't think paper is necessarily dead in fandom, just different than it used to be. And there's plenty to talk about in terms of curated online fanworks vs. gatekeeperless freeforall.

Tropes and trends in fic: A big chunk of the general/meta panels fall into a category I'd describe as tropes or trends in fic. I proposed a lot of them, figuring they'll be popular and that most people forget to nominate, but they're not necessarily panels I'm fascinated by myself. They all have clever titles, but here's my attempt at a very succinct version of what's been proposed:

OT3s, evolution of shipping (m/m OTP to multishipping/OT3s/whatever), idfic, religious themes in slash, character/actor death, noncon, h/c, manpain, antihero or jerk, top/bottom dynamics, clams, taboo fetishes, wave theory of slash, Any Two Guys, misogyny and slash, selfcest, robots.

Tech/Workshop: Tumblr, "plastics", fan artist hangout, writing good smut, Calibre, art show gallery crawl, getting over insecurity and trying a new art form.

I'll run the Tumblr one if nobody more qualified wants to. I know we still need the panel because Escapade is a hotbed of oldschool fans (whether that means journalfandom or zines) who are continually bewildered by Tumblr. The one I personally most want to attend is "plastics" a.k.a. make your own dildo. Hear that, people who missed out on the ZPM dildo last year?

Other alternate programming: Library workers discussion (n/a to me) and Pew! Pew! Pew! There's More to Guns than More Dakka, which sounds like the coolest topic ever. I will go just to sing the praises of the IMFDB. Most fandoms are badly represented, but my beloved Miami Vice's epic gunporn is all over there. Do I dare hope the gun topic was proposed by an expert who wants to educate me?

Other general/meta topics: 'Adventures in the Bush: Safari through the rubyfruit jungle' (a.k.a. the femslash panel that I hit submit on before finishing writing a clever description), how much slashy text/subtext is good, 'Pretty, Angsty, Snarky, & Camraderie: The 4 Elements of Slash?' (an old topic I stole from a past Escapade program), porn recs (porn porn, not fic), I'm Sorry I Got You Into This!' (regrets about pimping fandoms), a boring Jensen Ackles/BSOs who make us crazy panel, and fannish osmosis/reading the fic without knowing canon well.

None interest me that much, but I'll probably go to a femslash panel if people vote for it and someone else wants to run it. That old Escapade topic could generate an interesting meta discussion too.

Publishing: There are a couple of proposed panels on practical advice on getting into publishing and one on fandom businesses and the morality of fandom and money.

Pimping: The usual range of pimping-related or how-to-revive-your-fandom panels also got proposed: General how-to, reboot fandoms, favorite POC, overlooked non-dead fandoms, fandoms with unusual origins (cable/netflix original/webseries). I always enjoy discussing how to revive/maintain a fandom, but the final schedule probably only needs at most one panel on this topic.

Categories of fandoms: Not single fandom but still in that direction. Panels proposed this year are: Movie fandoms, Westerns, Anime, Bands/Music RPF, Superheroes.

The 4th Wall: The two I spot out of the list are pros stealing from fandom and celebs like Orlando Jones who are on tumblr/tweet at fans. I already know how I feel about Orlando Jones (LOL, AMAZEBALLS) and his ilk (k8, ILU!), and I don't have anything to say about plagiarism by ebook authors. 4th wall topics mostly bore me. ...says the girl with her name in that LA Weekly article. (Hi, Mom.)

Fandom community: And then there's a topic I find consistently fascinating: fandom as a community. How we form our community, how we define ourselves, how we adapt to changes, etc. There are a bunch of panels that I would group this way. Proposed topics are: anon memes, modes of discourse (civil debate vs. shouting), skits/filk/fannish artforms that are dying out in parts of fandom, finding a term to replace "Media Fandom" and a way to define current fanworks-making fandom, LJ-->Tumblr exodus and its effects, conventions, how to rekindle fandom love when you have no current fandom/hate tumblr, fests/exchanges/events, Yuletide's effect on fandom/fandom butterflies vs. monofans, and "Real Fannish Community".

I like that last one the best for its succinct but broad topic. Here's the description: "Has AO3 ended the era of real fannish community or has it ushered in a new era of increased connectedness? Is Tumblr better or worse than the old days (and were the old days livejournal? yahoo groups? APA snail mail zine groups?)? I'm hoping for equal parts "get off my lawn" and "the future's so bright I gotta wear shades" debate here."

I think a FFA discussion and many of those other topics would be best rolled into a general panel like this one.

Games and stuff: I proposed fannish pictionary. Personally, I have zero interest, but it's easy to set up, everyone already knows how to play, so anyone can run the panel, and games are crazy popular at a number of other cons, so why not Escapade? Somebody else proposed the idea of a storytelling circle type thing. If meta mental masturbation isn't your thing, maybe one of these will appeal. I also proposed a game where we pick a year at random and then revisit what was big in fandom then. This would be a pain in the ass to prep for, but I think it could be fun, especially if people who've been in fandom a long time want to play. (It's super unclear from my description. My idea is... like... we pick out of a hat or somebody yells out "1995", and then people in the room say what fandoms they were into in 1995/what big wank went down that year/what cons they attended/what shows started that year/etc. If nobody has enough to say, the mod pulls out some prepped stuff and reads off a snapshot of fandom at the time: "X was big. Y didn't exist yet. Z posted their first fanfic." One half stroll down memory lane, one half new people boggling at life before the internet.)

Fandom history: Speaking of fandom history, we also have proposed panels on fannish preservation (oral history, zine preservation, yadda yadda) and Fanlore. I envisioned the former as more of a moral issues and general discussion topic and the latter as brainstorming about things that are missing from Fanlore, but we'll see if people vote for either.

And on that note, I'll be doing some oral history interviews at the con. If I end up running even a tenth of the panels I proposed, time will be really tight, and I already have a list of people to try to interview, but if you'd like to be interviewed, come find me! Especially if you stay up late or can do an interview at a weird time. Or, hey, if I know you outside of Escapade and we can hang out some time and do an interview. These are audio recorded interviews, so we need a quiet place and ~40 minutes. The recordings go to the U of Iowa library, among other places, so don't out your friends if you know they wouldn't like that, and the ultra-shy may wish to steer clear, but these will probably mostly end up fueling the undergrad research of your fellow nerds who've conned a professor into letting them do their final paper on fandom. (Don't lie: you'd totally have done this if you could have found an appropriate class. Maybe you did do this. How much better would it have been with better sources?) If you've ever been annoyed at how biased the likes of Enterprising Women can be, come help me build a body of primary source for posterity. Zine publishers, readers with opinions, fan artists who got into fandom through Tumblr yesterday: if you've got something to say, I will interview you.

Still here after this tl;dr? Awesome. One final note: Escapade is a great con. The vidshow rivals those anywhere but VividCon. The party, however... It's been a little, dare I say, tame. This year, we're hoping to turn it into a proper dance party with a dance vid playlist. The concom has said they'll make space for this, and a few of us have offered to make a playlist and take care of the vids part. I haven't seen the new hotel yet, so we'll see exactly how this plays out. Last year, the dancing was off in a room on the side and I never made it in there. I'm looking forward to this year.
laisserais: kiss (Default)

[personal profile] laisserais 2014-01-22 01:17 am (UTC)(link)
Hell, if you're in the Bay Area, you can come sleep over on my couch and we will eat bad microwave popcorn and watch slashy movies and it will be much better than WinCon

I would sign up for this! (Excited to meet a fellow bay area-located fan. I feel like there are so few of us)

I'm sorry WinCon sucked. My thoughts on cons are complex and probably better left unarticulated, but yours are cogent and a lot of fun to read. I think what it comes down to is perspective and charisma in the con mods, right? As you say: a few enthusiastic folks is all it takes.

You make Escapade sound really interesting. Pretty much all of those topics sound fascinating. ...Maybe I'm meta starved.

Anyway, hello! I recently subscribed to you, and did not introduce myself, which I will now attempt to rectify. I greatly enjoyed your post about BBP. And am really pleased I get to subscribe someone so active in archiving. :)
laisserais: kiss (Default)

[personal profile] laisserais 2014-01-22 06:16 am (UTC)(link)
O_O wow, I really AM missing out! I guess I have been hiding under my rock for too long. Thanks for all of the info. Maybe I'll ease into things with one of the coffee shop meetups. :)

Haven! Such an awesome show!
nikibee: (Default)

[personal profile] nikibee 2014-01-24 10:45 am (UTC)(link)
Hi! San Leandro person here! We don't just do Teen Wolf, last week we also watched Attack on Titan, Sherlock, Psych, and Brooklyn Nine Nine. The week before that, we did Almost Human, Shield, and Parks and Rec. Basically, we watch whatever anyone wants to suggest so it's always a hodgepodge of randomness. You are most definitely welcome. Just join the meetup group for details :)
laisserais: kiss (Default)

[personal profile] laisserais 2014-01-24 04:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Hi! That sounds awesome, will do :)
laisserais: kiss (Default)

[personal profile] laisserais 2014-02-01 09:47 pm (UTC)(link)
morgandawn: (Cat Sleepy)

[personal profile] morgandawn 2014-01-22 04:16 am (UTC)(link)
another wave hello from a local south bay fan.
laisserais: kiss (Default)

[personal profile] laisserais 2014-01-22 06:17 am (UTC)(link)
Hi! I'm quickly learning that the bay's chock full of awesome fen. :)
coinin: Gold rabbit on a black ground, looking up at the moon. (Default)

[personal profile] coinin 2014-01-22 05:22 am (UTC)(link)
Hello from another Bay Area fan! Though I lurk and am rarely seen in person. ;)
laisserais: kiss (Default)

[personal profile] laisserais 2014-01-22 06:18 am (UTC)(link)
Hi! I'm so glad that you're out there!
flamingoslim: kitten with pink feathers in mouth (Default)

[personal profile] flamingoslim 2014-01-24 03:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Thanks so much for the kind words about SHareCon. Any chance we might see you there this year? Or Media West?
morgandawn: (Cat Basket Going To Hell?)

[personal profile] morgandawn 2014-01-22 03:52 am (UTC)(link)
you terrify me. Where the he'll do you get the energy?

don't answer that.
kerithwyn: Ship ALL the things! (Ship ALL the things!)

[personal profile] kerithwyn 2014-01-22 02:45 pm (UTC)(link)

hee! No, this was interesting. Too bad about WinCon. Bitchin' Party in Seattle was small but totally fun, the years I went. Can't wait for Escapade, and excited that it'll have a dance party, because that's really all tht was missing. I just hope my ankle's healed enough by then. :p

(Anonymous) 2014-01-22 06:32 pm (UTC)(link)
Franzi: I'll be at Escapade again this year and look forward to seeing you!

I have loved Escapade since its first con. I missed a lot of years but I returned last year and liked it a lot. It's super friendly, the concom is friendly and approachable, and it felt safe. The only statement you made that stopped me a tiny bit was you say it has no particular "slash only" vibe. I really got mostly slash vibes from it least that's been my experience. I'm just wanting to clarify maybe for people who've never attended that it is definitely a slash con but as you say friendly to all.

Anyway, I look forward to seeing you there again this year! Yay!

Natasha Solten (Wendy)

(Anonymous) 2014-01-22 09:33 pm (UTC)(link)
I completely understand what you're saying. In the old days (yes, I guess I am old!) we were definitely preoccupied with a safe space in which to love and talk about slash without frowns, disapproval and outright hate. That's why slash cons came to be, often starting out as private home parties and expanding from there. If people wanted to talk about het, that could be done everywhere and anywhere, at any con. We needed not just slash-friendly cons, but cons where the entire space could be dedicated to slash.

In Trek fandom (where I originated) slash cons were never excluding gen, however the focus was slash, not het, and if het was met with any unfriendly reaction it probably was because of the idea "You can get that anywhere, or talk about that anywhere, here we want to focus on slash." It wasn't that they were saying you can't like het, too, but if het was a fan's focus they needed to know in advance they would probably not enjoy a slash con unless they were also a slash fan.

As for exclusionary mentalities, I've run into them. I belong to one K/S list that is super strict and snarky about anything not pertaining to Kirk and Spock ONLY. If McCoy is included in a menage it might be tolerated for a moment, but not for any extended period of time. When the reboot movies came out people started talking about K/S reboot. It seemed to be on topic and people didn't think anything of it until the moderators burst in saying that this list was about TOS K/S only. Reboot was NOT welcome. It was a shock to a lot of people. It hurt a lot of feelings. People were so excited by the new movie only to have their excitement chopped down by angry fans who decided they hated reboot and were purists. It was a narrow view that encouraged zero new fans, and we all know new fans are what keep fandoms going. As a retort, another more friendly K/S list I belong to piped up and said they welcome newbies and all/any reboot discussion along with the classic series. So it is the way of fandom since...well...forever. Everyone has different tastes and views and some are open to change and some are not.

I think even Escapade, in the past, in the beginning, was really exclusively m/m slash. That is only because femslash was not seemingly desired by anyone, or if it was they didn't speak up, and as I said, het also could be discussed and bought through zines at any Trek con. It took awhile for core, die-hard slash fandom to really branch out. I remember Escapade being 90 percent k/s when it started, then maybe with a nod to Bodie/Doyle and Starsky/Hutch and Blake's 7. Then the Escapade girls had a few strong Wiseguy years. And Miami Vice was a contender. People crossed over into multiple fandoms more and more with every coming year and multi-media fandoms started to spread like wildfire. If that still seems narrow it was because we were all still exploring, actually paving new pathways. That takes time, effort, in-fighting ensues, fandoms splintered off into new smaller groups, etc.

Coming from Anime is a completely different (and diverse!) upbringing. It's amazing to hear about it. I do remember people bringing anime into slash fandoms, pimping certain favorites in the 90s. It wasn't ignored, it was eye-opening. But still a lot of people didn't know what it was, or couldn't get their hands on what they might want, let alone in translation. I remember one beautiful one that people traded vids and stories of about an annoying little princeling boy who kept getting in the middle of, and interrupting, the attraction, seduction, love-making of his caretaker (some elegant, tough, hired bodyguard) and his lover who everyone thought was female but he was really male. It was called something like Patalliro...something like that. That was one of the first I remember people murmuring about.

I think fandom has changed with the Internet allowing more immediate socializing through groups, lists, LJ, dreamwidth, and instant messaging...and twitter and tumblr. But it is also very much the same in that it has its cliques and rudenesses, people who prefer only one way and don't want to accept other ways. Every fandom has those people. Every fandom has people who will ship only one pairing and do more than just frown on the rest but may actively, rudely disrespect other pairings. It is interesting to note that one LJ friend of mine felt completely unwelcome in Person of Interest fandom because she was a slasher and they wanted ONLY het and called her names. So even to this day, slash fans still get ostracized by loudmouthed bigots and hate. And there are still people today who believe fandom (in general!) is an illness. My own mom likened my Trek fannish activities to being in a cult.

(Anonymous) 2014-01-22 09:34 pm (UTC)(link)
I meant to sign that last entry "Natasha Solten" Wendy. I don't have a dreamwidth account so it always posts me anonymously.

(Anonymous) 2014-01-23 07:06 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks. I looked at Patalliro and I certainly don't remember the story correctly at all! But that just goes to show how horrible the translations were early on, too. And there was zero access. In the 80s and early 90s you couldn't just look this stuff up and find out anything about it. I think I saw one episode and made up in my mind what was going on because it's pretty wacky. I didn't know there was manga. I only saw anime of it and I think I once read a fan story. Now looking online I found 26 very short episodes. Weird series!

Natasha (Wendy)

(Anonymous) 2014-01-23 07:17 am (UTC)(link)
Ah, thanks for the comments id insight. I rarely leave comments on Dreamwidth. Hell, I should just get an account.

I realized I was looking at Patalliro Saiyuki which seems to be a spin off and all the characters are immortals. So I am remembering the ten year old Patalliro and bodyguard scenario accurately, because it's a separate series. Ack, my brain. I really thought my memory was screwed until I realized my mistake.

sc_fossil: (Default)

[personal profile] sc_fossil 2014-01-24 02:28 am (UTC)(link)
Franzi! What's up, girl? I'm coming to Escapade for the first time. I hope I'm not sad and lonely. *beg* I'm a bit daunted to show one of my vids since you've touted their vid show was wonderful. Let's hope I don't embarrass myself. And no, I have not vidded Celine. LOL!!!!

I've been to Revelcon and will go as long as they'll have me, which overall is my current no. 1 fav. It's such a blast. I've also been to SoMeCon many times. It's small but great fun. And we all know what a wild time SHarecon is. I did miss you at Tribal Forces last year but I understand since you've moved. (And I've moved also.)
morgandawn: (Apple Mac)

[personal profile] morgandawn 2014-01-24 03:25 am (UTC)(link)
I am looking forward to seeing you at escapade, have .you ever watched your vids on a big screen/convention?
sc_fossil: (Default)

[personal profile] sc_fossil 2014-01-24 03:34 am (UTC)(link)
It will be a pleasure meeting you, MD! And yes, many times I've been mortified by watching my vids on a big screen and seeing things I should have changed! *bg* Really, it's all good. I enjoy it and vids are one of my fav things to watch in any fandom.
nikibee: (Default)

[personal profile] nikibee 2014-01-24 10:48 am (UTC)(link)
Yesssss, that escapade attendees list looks amazing. So many awesome people that I can't wait to hang out with! And happy birthday!

Part of low con attendance...

(Anonymous) 2014-01-24 10:45 pm (UTC)(link)
"Tons of people who like m/m/f pairings or ship het and slash in different fandoms and no particular "slash only" vibe. A general vidshow that accepts non-slash vids too. (I wouldn't propose a m/f panel topic or send an ultra shippy het vid, but people aren't touchy about getting ~icky cooties~ in their pure m/m slash or anything.)"

That right there is why I no longer go to small cons, and why I barely have any fandom friends who go to small cons. Because fandom, particularly LJ-style fandom, is not a safe space for het or gen, and I'm kind of fed up with that. I'd rather do something else that doesn't involve fighting the same battle over and over with people who look down on me for my fic preferences. Maybe cons should try to reach out to other audiences besides slash if they want more people to show up?

Re: Part of low con attendance...

[personal profile] delibby 2014-01-25 03:16 am (UTC)(link)
Constrict has had het panels in the past. I'm thinking of the one a couple of years ago about het pairings that feel slashy. And I think there was another one that was a kind of secret confessions of het pairings you like. But they were very much het panels.
thirdblindmouse: The captain, wearing an upturned pitcher on his head, gazes critically into the mirror. (Default)

Re: Part of low con attendance...

[personal profile] thirdblindmouse 2014-01-29 07:44 pm (UTC)(link)
I suspect the reason for the prevalence of a slash focus in small cons is a history of slash being unwelcome in major cons, so the slash fans were the ones with sufficient impetus to make their own space. Meanwhile het and gen fans have felt sufficiently welcome at the mainstream industry and general public cons that they haven't been motivated to make their own cons. (I don't know much about the history of cons in particular, but it has been my experience that the answer for "why does X and not Y have fannish thing Z" is generally that Y has something else which, if not quite as good as Z, is more easily obtainable.)
greenygal: (Default)

[personal profile] greenygal 2014-01-29 07:07 am (UTC)(link)
I'm going to Escapade this year! Looking forward to the new con experience, and seeing you. :)

But I have an important question, so I know how to pack: do they sell a lot of zines? :)
greenygal: (Default)

[personal profile] greenygal 2014-02-01 03:13 am (UTC)(link)
Yes, I see the Rondeaus listed in the dealers' room. Oh dear. Even if I sell all the zines I'm coming with, I may be doomed again.

--and it's also time to start putting in some work on Fanlore again, because zine library! Just the thing to make sure all the page numbers are included. ...what do you mean, I'm meant to read the zines rather than take notes?

(Anonymous) 2014-03-09 09:49 pm (UTC)(link)
Hello, I just wanted to take a moment to respond to one thing in particular. I'm Amber/affectingly, the con organizer. First of all, the drunk guy at prom was not with me. He was a new attendee just like you, there with two women. I've never met any of them before Wincon 2013. I was friendly with them because that is what I try to do. I'm sorry the guy scared you. Something was said to him, but since he was not threatening or sexually harassing anyone or doing anything specifically aside from being drunk and overly excited, it felt wrong to kick him out since he did pay to be there. The people that I spoke with about it said they were annoyed but not scared. I am very sorry, however, that his presence spoiled the prom for you, which is an event designed to be a safe space for dancing and having fun without worrying about judgement, unwanted advances, or other unsafe things.

As far as your other complaints, I wish that you'd given us a chance to respond at any time during the con. We take all feedback very seriously. I also want to personally apologize for coming across as smug at any point during the conference. It was not my intention. My point in saying that you don't have to be friends was said to encourage participation, since we tweet, post to LJ and tumblr about programming but as a smaller con, do struggle with response. We've extended deadlines and reached out to people, but it is an ongoing area for improvement Programming is something that we always try to improve and are open to new voices and perspectives, and I appreciate your feedback on the matter.

There were many issues with our venue in 2013 (the smoking in the casino below, which is a Vegas-specific issue, and the combined fandom lounge/round table space) that we have already identified and taken steps to correct for future cons.

I realize there are lots of cons of our size, and hey, clearly, our style is not for you (we are a traveling con, which does sometimes cause us issues with venues not being exactly what we were sold on paper, but many attendees like the opportunity to explore new cities with friends). But thank you for giving Wincon a try!