Day Five: (Monday, May 26, 2008)
Generally Monday is just farewell day, and so I said my goodbyes to Khylara and others and headed for the Lansing airport.
My stress levels weren’t good as we were delayed on the tarmac (I had to make a connection in Detroit) but then I get to my gate in Detroit just in time to learn we’d be delayed at least an hour! Argh!!! So at least this delay was merely annoying, as I hate missing connections and dealing with the airlines, who act as if it’s your fault it happened.
I got home an hour later than planned and considered myself lucky, unpacked, had dinner, and checked on-line to see how much I’d have to catch up on my flist.
They were active, that’s for sure! But I caught up in few days and have even begun posting fic again.
As for the con, I had a great time. While it was not the intensity of past days as to number of participants and other things, I had one of my best times ever.
It’s interesting to see how fandom has evolved over the years. When I first started going to Media West in 1993, there was no Internet as we know it now, just a version that wasn’t generally available to the public. Fandom was zines, zines, and more zines, and you communicated by telephone or handwritten letter (gasp!). Feedback was few and far between for writers and artists, but you kept plugging away.
Fandom thrived, and so did cons, big and small. Media West wasn’t very small or too big. At 900 attendees it gave you the excitement of a big con without you getting lost in the shuffle. There were no official guests and the frenzy surrounded getting that zine you wanted, not trying to see an actor at his/her panel.
For the last few years, there has been less attendance at Media West. This year that fact was stark from less videos (usually the vid room is constantly showing vids but there were gaps of time when there was nothing this year) to rooms available in the hotel during the con.
Is Media West’s time drawing to a close? Perhaps. They have announced they will be doing their 29th year, and probably would do a 30th. But will Lori and Gordon continue beyond that? Only they know the answer to that question. Thirty years is a long time to run something like Media West.
I hope it does continue. It’s always a great time. If the con has to scale back, I’m happy with that. There’s still plenty to see and do.
Fandom itself may not support large cons anymore. For the first time since ’93, I didn’t buy a single zine. I used to buy my reading material for the year, at least a dozen, at the con. Now I read on-line. It’s cheaper and I can get and give instant feedback for my writing and other people’s on LiveJournal. Instead my purchase list read like this:
LJ Icons (3)
T-shirts (3) 1 House of El (Superman), 1 Batman, and 1 Fairy/Gaia-style image
Jewelry (1) A beautiful red bracelet!
Hair Ornament (1) 1 sky-blue feather!
Chocolate Bars (4)
I was gifted by Khylara with Smallville and Heroes magazines and a gift box for my LJ icons with a pic of the cast of Heroes on the cover.
This year’s lower attendance could be attributed to the bad economy (fuel prices for planes and cars being utterly ridiculous) and the fact that fandom is getting older. Many attendees have been coming to this con since 1979, and others started in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Will younger fans enjoy going to cons, or prefer their fandom on-line? Time will tell!