Detroit Fan Fair


Fifth Estate # 31, June 1-15, 1967

The second Detroit Triple Fan Fair of fantasy literature, films, and comic art convenes the weekend of June 17 and 18 at the Park Shelton Hotel, Woodward at East Kirby.

The convention attracts not only Camp followers, but of Fandom, i.e. dedicated enthusiasts of the imaginative popular arts.

Fandom itself is comprised of individuals and loosely – knit tribal groups who collect, preserve, and discuss the artifacts, artists, and history of each genre. Fans also keep abreast of the current scene critically and, creatively, and engage in two major activities to promote the Cause: the production and consumption of an underground torrent of Fanzines, and Conventions.

This convention will be a veritable orgy of sights and sounds for Fans, Neo fans, Fringe Fans, Con-fans, Fan Fans, and just those who are nostalgic and/or enthusiastic about movie serials, old fantasy films, the pulp magazines, and Golden Age comic books.

The weekend will begin on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. in the Crystal Room for registration and the purchase of tickets for the Fan Fair. Admission for both days is $3.00 and $2 for Sunday only.

Opening speeches explaining the festivities will be followed by a color slide talk by Bob Brosch. He will discuss recent fantasy_ films and special effects techniques, followed in turn by a period of eating, drinking, Fannish conversation, and just plain milling around.

During and between all’ events, dealer tables will be set up in alternate rooms, where wheeling and dealing of fanzines, comics, Big Little Books, comic art, film stills, posters, and other curios will ensue.

Around 2 p.m. there will be a chalk talk by Ken Mews, Bob Taylor, and Harry Borgman, three well – known cartoon artists. A festival of amateur fantasy films will follow, featuring a satire of the George Pal production of H.G. Wells’ THE TIME MACHINE. From 4:00 – 6:00 the first 6 episodes of THE LOST CITY will be screened. This glorious horror-fantasy serial was first released by Republic in 1935, and according to Bob Brosch will never be seen on local television.

The serial will be followed by a talk on the science fiction and fantasy genres by Marvin Giles. At 9:00 p.m., after another period of dining and milling around, the original 1925 version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s THE LOST WORLD will be shown. Finally, a Masquerade Party with $25 and $10 prizes for best costumes. Late-night beer parties and bull sessions are of course optional for insatiable fans.

Sunday will begin around 9 a.m. with late registration, conversation, dealers and probable round table discussions and speeches until 11 or 11:30, with the screening of THE GHOST OF SLUMBER MOUNTAIN, an extremely rare early fantasy film made by ever – popular Willis O’Brien in 1917.

At 2 p.m., following a 2-hour dining and possible film screening of unannounced reels some fans may bring in, a major science fiction will occur: Roger Zelasney, Guest of Honor, and one of the young giants of modern science fiction will speak on “Science Fiction in the Comics.” An auction of original art and other desirable items will follow. Richard Budkler, Detroit artist – editor of the comic art fanzine SUPER HERO and art coordinator of the Fair informed me that D.C. comics have promised them some original panels. The last 6 episodes of THE LOST CITY will be shown from 4-6, followed by more dealer activity. Edwin Aprill, the other Comic Art organizer for the Fair, will also make available his limited edition reprints of classic newspaper comic strips, among them Will Eisner’s THE SPIRIT, Dick Calkins’ BUCK ROGERS (if any left), Frank Frazetta’s JOHNNY COMET, and others. At 9 p.m. the last mighty treat of the Fair will be offered: the feature – length film version of the immortal and beloved CAPTAIN MARVEL, first released by Republic during the 1940s and featuring some of the greatest action sequences and stunt work ever filmed. The glutted fans will then either crawl home around 11 p.m. or gather in their respective fan clans for one last bull session. What more could you want?

Shared pleasures are always best, and I hope all who can will attend the Fan Fair. For those who can’t, and even for those who did this tri-con and the remarkable individuals who organized it will be discussed in future pieces. Even better, save your pennies, come to the fair, and we’ll discuss them on the spot.