Saturday, May 16, 2009

BabelCon '81

In 1980, members of STAR OKC decided to throw a "big" con. It was called BabelCon '81 and we had a big guest, Mr James Doohan himself.

This was after STII had wrapped, but before its release. Rumors were flying that something *BIG* was going to happen, but nobody really knew what. We didn't know, anyway. This was in the olden times when the most recent TREK news was presented by Entertainment Tonight, which concerned itself with entertainment and not transexual anorexic foreign adoptees announcing plastic surgery.

So, Jimmy Doohan came to OKC and met a pack of starstruck kids. We took him out to eat on Thursday night before the con, when he happily posed for pictures with any gal on his lap, but especially my sweet Joyce (remember, my lady of the golden needle?)

Nerdy kids that we were, after he signed nearly everyone's STAR OKC T-shirts, we decided we all had to autograph one for him. And he actually put it on! For a minute.

(By the way, this minimalist T-shirt design was created by Yours truly.)

On Monday, some photos from BabelCon '81 featuring TREK costumes, back when you had to MAKE THEM YOURSELVES.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Doesn't My Wife Make Great Costumes?

In the blue outfit, I'm a smirking Vulcan with an unsufferable eyebrow.

In the red STII outfit, I'm challenging my wife to a wrestling match (or at least hoping to).

For the blue STTMP outfit, we went to the local fabric store and found a pattern for a 2-piece outfit that was close, at least in the sketches on the front.

We found some doubleknit material that was pretty darn close in color, and voila. With an "invisible" zipper up the back of the neck and an elastic waistband, I was good to go.

The shirt patch was bought. The wrist communicator was a cut-up plastic car cupholder with a cutout to show some chrome plastic model car parts. The Perscan "belt buckle" is a plastic audio-cassette box with more strips of a cassette box painted silver and glued on. The silver dial in the Perscan "Belt Buckle" is the grooved screw-on cap of a tube of Testor's model cement.

The dear wife of mine sewed two slots in the front, so that the elastic strap velcroed to the Perscan "Belt Buckle" could be underneath the shirt except where holding the buckle. Since the cassette box making up the buckle was hollow, I had a place for a con badge inside, perhaps. But since she also sewed "non-patterned" pockets into the pants, I could just use them for my car keys.

(The wrist communicator and the Perscan Belt Buckle are visible in the photo from yesterday's post.)

The STII outfit was just a pair of boots and turned-under elasticized legged-pants. I had a white turtle-necked shirt whose collar was turned down and vertically stictched for that "trapunto" look.

The jacket -- ah, the jacket! Back to the pattern store to find the closest match. Then for dear Joyce to make the thing, with the right lining for the turn-down flap, and velco to hold it shut, with gold and red trim to finish it off.
I found a circular belt buckle and made a plastic Starfleet "arrow", glued it on, and spray-painted the thing gold.

Boy, my dear Joyce does great work, eh?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Yes, You Must Look at Old Photos

One of the many promos for STTMP was a mail-in premium for punch-out cardboard ships from the movie. On a 4-way armature styled to look like spacedock in texture, we have five ships. The Enterprise hangs from the center, and the other four ships are the Klingon Bird of Prey wasted at tne film's opening, the Vulcan shuttle Spock arrived in, an Enterprise shuttlecraft, and a Work Bee used in the Enterprise's refit.
The set is still hanging from the ceiling, but (like, me, alas!) a little saggier than when new.

In another photo I'm making a silly Vulcan salute while standing next to an STTMP poster and the Enterprise model from the movie.

In the last photo I'm in front of a nifty mylar sTTMP poster in the lovely costume created by She Who Is My Wife. PS Was I ever that young?

Next time, some Con photos of Trek people that I cornered.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Autographs, We Got Some

I figure I'm not doing too bad considering I don't go anywhere.

These are all instances where THEY came to ME.

I wonder if Mr Nimoy noticed the "Book Rack" stamp visible through the back of the front page of his I Am Not Spock. In other words, "No royalties, Mr Nimoy."

Or to my town, anyway.

This is the "collectable" printing of the STII Fotonovel.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Unknown Collector's Item

Film buff Richard J Anobile, who had edited frame-blowup movie books for Casablanca, Frankenstein, and other, did the Fotonovel treatment for STTMP and STAR TREK II: The Wrath of Khan. The Motion Picture's book had pages in color, but Khan's pages were black-and-white.

The earliest printing of the STII "Photostory" had an interesting misprint. Some pages were out of order. One one page, McCoy discovers the bodies hanging upside down in the Regula One Station.

On the flip side of the same page, instead of Kirk lowering the bodies, we have from much later in the film, Khan talking to Kirk, who's been marooned inside the asteroid.

Someone wrote to Starlog (I think it was) to complain, and the publication responded that Pocket had corrected the misprint. However, after correction, the reprint wasn't relabeled as a Second Printing.

Me? My mercenary brain said, "Collectible!" So I bought multiple incorrect copies as I found them, and sold them for $10 or so per pop.
Once again, the page with Khan on the flip side is the wrong one.

Monday, May 11, 2009

April Fools, Mr Roddenberry!

At the Premiere of Star Trek The Motion Picture, my wife and I met Ed and Kathy Porter, who coincidentally lived five blocks away. Ed and I crafted many a silly, ne'er-do-well thing, including writing a pseudo-news story concerning him and me guest-starring in the sequel to ST:TMP.

To show off and maybe get a reply, I sent the two "articles" and a letter to Gene Roddenberry at Paramount.

Imagine my surprise to get a reply. Yeah, it was a form letter, but also "personalized."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

BabelCon 1 in 1980

In summer 1980 I found out about a STAR TREK convention at the Southgate Inn in OKC. I went, and signed up for the weekend.

It was run by people from S.T.A.R. OKC, that's the Oklahoma City chapter of the Star Trek Association for Revival. Or it was. Until the club gave up the ghost about 5 years ago, it was one of only TWO of the original S.T.A.R. clubs left -- the other was in Texas.

Here is my badge and a newspaper photo taken at the costume thingie Saturday night. In keeping with the episode "Journey to babel," this was called the "Ambassadors' Ball."

Being a proper Vulcan, I didn't eat any meat off the buffet.

Left to right: That's me; Bog Higgs as the Alien from the movie of that name; and Leta Walker as "Man Trap" 's salt vampire. In front is a guy named Gary as a Jawa.
My character, Commander Selik, is from a STAR TREK novel, Fields of Attraction, that I wrote about 40-60 pages of, and plotted out completely, took place immediately after Kirk said "Thataway" at the end of STTMP. It involved Sarek's funeral on Vulcan, a second Federation starship whose Vulcan second officer was preparing a mutiny against his human captain, a First Contact with a new race, and everybody's engines not bein' able to take any mooorrrrre.
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© by Mark Alfred