By R. Graeme Cameron: The fanzine fan’s relaxacon, Ditto 20, will be held Friday, September 30 to October 2, 2016 in conjunction with VCON 41, in a site to be announced in the Vancouver Lower Mainland Region in British Columbia, Canada.
Nothing set in stone yet, but one thing is for sure, in addition to the hotel bar/restaurant there will be a “wet” hospitality suite running throughout the combined convention.
To attend VCON 41/Ditto 20 it will be necessary to purchase a VCON membership and, if coming from out of town, to book a room at the hotel.
VCON membership rates and hotel fees TBA as soon as determined. Ability to purchase VCON memberships online and book rooms at the special VCON discount rate online will be announced as soon as both options go live.
Ditto 20 membership fee not yet determined. Since it is intended that Ditto attendees receive a Ditto Badge, a Ditto program book, and possibly a commemorative fannish anthology in addition to the VCON badge and program book, it is likely at least a nominal Ditto membership will be charged on top of (but separately billed) from the VCON membership to help defray costs. Ditto membership fee to be determined through consultation with fen interested in attending. Might be as low as $20 or even $10. A token fee. Or maybe no fee. Advice sought.
What is required is that potential attendees register now or ASAP their intent to attend Ditto 20 so that the Chair R. Graeme Cameron, can figure out how many people will be involved. This will greatly impact Ditto program planning.
Typically Fridays are devoted to socializing. Saturday usually involves a single and limited track of programming. VCON will provide a room for this. Sunday?
Tentative program items envisioned include:
- A Ghoodminton demo or tournament.
- A fanzine Auction.
- A fan-fiction play or movie script read aloud by participants.
- A gelatin printing demo.
- Two or three panels, lectures or presentations on fanzine topics.
The Chair is open to any and all selections, and above all offers to present or participate in whatever events are decided on.
Remember that Ditto is traditionally a light-hearted fannish-fun event and not meant to be at all sercon.
Think of it as a week-long party.
Contact rgraeme(at)shaw.ca to communicate your ideas and/or join the list of people intending to attend the convention (memberships come later). No doubt there will be much discussion on Facebook as well.
The 2015 VCON is going on this weekend in Richmond, BC. Joe Haldeman is the Author GoH. This will be my fourth time attending VCON, and I highly recommend it for the fun panels and demos.
Full disclosure, I am on some panels, but I’m not part of the team running it.
Aha! This is just a sneaky plan to sell V-Con memberships!
While in some weird way this may be viewed as added value for buying a Ditto membership, there could well be a drawback. People might drift off to watch talking heads at V-Con instead of talking heads at Ditto, leaving you with a convention that is badly unattended much of the time.
Or you could just stay home and read talking thumbs (and ten-fingered typists). It’s all talk, even if you snazz it up with links and holographic power point. Don’t give up on panels; the best are lively discussions that involve the whole room. The worst are talking heads, but there’s always an exit.
Personally, I subscribe to the trickle-down theory of talkenomics: any increase in the number and quality of panels will increase the earbase accordingly.
The point isn’t about talking heads per se, its about whether anyone is at the Ditto programming or they’re all over at V-Con’s programming. I suppose you could say it’s up Graeme and his minions to be more interesting than V-Con’s talking heads.
There’s a fair amount of tradition in Ditto site selection, and this process of announcing that you want to steal the name doesn’t follow it. Frankly, I don’t like the idea of Ditto at VCon. It’s a distraction from what is supposed to be happening at Ditto.
I’d be happy to support (although I doubt if I could attend) a stand-alone Ditto run by Graeme Cameron, if he first discussed how he would follow the Ditto traditions: the stupid game, the outside speaker or field trip, “we’re not Corflu”, and so on. But I wouldn’t support plastering the name on a fanzine lounge at a con which would overwhelm it.
The critical tradition here is that there’s supposed to be a vote among those who’ve held Ditto, before a new site gets awarded. I haven’t voted yet. On this, I’ll be voting NO, unless something changes drastically.
Taral dared me to revive Ditto. At no time did he explain to me there is a governing body of SMOFs who run Ditto. Since he is one of the founders of Ditto I assumed he was THE smof if such a thing exists.
Having attended Ditto 8 I was under the impression it was the product of an enthusiastic bunch of fanzine fans who get together not only to attend but to participate in putting it on. A truly collective enterprise.
Under Taral’s encouragement I announced the revival of Ditto in order to get the ball rolling so that I start getting advice and opinions from interested parties. I did not “steal” the title. If I had known the Ditto Smofs existed I would have approached them first, but I did not, and so started off on my own.
I was subsequently asked by one of the Ditto Smofs if I knew whom to ask in canvasing opinions. Well, I figured Taral, one of the founders, to start with, and then everyone who might be interested in attending, namely members of fanzine fandom. I figured Fanzine editors, publishers, writers, loc hacks, artists, fan historians and people who just plain love reading and collecting fanzines all deserve input into whether or not Ditto should be revived.
I was informed this is not the case. Only the traditional organizers have the right to permit a revival of Ditto. I was unaware of this. I have been asked to apologise to the governing body. Okay, I didn’t know. I apologise.
Now, it was more than a fanzine lounge I envisioned for VCON/Ditto. I convinced the VCON concom to give me the space to run a separate track of programming to duplicate what I had seen at Ditto 8 in 1995. I assumed people would offer participation and any info re traditions to ensure a continuation of what Ditto is. I figured only Dittoists would attend the designated programming since the average local fan isn’t at all interested in fanzine fandom. The two cons would probably function quite separately.
I thought there would be several advantages to combining with VCON, not least hotel room discount rates. The VCON room rate this year was $125 a night I believe. Normally it is over $300. Heck of a deal I thought.
However, it seems people prefer a small, stand-alone con. Plan B, as it were. I need to know ASAP. Plan A? (Vcon/Ditto), or Plan B? (Stand-alone). If the latter, I’d have to put it off till 2017 as I’d be starting from scratch and it would take longer to organize.
Then there’s the question of calling it a Ditto revival. Since the Ditto SMOFs consider my project an illegitimate usurpation of the Ditto brand (though Taral says not) it calls into question the “feel good” aspects of the proposed convention. Don’t want it dogged with controversy and hidden under the shadow of a dark cloud.
If I can go ahead with it as a “Ditto” I would do my utmost to ensure it follows Ditto tradition as much as possible, relying on the help of others to accomplish this of course.
But if this is not permitted then I think I would go ahead with a fanzine fandom relaxacon of some sort under a different name, say call it “FanMag One.”
I assume it would resemble Ditto in basic concept, a single track of programming for instance, a fanzine auction, etc, but would branch out in other areas, such as my proposed Ghoodminton tournament.
The general idea, motivated by my passion for fanzine fandom and its history, is to produce a fanzine fandom con at least as much fun to attend as either Ditto or Corflu. Nothing sercon. Pure fun. A grand party. Don’t fanzine fen deserve as much?
But would anybody come? Would anybody be willing to attend? No point doing it if the answer is no.
So I have three questions for everybody. Consider it a poll.
1) Are you willing to tentatively commit to attending if the convention planning ultimately meets with your approval?
2) Plan A or Plan B? VCON/Ditto or Stand-alone Ditto?
3) Consider it a Ditto revival or scrap that title and call it FanMag to differentiate it from Ditto?
I probably need 40 or 50 replies to get a proper handle on things.
I can be reached at rgraeme(at)shaw.ca
Hoping to hear from you soonest.
Tradition? If Dick wants to appeal to tradition, fine. I’m one of the people who started Ditto, I was on the committee for Dittos 1 and 14, and I’m pleased to hear Richard wants to do this.
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