Ditto – It’s Alive! It’s Alive!

When R. Graeme Cameron announced the rebirth of Ditto, which he unilaterally decided to host in conjunction with next year’s VCON, he was greeted with the equivalent of “Wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute!”

Cameron had thought the convention name was abandoned, because the last Ditto, a convention for fanzine fans, was staged in 2007. (It was combined with Art Widner’s 90th birthday party and held in his hometown, Guajala, CA. See Hope Leibowitz’ conreport in File 770 #151.)

But when Cameron shared his plans in a public Facebook forum, the Society for the Perpetuation of Fannish Fandom, a past Ditto chair claimed the right to help determine where the next one would be, and implied another party has been mulling over plans of their own to revive the con, therefore Cameron’s announcement was out of order.

Cameron has now fashioned a compromise – he has dropped his 2016 idea in favor of a plan to hold a Ditto in Vancouver in 2017.

As an aside, looks like there will be an additional bid to hold a Ditto in 2016. After much exchange of communication, by mutual agreement I have withdrawn my bid to hold Ditto in conjunction with VCON 41 in 2016 (I’m going to be darn busy chairing the latter), and will instead hold a 2017 Ditto probably on the long weekend in October (Oct 6-8 2017). This will be a stand-alone relaxacon version (the traditional version) following VCON 42 the weekend before.

Given the VCON focus on multiple interests within fandom (tending to exclude fanzine fandom which very few locals are interested in), and the Ditto focus on fanzine fandom, I strongly suspect there will little in the way of conflicting demand. Mind you, any fen interested in both are welcome to fly into Vancouver for VCON the first weekend, tour B.C. for the week, attend Ditto the second weekend, and then fly out. Although I must admit I can’t think of any of the old guard who can afford to do this.

So Ditto has suddenly gone from limbo to being the subject of a dual revival.

Cameron has published the first progress report for his 2017 event – The Ditto Master #1.

Taral Wayne helped found Ditto in 1988 and he says: “I approve of anyone who brings the con back to life, whoever that may be. I’m pleased to say that of the other members of the original Ditto team who I’ve been able to speak to, they are pleased to see the con back on its feet as well. We’re all rooting for the 2016 team … whoever that turns out to be.”

Ditto Reborn!

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.