Ricky’s Farscape CreationCon Report and Picspam

"Thanks for the Memories"...

[caption id="attachment_617" align="alignleft" width="223" caption="Fans keep me warm! Photo by Dizzy."]Ricky's Scaper Army blankie[/caption] Since 2000, Creation Entertainment has hosted annual Farscape fan conventions. What's a "fan convention," you might ask? Simply this: An opportunity for the cast and crew to meet the fans!  And the fans don't just pose for photos and sign autographs. They put on costume shows, panel discussions, and talent exhibitions, and they show off their amazing vids, fanfic, and other artistic creations. I recently attended what was billed as the "final" Farscape con (but I don't believe it; when it comes to Farscape fans, nothing is ever "final") and was going to write up a con report, but I thought I'd instead share a few happy snaps and memories from a dozen years of congoing. Here, for instance, is a gift I got at the most recent con: a fleece blanket, "handmade with Scaper love" by the talented SpriteLady, and made possible by donations from over 50 generous Scapers at TerraFirmaScapers.com! (And I wasn't the only cast/crewmember to get one of these beauties! Ben, Rockne, Wayne, Virginia, Lani, and Rebecca, to name just a few recipients, were just as gobsmacked and delighted as I was.)
[caption id="attachment_619" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Dancin' with the PKOL folk. Photo by MissyKat."]Me & PKOL members[/caption]

Costumes

They aren't just conventions, they're costume parties! Here I am at the 2001 con with members of the "Peacekeeper Officers Lounge"... a group of online chatters, roleplayers, and Rockette impersonators. (How cool is it that Farscape fans are so willing to mix and mingle with cast/crew and even pose for pictures!)
[caption id="attachment_620" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="D'Argo, Sikozu, dork, Sikozu"][/caption]

More Costumes

Many fans work up not only costumes but also makeup and hair as well... and given how elaborate Farscape's prosthetic makeup and crazy hair could get, that was often quite a challenge. However, year after year, the fandom proved equal to the challenge, as this snap from the 2002 con illustrates.
[caption id="attachment_733" align="alignright" width="300" caption="These are simply AWESOME"][/caption]

Still More Costumes

Every con has a costume contest, and here are just a few of the astonishing entries in 2003.
[caption id="attachment_618" align="alignleft" width="300" caption=""PK Barbie" impresses Wayne. Photo by SunAeryn."]Wayne Pygram & Rain-N-Sun[/caption]

One More Costume

Rain-n-Sun poses as Scorpius's assistant Niem (a character nicknamed "Peacekeeper Barbie" by the fanbase) with Wayne ("Scorpius") Pygram. This is a rare photo of Rain-n-Sun smiling while in costume; she seemed so solemn throughout the con that Wayne finally asked her if everything was okay... and she replied that all was fine; she was being serious because she was staying in character.
[caption id="attachment_626" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Talented and SMART! Photo from Karlsweb."][/caption]

"Farscape on the Net" Panel

But it's not all dress-up. Scapers are smart. Over the years, they've staged many fascinating and informative panels. Here you see me in awe of Angie, Thinkum, AmyJ, KernilCrash, and un4scene as they explore the topic of "Farscape on the Net" at the 2003 con.
[caption id="attachment_628" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="And they DID save Farscape!"][/caption]

"Saving Farscape" Panel

Also in 2003, Red, BritAngie, DaniMoure, and Voy discuss the campaigns devoted to "Saving Farscape." The series had been cancelled over a year earlier, but that didn't deter the true-blue fans one bit; they mounted an incredibly persistent, thorough, and intelligent campaign to bring the show back. And, unlike most save-our-show fan efforts, it worked; the Jim Henson Company produced a four-hour miniseries to continue the Farscape saga—and it was the Save Farscape campaign that made it happen. But the fan efforts didn't end there; websites such as watchfarscape.com are still going strong, bringing the latest Farscape info to the new fans who are discovering the series.
[caption id="attachment_624" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The Writers Speak"][/caption]

Fanfiction Panel

A series is nothing without its writers... and Farscape's fanfic scribes are second to none. Here, at the 2003 con, four of the finest—Cofax, UCSBdad, Shrift, and AerynCrichton—share tips, insights, and their favorite adverbs. Standing to the left of the panel is Adam Malin, co-founder (with Gary Berman) of Creation Entertainment (in 1971!). Adam's been the indefatigable host for a zillion fan conventions ranging from Farscape to Xena to Stargate to X-Files to Star Trek to... you name it. Together with a tireless crew of terrific people (special shoutout to Richard Arnold, with whom I toiled in the Paramount vineyards many eons ago on Star Trek: The Next Generation), Adam's put on some frelling fantastic Farscape bashes, year after year after year.
[caption id="attachment_625" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Talented, smart, and FAST!"][/caption]

Fanfic Panel Q & A

Most of the panels take questions from the audience; we line up at microphones on either side of the stage and ask something probing and intelligent. At least that's the theory. In practice, there's always some tongue-tied, star-struck newbie who gushes over the panelists or—God forbid—asks for a hug. For the 2003 fanfic panel, that star-struck newbie was me! Yes, I knew better, and I think I had a real question to ask—but when my turn came, I couldn't stop myself from blurting out "Can I have a hug?" Wonder of wonders, Cofax leapt up, rocketed across the stage—so fast that I barely had time to snap this picture—and gave me an excellent hug! BESTEST. CON. EVER.
[caption id="attachment_621" align="alignright" width="300" caption=""It's a Cookbook!""][/caption]

Pressies

(that's Australian for "presents") As if faithfully showing up to cons weren't gift enough, fans also make things to share with cast and crew. In this 2002 pic, BOFQs BFFs BNFs (I've forgotten the applicable fanacronym) Maayan and Makikosab have just fed me a copy of Foodscape, a fan-compiled collection of favorite recipes with a Farscape twist. Better still, M & M, as well as numerous other fans, were kind enough to autograph my copy. (And the recipes proved to be even tastier than the book!)
[caption id="attachment_673" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="I don't think they got this from Hallmark."]Scaper Army card[/caption]

And finally...

To bring us full circle to the 2011 con, here you see the lovely custom-made card that accompanied the gift blankie I was given. I was especially moved by the very first name on the list: StevePalmer, a longtime and particularly devoted Farscape fan who passed away in 2006. Scapers presented a heartfelt memorial tribute to Steve at the 2007 con. (This is the kind of thing I point out when I tell folks that the Farscape fandom truly is a community.) Thank you for the memories, everyone. As DK once said, "Stay a community."

69 Comments

  1. marie says:

    That was a GREAT READ! Thanks for taking the time to put it together. I came regrettably late to the Farscape game, so it’s wonderful to see pictures from previous cons.

    Best always!

    marie

  2. Thinkum says:

    (Urk! Someone caught me on film!)

    This was great, Fr — damn, but I’m sorry to have missed the past few cons.

  3. Thanks so much Ricky for wonderful memories and giggles a gogo.
    I know I will treasure my own memories of Farscape cons in the US and Aus, and it was great reading some of yours.
    I miss everyone already!!!!

  4. Bob Hutchinson says:

    Froon, if you expand the photo of the 2003 fanfic panel you can see that I’m clearly doing what any good Scaper does. Taking a nap to get ready for the bar that night. Gotta keep your priorities straight.

    Thanks for taking the time to visit us over the years, and you’re right, there still hasn’t been a FINAL Farscape convention and there probably never will be.

    UCSBdad

  5. Rita/ixchup says:

    Ricky, thank you for being such a good sport and adding so much to the Farscape community. It wouldn’t be the same without you. Thank you also for your fabulous episodes and hard work that made Farscape unique. And as we all know, unique is always special.

  6. PersiaRose says:

    D’aww your report is awesome! I approve of all the flail. It’s lots of fun when you get to meet people you are fans of. ;) I’m glad your embarrassing fanboy ask for a hug was not made fun of. People are so nice! Heee

    I also want that cookbook…

  7. GinAA says:

    Wonderful report Ricky. Thanks so much for taking the time to post it. Loved seeing you at the 2011 Con in LA. And I too believe that Scapers never say or believe in FINAL. NO way! Looking forward to seeing you again and I’m so glad you like the blanket. Truly given with Scaper family love.

    Gin

  8. Mreen says:

    Great read!

    The Farscape community goes on and on … and we’re fortunate that someone as fun as you is a part of it. Thanks for sharing the card! They did a fantastic job with it. Love your Captain Kirk pose they melded in there

  9. EllieJane says:

    Oh, wow, I’ve just been hit with a real nostalgia shot! Even just reading the names, takes me back! I attended at least one con pictured, and had a total (jet lagged!) blast. Thanks for the memories, Froon, and thanks for helping to make them!

    • Thank YOU! Indeed, it’s not a true Farscape con unless there’s a full contingent of BritScapers wandering about and talking funny. Sigh. I need to get to the UK sometime (see above comment)…

    • BritAngie says:

      I’ll see your wow and raise you an OMG! :D Thank you Froon for bringing back the lovely heartwarming and scrumptious memories of some wonderful times! (Though I’m still astonished they let me in the country!) (Thank you also Ellie for giving me this link! ) Who needs alchohol and christmas cheer to give you a glow when Scapers are around :D

  10. Dizzy says:

    This post was wonderful – I feel nostalgic for moments I wasn’t even there for, how does that work?

    Hope we see you at another con again soon. (Dragon Con, maybe?)

  11. SpriteLady says:

    What a great report, thanks for sharing all the wonderful memories! :)
    And your right the card was not from Hallmark. LOL

  12. Jo says:

    Awwww this was lovely!! I’m now really wishing I wasn’t so late to the party! :( So many wonderful memories. I am still glad I didn’t have to stress between season though. I’ll hold tight to that to get me through the sadness of missing out on conning with everyone for so long!

    IT IS NEVER THE END.

    or something like that.

  13. Kernezelda says:

    Lovely remembrance! You and your fellows gave us a wonderful creation, so thank you for more than ten years of good memories of a fantastic world and the friendships we made sharing it.

  14. Maayan says:

    You know the plan for Fi’s Big Birthday (can’t say more on pain of death by Budong)? We’re going to Comic Con. I’m hoping to lure Teri et al., plus Em (now in SF), over there as well. So get your fine self down to San Diego this summer.

    • I like this plan quite a bit, and have already marked the calendar.

      I would point out that the train ride from L.A. to San Diego is pleasant and scenic (well, the last half is scenic), but I’m reticent to suggest anything involving trains to you, given your timetable dyslexia…

      • Maayan says:

        Isn’t there a statute of limitations? I’ll put Fi in charge of the timetables.

        Training it sounds great, though I imagine we could hitch a ride with the LA contingent…

        • For prosecution, yes, the statute’s expired. For merciless reminders, I think we still have about 60 years to go…

          How large a contingent is there? Maybe we can charter a bus!

          Singing!
          “Every day I filk a song (Too much, the Scaper Bus)
          To sing on the bus that takes me to con (Too much, the Scaper Bus)
          I’m so nervous, I just sit and smile (Too much, the Scaper Bus)
          San D’s only another mile (Too much, the Scaper Bus)”

  15. Fialka says:

    Ah, memories! Dunno which was better, seeing all the old faces or the relief that none of them was mine ( just remember I’ve got my own evidence bag :)

    And yes, let’s all geek out at Comic-con (provided we’re able to get bloody tickets!)

  16. Selena says:

    Thanks for sharing. I honestly believe that the Farscape Convention organizers never truly appreciated the uniqueness of the show or the fans. They paid lip service to it but it was just another fandom to them.
    I can’t begin to count the number of friends I’ve made over the last 10 years or the many ways in which Farscape stretched my creativeness to the max. It was an incredible journey and an amazing community to be involved with and we did astonishing things together. I don’t think Rockne or Brian had a clue how true it would be that Farscape really does leave you “irreversibly contaminated” when that line showed up in Premiere! The cast and the writers not only got into our heads but most importantly, our hearts. That’s why Farscape left such a lasting impression – unlike any other show before Farscape or since. We love them all… Ben, Claudia, Francesca, Anth, Gigi, Wayne, Virginia, Paul, David, Lani, Jonathan, Raelee, Rebecca, Tammy, Alyssa-Jane, Kent and even Melissa as well as many others too numerous to list. They were a part of our lives for close to 6 years, much of that time on a daily basis especially as we campaigned to get PK Wars. The cast at conventions has always been exceptional – unlike any other show’s cast and we can’t fail to love them with the trust they placed in us. Thank you Farscape cast you are amazing. Thanks for making us one big (sometimes dysfunctional) family.

  17. SylvreWolfe says:

    Froony, you mentioned the memorial tribute we did for Steve at the 2007 convention. I was wonder if you were actually there to witness that. If not, mayhaps I can arrange for you to see a non-existent video that wasn’t taken because we aren’t allowed to do that at the cons, but somehow made it to a few certain people.

  18. SunKrux aka SunAeryn says:

    It was great to see you again this year. I don’t remember taking that pic of Wayne and Rain-n-Sun but hey thanks for the credit. ;)

    • Weirdly enough, 5 months later, I just came across the print (whilst searching photo archives for something else entirely)! The (uncropped) original’s got a few more costumed fans on the right, a timestamp of ’00 8 5, a bit of redeye on Wayne and Rain-n-Sun (which I fixed when I scanned & cropped it Way Back When)… and on the back, whoever gave me the print in the first place (along with a bunch of others) wrote “Photo by [real name] ‘Sun Aeryn’”… so it’s either your pic, or whoever captioned it was In Error. Regardless, it’s a lovely pic which I just had to share!

      • SunKrux aka SunAeryn says:

        You know, I may have taken it and given Air-n-Sun (Rain-n-Sun’s mom) a copy because that year we were roommies for the con. So maybe that’s why. Either way, thanks for the memories! :D

  19. Soo says:

    It has been a different fandom. SciFi is changing anyhow – I see a much more diverse range of people than I did when I first started cons and such – but Farscape was different again. At our first gathering we were all looking at each other a little, thinking “what are they doing here?”. There were a lot of people who had never done scifi before, and we could really only talk Farscape, not that much of an imposition I grant you, but I like to think they went onto other things with open minds. This last January was 10 years after our first barby, and it was a tiny gathering, but you know, I reckon it’s time for another big effort. Might have to kick Deb into gear and start organising something…
    Mind you, scifi is getting a higher profile in Oz – even dear old Adelaide had 12,000+ turn up to the last one in April – they were expecting maybe 4,000. Gigi was there and we had a chance for a litle chat – also Ben, and we found out he had his hat! I think he was eyeing off my shirt the first day (it’s my old ‘Smoking will kill you’ one). Ah – the good times we had – were we lucky, or what?

  20. CapnMac says:

    OMG Froon!! Cariel just posted this page (and the pic of us!) to my Facebook page!! Such awesome memories!!! That Con will always go down as one of the best times of my life! And I’m so glad that PKOL has been immortalized on the internet! I saw the post when I was out for a drink with one of my friends, and I got all choked up and when I showed him the picture he looked at it and was like “holy shit, are you wearing leather?!” Which led to me explaining PKs, what they wore, and then Farscape in general. I am now under orders that I have to bring him the first season the next time we hang out… SCAPERS FOREVER!!!
    ~Jaime

    • OMG Jaime!!! (I see your two ! and raise you a !) Howaya? How’s Caro? How are the PKOLs? Where’s this alleged Facebook page? (I’m not on Facebook, but FrooniumCheryl is.) And you’re about to indoctrinate a new Scaper? Goodonya!

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