A Galaxy of Trekkie Events at Convention

This weekend at the Sheraton-Universal Hotel, one can become immersed in the great family of Trekkers who are celebrating all-things "Star Trek." The event is Equicon '88, a science-fiction media convention that opened Friday and continues today and Sunday.

Fans will revel in the continuation of a 21-year dynasty with special guests Walter Koenig (a.k.a. Pavel Chekov), from the original "Star Trek" TV series (who will sign his new book, "Buck Alice and the Actor Robot," today), as well as at least nine members of the production crew from the new TV series, "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Included among the "Next Generation" guests is executive producer Robert H. Justman, who will screen a heretofore unseen gag reel from the new series. Some folks will believe they're in Trek heaven.

There will be a galaxy of other events: film presentations, including a separate showing of three serial cliff hangers, a costume contest, a charity auction and raffle, the proceeds to go to the Motion Picture & Television Fund, the Kay Johnson Chemotherapy Fund and the Justin Welles Greenberg Trust.

Panel discussions are scheduled today and Sunday, the most outrageous being a horror makeup demonstration by Mike Le Vitre and Mike Dizacomo, starting at 10 a.m. today and scheduled to run three hours.

The volunteers for the makeup handiwork will then do an 8- to 10-minute horror video at the convention. Other panels include How to Break Into the TV Business, Writing for Animation, a lecture by animator Jim Danforth on the future of stop/action animation and how computer animation might change this field. There will also be discussions with writers Ib Melchior, Bill Warren, Herb Wright and Jon Straczynski.

A wander in the halls in costume may garner you a hall costume award and might be more fun than mere goggling at the other costumed revelers. And, of course, the halls (and lobbies) of the Sheraton are the best place for meeting with fans with similar interests. One may even encounter "Captain Trivia," who may ask you a science fiction-oriented trivia question and if the answer is correct, you win a prize.

And if this selection of galactic-size fun isn't enough, there's a dealer's room for that film or TV memorabilia item, an art exhibit, a Horta Egg Hunt on Sunday (a Horta being a curious rock creature from the original "Star Trek" series), a Japanese Animation fan gathering, a screening of the feature-length Japanese animation film "Laputa," as well as continuous showings of Japanese animation. After the Saturday evening masquerade, there will be a Shore Leave Dance Party taking place about 10 p.m. (depending on when the masquerade ends). Memberships today are $15, $10 Sunday, and allow admittance to all events.

Information: (818) 980-1212 and ask for a representative of the Equicon '88 convention.

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