Xena Con 2008: Wrap-up

Wrap-up report on the 2008 Xena Convention in Burbank! To see all Xena Con posts, click here.

Another Xena: Warrior Princess convention is over — this one was the 13th, and that’s apparently Xena’s lucky number, because from the opening day to the close, and including Lucy’s two sold-out concerts on Friday and Saturday nights, it was a love-fest all around.

KT and I could pretend to you all that it was just another day at the office, but that would be a lie. We’re fans. The upside of that is that we have a unique insight to share with you, but the downside is that apparently I turn to mush whenever I’m around Lucy and Renee. Fortunately, when I spoke to them backstage on Saturday, they helped me remain standing:

Before losing all power of speech, I interviewed Lucy and Renee for a forthcoming article on AfterEllen.com. I also spoke with X:WP writer and Army Wives writer/creator Katherine Fugate (who promised us an upcoming story arc featuring Renee as a lesbian).

Other interviews include X:WP creator Rob Tapert (who is also Lucy’s husband) and writers/producers R. J. Stewart, Steven Sears and out lesbian writer/producer/strike captain Liz Friedman:

Sunday was a bit light as far as the convention program went. Originally, Lucy and Renee were scheduled on that day, but their appearances were moved to Saturday. Writer/producer Steven Sears did a second appearance, and Lucy’s stunt double, the funny and hot Zoe Bell, got the crowd going with her Kiwi-accented and profanity-laced tales of leaping, falling, fighting, crashing, and burning for a living. If you ever have the chance to see her live, don’t pass it up.

Actor Brittney Powell brought the house down by auctioning off her bra for charity — and raising nearly ten thousand dollars for the Desi Geestman Foundation, for children with cancer.

Zoe then came back and did a stunt demo. KT got some great shots:

More Zoe:

I can’t count the number of times Lucy, Renee, and the other guests at the convention made references to fan fiction, including specifically the large body of sexually explicit lesbian fan fiction written about Xena and Gabrielle. So it’s no surprise that on the closing night, a "Bards’ Banquet" was held, honoring the fanfic authors of the Xena: Warrior Princess fandom, many of whom have gone on to become published authors of original fiction, most of it lesbian. The event was organized by Brenda Barton, left, and attended by several well known writers, including Melissa Good, right, who also authored or co-authored three episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess, including one musical episode about Sappho that was never produced because they were unable to obtain the rights to the music.

And how do the writers and producers feel about fanfic? This is writer/producer Steven Sears at the bards’ banquet, saluting their contributions:

I’ve seen Steven speak before, and he’s always been insightful and funny, but it wasn’t until I sat down with him for an interview on Friday that I understood just how strongly his politics and his art intertwine — and that no one has ever "shipped" Xena/Gabrielle like Steven Sears does, not even me. I’m not sure how much of that interview will make it into my article, but he had a lot to say on the subject of lesbian subtext in the show, X:WP’s lesbian fans, and LGBT civil rights.

The folks at Creation Entertainment couldn’t have been more accommodating, providing us with a wireless internet connection so I could live-blog the convention, setting up interviews, and generally making sure we got what we needed for our coverage. Thanks, guys!

For fans across the pond, the next Xena convention will be this May in London, and then the California event will have a new home in Los Angeles next year.