Craig Miller, program
In 1997, American television viewers were introduced to a television series that became instantly popular: Antiques Roadshow. Produced by WGBH and carried on America's PBS (Public Broadcasting System), it was actually the step-child of a British television series of the same name that's been airing in the UK since 1979.
The concept is simple: Appraisers of antiques and collectibles look over items brought in by individuals and give them their expert opinion about the item's history and current value. Selected appraisals are video taped and edited together to make an episode of the television series. For some time, we've wanted to adapt this concept to a science fiction convention. We're still working out some of the details but it looks like L.A.con IV may be that place. We've arranged for several expert appraisers of the sorts of "valuable antiques" fans are likely to have. Leave your Tiffany lamps and diamond necklaces at home. We won't be appraising those. But first edition science fiction, fantasy, and horror novels and children's books; old genre toys; movie posters; original artwork; comic books and comic book art; animation cells; etc. That's our meat.
So if you have an item or two you'd like an expert to look at to give you its history and value, plan to bring them with you to L.A.con IV. To help us make this the best possible event it can be, we'd like to get some information from you.
Fan-tiques Roadshow will take a lot of space and a lot of coordination. It will help us if we have an idea of how many people want to take part and what sorts of things you'll be bringing. What sorts of items would you like to see appraised? How many do you think you'll be bringing? We want to make sure we have the right types of appraisers and in appropriate numbers. (If the response is high, we may have to put a limit on the number of items each person can have appraised. But we'll let you know as early as possible should that happen.)
Or are you an expert dealer in rare books, movie posters, SF art, toys, or ??? and are willing to give some time to do appraisals for your fellow fans? Please let us know. We have a few people on tap -- including one who appraises regularly for the "real" Antiques Roadshow -- but we can use more. Please contact us and let us know. Write to program or to the convention's mailing address. Please, if you're interested, contact us and let us know.