REJECTS: THE X GENERATION came about because of an upswing in munchkin-like personalities that we increasingly came across in fandom in the mid-1990s. This was a time before social media, which has created an outlet for this type of behavior – indeed it probably rewards it, but in the con scene of the 1990s it was these guys that the public thought of as representative of all of fandom.
As Dark Justice began to make a name for itself, we began to attract fans who wanted to hitch themselves to our wagon, but didn’t want to be a Klingon. Or they wanted to be an admiral and EVERYTHING. “Mary Sue” type personas (as in the original short story, not the misogynistic dismissal of a competent female character as it it most often used nowadays) abounded with these fans.
One particularly persistent example wanted to join our crew as a full-commander based on the “accomplishments” of his background story. This was a non-starter for us: if he joined he was going to be a sergeant until he made a recognizably Klingon uniform and was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant. Negotiations continued for a few weeks, during this time he made the grave error of representing himself to others as a member of our command crew (Chief Medical Officer as I recall), which immediately torpedoed any chance of him being accepted.
At the monthly meeting, where it was announced that this individual was not going to be joining us, some mocking occurred of his polyethnic persona and baby blue terrycloth bathrobe as we tried to put a face to the name. I began drawing. As I was working on the drawing, and composing the text balloon of a ridiculous run-on explanation of his character, I had wanted to add “those aliens that stabbed Picard” to the list, but couldn’t think of the name. Always one to help, Kerge chimed in with “snausagean.”
There was much laughter. If you have never heard Kordite laugh, I highly recommend adding it to your bucket list. Once we could see and breathe again, we realized that Kerge’s flub of Nausicaan was a perfect name for these types of fans.
snau·sage·an (ˈsnȯ-si-jən) - n. A science-fiction fan who creates an overly elaborate persona to compensate for a lack of real accomplishment in a desperate attempt to gain attention, and/or respect, from other fans. Typically this manifests in a mashup of species, traits, and cultures, and a widely fantastic backstory that far surpasses anything that would ever get published or filmed.
Was it gatekeeping. Well, yes it was. But you have to understand that at the time being a geek was nowhere near as accepted as it is now. Snausageans were exactly what the press wanted to film, and when they were with your group, the charitable work, the craftsmanship of the costume, none of that mattered; it became about the obviously unhinged individual in your midst. In order to get geek culture mainstreamed, we had to show that we were as grounded in reality as the average football fan was; and that couldn’t be done with the equivalent of the guy painted green and yellow with a cheese slice on his head representing all of us.
Anyway, thus was born Mek’tor’s Snausagean Studios. Early topics included the Starfleet Marines from USS Potemkin that ‘raided’ our meeting an instigated the Dark Justice War.
A year or so later when Klag introduced the Imperial Xeno Legion at Camp Dover, Kerge, Kordite, and I yelled “snausagean” in dismissive response from our table in the back. Others there recognized the derision in our voices, and joined in. I’m pretty sure this is where Demon Fleet began thinking we might be a good fit with them. It also resulted in the 4th episode which was KLAGZILLA: THE CLOWN PRINCE OF THE IMPERIAL XENO LEGION, a mashup of Klingon, Godzilla and clown (I was told Klag was a clown in his mundane life), which was published in the second issue of the Heart of Glory fanzine, and brought “snausagean” to a much wider audience.
Above are all the artwork still in my possession, SMOGGY was never completed, and THOUGHT ADMIRAL FRENCH is a photocopy. Sadly, I no longer have a copy of the KLAGZILLA cartoon – I may have handed it directly in for publishing.
*MUNCHKIN – a term coined in the 1980s to refer to a player of roleplaying games who was immature, egotistical, and disruptive of the group dynamic through powergaming and min-maxing. One of the notable characteristics was an acute fascination with establishing their own lore.