Here in blogland, where some seem to think we're all about the confrontational opinion, sometimes I like to just pose a question. Not to attack, not to rain on anyone's parade . . . just because I wonder about things. And, as with the evil scientist from The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, I picture someone, somewhere out there in readerland going, "I also wonder."
We're the cult of Sherlock Holmes. Ours is to wonder, even if no one else does.
So lately I've seen a few promotional bits for the new issue of Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine. It's a collection of what looks to be mystery stories, mostly about Sherlock Holmes, that sells for twelve dollars. It's edited by author Marvin Kaye, who also has produced a short story anthology, or two, or forty.
I used to subscribe to Sherlock Holmes: The Detective Magazine for a time, and it always seemed a little pricey at $5.50 an issue in the late nineties. But as it was produced across the Atlantic, I could give it the imaginary excuse that one had to pay its passage across the ocean. Having this new Sherlock Holmes magazine put together by a well known collector of short stories into book form, however, makes me wonder:
Why a magazine?
Twelve bucks will buy me a book, which is a little easier to carry around, and will contain a lot more pages and a lot more words. The main draw card of magazines is photo, art, and layout, and the internet usually shows us photos before anyone else these days. And art? Well, Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine has a very pulpish cover, but I'm not sure if I want to gamble that the innards are going to contain as much visual goodness as Sir Boast-A-Lot, which I wrote of a few days back.
Admittedly, I haven't seen said insides of this magazine, but that's the whole point of tonight's blog . . . do I gamble twelve bucks on some unknown pasticheurs in a format that is really meant for non-readers more than readers? And in a format that's so hard to store safely?
These days, I'm more about moving masses of paper out of the house than bringing them in, so a digital format I can read on the iPad is much more appealing. Comic books now only enter the house digitally. And if The Baker Street Journal offered a digital alternative at a fair price, I would even transition that over. My days of collecting are done -- who wants to drag everything you ever read in the past around with you like massive albatross of print? Books on bookshelves, I can still sympathize with somewhat -- they are like heads of trophy game you bagged. Magazines never attained that level of distinction.
So I wonder. But probably not enough to buy a copy.