Even as the good Carter and I came back from our morning stroll through the empty streets of Atlanta today, the first signs of departing Sherlockians became apparent. Even though 221B Con still runs until 5:00 PM, it's Sunday, and the work week is beckoning far too many with it's skeletal finger of . . . well, those things I'm not thinking about just yet. Because there is one panel left to go.
I could be in the "How to Podcast" panel right now, but having determined I need a partner or two to go down that road, it's not on my immediate to-do list. And also, saving the convention-chair tolerance up for that one last session.
Today began, for me, with a lively little panel on Sebastian Moran, where much consideration was made as to how one would adapt Doyle's original Moran to the modern BBC Sherlock version, since he has yet to appear. Moran's absence there makes for a fanfic character completely open for play, and a whole lot of people have tried a hand at it. Kim Newman's The Hound of the D'Urbervilles came up for the first time today, as it would again -- Sherlockian gatherings are always good for making you realize you had missed something, and picking that one up is on my to-do list for when I get home. (Yes, I could order from Amazon from here, but first things first.)
All the discussion of tiger hunting at the Moran panel made me wonder if the colonel ever hired out to stalk "tigers" like "the Tiger of San Pedro," Don Murillo from "Wisteria Lodge." But during the discussion, some had him rescuing tiger cubs, some had him dealing with addiction, and so many other thoughts swirled about him that I decided to save that thought for later. Good panel.
From there it was on to the Baker Street Babes interviewing David Nellist about playing Stamford and so many other things, like his kids' fear of the Abominable Bride, but as with Three Patch, you can hear all that online, so I won't get into it here. David Nellist continued to be quite the charming con guest, I will say that!
After that bigger session, I headed for my own little panel session, 'Old School Shipping: The Many Wives of John H. Watson," and I think it was the first room I was ever in all con that had more males in it than females. And given the scarcity of males at the con, that kind of shows how non-packed the house was. Still, we managed to have a pretty good time, wandered through theories old and new (The secret fangirl of the Canon! Replaceable Watsons!), and generally covered just how problematic Watson's love life is when you try to keep him hetero. (Johnlock solves so, so much.)
Shift change on the Jackson room came and the "Popularity of the Pastiche" panel rolled in -- Ashley Polasek, Amy Thomas, and Elinor Gray. (Two writers of pastiche, one reader, in reverse order.) A nice little intro on what differentiates "pastiche" from "fanfic" got the ball rolling, the definition of "pastiche" being something we apparently all have our own take on. (And the appearance of tenacles equals "no pastiche," according Ashley, in case you weren't clear on the tentacle thing.) Before they got to talking about good pastiche recommendations, however, they had to take a small detour into the wasteland of bad pastiche.
Apologetically, of course, because we live in a less pastiche-shaming culture than back in the 1980s. Is it because we have more writers among us than ever before? Is it kindlier feminine influences on what was once a masculine-dominated hobby? I dunno, but when one of the three panelists gave an honest opinion of a certain over-rated 1970s blockbuster, she immediately gained a Twitter follower. (And may have inadvertently caused a new Sherlockian society called "The 93% Problem" to be born.) Anyway, good pastiches, bad pastiches, good panel.
After that, I had to get to a group photo of the members of the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes at 221B Con. Two of us were boy Adventuresses, of course, because that's how we roll these days. And that segued into a sort of mini-A.S.H. luncheon in the bar, while a much larger event was going on in New York today. I finally had a "Scarlet Claw" cocktail, made by the con's bartending superstar, Josh, along with a Perimeter Burger and sweet potato fries. The Perimeter Marriott here does a nice job of a lot of things, including bar lunch.
But I digress. Winding down is taking place. Brain closing down.
The "Our Last Bow" panel is always well attended, because it's the only one during the last session, nobody wants to quite give up the ghost yet, and it's a good chance to show some appreciation to the organizers. A whole lot of positive comments this year, along with a truly wizard suggestion or two, and a sneak-in cameo by David Nellist (who is possibly, and according to IMDB, the only person ever to play Stamford). And then a great big ol' con selfie.
And then, done. Sigh.
I'm three out of four for 221B Cons, and I don't think I've ever gotten quite enough of the thing. I've always loved a good Sherlockian weekend, as well as a good fan-run convention. There's something organic to these cons, where one-of-a-kind moments can spring up out of nowhere. No year is the same as the year before, and next year will be different again. The 221B Con team may tighten up a few loose ends, do a little fine tuning, but it's a great environment to be a Sherlockian in. Hard to describe, even with the creative juices that get flowing on these weekends. But every time, I have to try . . . and never quite get it.
But, with any luck, I'll try again next year. Big thanks to everyone who organized, ran, volunteered, brought their talents, or just came to 221B Con this year. Good times.