Saturday, April 8, 2017

221B Con 2017: Saturday morning and afternoon.

Maybe it's my impulsive nature, but I tend not to stay on the rails very long sometimes at 221B Con.

And first rule of 221B Con: You're always going to miss something.

My first destination for Saturday morning was supposed to be the Three Patch podcast. But then Howard Ostrom went and sold every single thing on his dealer's table yesterday, and I had this box full of Sherlockiana I wanted to get rid of, and Howard had one more item he wanted to try to sell, so for the first two hours of the con, I became a dealer in the dealer's room.

My homemade "Baker Street Dollar Store" sign went up, spun off a similar dealer's table idea I'd run at symposiums many years ago. Sometimes, as a Sherlockian, you may not care about your profit from getting rid of an item so much as just seeing it move on to a good Sherlockian home. And that is where the Sherlockian dollar store comes in. But being a dealer for the short term at 221B Con can be a reward in itself.

The con takes good care of its dealers, with a volunteer concierge coming around with bottle water and snacks, as well as offering to watch your table if you need to run to your room. And, if I haven't mentioned this enough already, con attendees here are friendly and fun to talk you. From a seat behind a dealer's table, you can chat about costumes, see old friends you might have missed had you stayed mobile, visit with your fellow vendors . . . oh, and spend any money you made selling things.

I was sitting staring directly across at Fox Estacado's booth, where I immediately bought one of her "I want to break free" Moriarty shirts, but then as I looked over her art for the next hour, I also decided I had to have a print of her "A Study in AU! Sherlock," with its dozen alternate Sherlocks. As noon neared, and I wanted to get to the singlestick demo, I put the dollar store in clearance mode and started giving things away to interested shoppers, which is, quite frankly, a sign of the shockingly bad businessman I am.

And then, for the second time, at con this year, I wandered into a near-empty room because I was an hour early for the event I wanted to go to. I blame Eastern time, but it's mainly a new disability I've discovered where I apparently can't follow a horizontal row across a grid. Going to have to start carrying a ruler.

So I visited the front lobby. First came the "Baker Street Elementary" table where all things Dallas Sherlockian were out, including a custom comic created just for 221B Con by Joe Fay, Rusty and Steve Mason., now being maintained at Michigan State, had stickers, cards, and a Beta version of a coming upgrade to the handy website created by Chris Redmond for people to try out. I gave it a run through my typical paths and came away satisfied with the results.

Then, of course, I had to get my copy of The Whole Art of Detection autographed by Lyndsay Faye, whose autograph I still have from my first visit to 221B Con, and, well, she's Lyndsay. She autographed my Sherlockian heart with her very being long ago. (I've already had text conversations with friends back home on how emotional Con Brad is, weeping at engagements, hollering at dancers, and doing an internal squee because "Ron Weasely" talked to me before the burlesque show . . . so take this in stride.)

AND THE MORIARTY'S WEB PEOPLE ARE HERE!!! A chance to buy that well-reviewed new game for a mere thirty bucks? HELL'S YEAH!!!  (See, I'm a maniac now. Still, Lyndsay . . . sigh. Hey, the lady can write!)

Finally, it was time for that singlestick and Bartitsu demo that I was an hour early to an hour before. Ashley Polasek and Tim Greer, with the occassional aid of Curtis Armstrong, took advantage of the stage area in the pavilion to demo Victorian Sherlock Holmes's styles of hand-to-hand combat, single-stick fighting, and even a little sword and whip play. (Be-have!) Some good fun there, and then off to lunch!

One hearty chicken marengo later and I'm back at this keyboard, which I must now depart to dress for the cosplay strut. What am I dressing up as?

Tune in later tonight! Same Brad-time, same Brad-channel!

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