Sunday, April 14, 2013

221B Con fried brain wrap-up.

Well, 221B Con ended about five today in Atlanta.

And guess what? I left some of the best parts out of the blogs thus far.

Costume contest? Yes, there was one of those. Sherlocks. Johns. A glowing blue bunny and her scientist pal. Mycrofts. Molly. A mind palace. Joan. Things I recognized and things I didn't. And all those Irenes. All those gorgeous Irenes. Pictures will turn up at some point, I'm sure, and you'll see things my fried brain can't pull up at this point. But creativity and craftsmanship rules and Wear Sherlock did a beautiful job of introducing the sixty contestants.

The Baker Street Babes live podcast? Everything a BSB podcast should be -- an interview with Cara McGee, creator of Adagio's Sherlock-based tea blends, full of fun, insight, laughter, and just the right amount of timely profanity. Five Babes live and present for the event, and since you'll soon be able to find it online, I won't spend too much time on it here. I'll be giving the Babes their due later in the week.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Yes, he was there, big as life, in two dimensional black and white, and enjoying the attentions of a great many women. Poking his head out of the Tardis. Someone tweeted that he looked a bit miffed, but that big moustache makes him very had to read.

The new Fanon. Sherlock Holmes fans have always had Fanon -- those accepted facts created by the fans themselves, like Holmes's January birthday. BBC Sherlock fans have their own Fanon, as well as memes that kept showing up in costumes wandering about the con. Winglock. Red underpants. And as much as the concept of radio cosplay still boggles my brain, a crew of Cabin Pressure folk. At times it was like walking into a new dimension of Sherlockiana. Quite refreshing.

Howard Ostrom. Okay, this place was full of Babes, girls, women, ladies, Adventuresses, and young men with oddly painted-on whiskers. But it also had Howard, who was a treat to serve on a Rathbone panel with. This was my first time getting to spend time with the WelcomeHolmes favorite, and it was always good to compare notes with him as we passed on our way to the various sessions.

The wrap-up panel of the con organizers is a really brave concept. After a long, tiring weekend, they invite everyone to come in and tell them what they did wrong, which is a risk I sure wouldn't take. They got some good constructive comments, and the accepted fact that the con ran "smooth as butter."  For a first time con, it was an amazing thing. But that might have been a part of it -- it was a first time con for a great many attendees as well, no one with expectations from past glories, just enthusiastic people happy to be there and willing to go with the flow.

After the reputation this year's 221B Con is getting, next year might be a tall order to live up to, but they're going to try. And the good Carter and I have signed up for it already.


  1. I've been reading all your reports. Maybe someday I'll get to go. :) For now, I'll just have to be satisfied with a meeting of the Hansoms...

    Which reminds me...are you going to send out a note to everyone about next month with some details? Maybe once you come back from "con land"? ;-)

  2. Between your blog and the reports posted on the WelcomeHolmes list it sounds like 221B was a total blast. As you alluded to in one of your earlier posts, the whole Sherlock-enthusiast world is trending female very fast.

    Question: What would you say was the average age, or age range if that's easier, of the attendees at the Con?

  3. I was at the con, and I was a lucky winner of one of your donated books (it's stories about Mycroft, I'm so thrilled, thank you!!!). I'm also one of the twenty-something new-ish Sherlock Holmes fans.

    I just want to say that I love seeing your blog posts about it, because I'm currently wading through the myriad tumblr posts from the con and I was wondering how non-tumblrites felt about it. I know that we can get quite excited from behind out keyboards, and then you add in meeting long time friends for the first time and I was worried that some of the other con attendees might have been put off by us. So I really appreciate you saying that you liked our enthusiasm.

    @Bill Barnes: for an average age, I'd guess mid to late twenties, but I saw a whole bunch of people ranging from itty-bitty fans to dignified-and-dapper fans. There were a lot of tumblr users, and I'd say if you were counting just that group, the average age would possibly trend down a bit more to 20-21 area. At the very least the energy level of the attendees was high, so I may be estimating low :D

  4. Brad, I've enjoyed each of these 221b con posts so very much - thank you for your insight and welcoming attitude! I was at the con as well (an inbetweener of 32), and I've been wondering how these distinctly different sets of fans got on. But we all have a very wonderful thing in common - so perhaps we can learn things from each other and all have a grand time together. Until next year!

  5. Thank you so much for your 221B Con write-ups! It's definitely been interesting hearing the perspective of someone who's more established with this whole Sherlock Holmes enthusiast thing and who knows more about the community at large than many of us do. I'm glad you enjoyed the convention - I worried that some of the (relatively) older attendees might not, but the ones I chatted with seemed to be having as much fun as us younger folk.

    I'm also popping by to say thanks because I, like theana, was one of the recipients of your donated books (the Irene Adler with the ace of hearts), and I ended up with Good Night, Mr. Holmes and Good Morning, Irene by Carole Nelson Douglas, which I've been meaning to get my hands on for a long time. I'm just adoring them so far! I'm a huge fan of Irene Adler in all incarnations, and this one is a treat to read. So, thank you, once again, for prolonging my Sherlockian enjoyment far beyond the end of the con. :)