Faith Wallis was looking for suggestions on creating a Sherlockian charm bracelet this week, and that set me off on a train of thought about how one would best wear one's hobby on their sleeve, so to speak.
While American Sherlockians have typically not been a cosplay lot in the past, there have always been Holmes fashion accessories to be seen at any gathering. And the one that best combines collecting and wearing most was, in the past, has been the cloisonne pin. Back in the eighties and nineties, coming up with a scion society cloisonne pin was quite the fashion, and if you travelled in Sherlockian circles at all, it was hard not to wind up with a dozen or more. True collectors sought out all they could, and worethem proudly on deerstalkers, vests, or even the occasional sash.
So far, this new internet age of Sherlock seems more button-oriented, but we're just getting started.
Embroidered patches never took off in Holmes circles, and trying to picture a Sherlockian who looks like a varsity team captain in his or her jacket, or a NASCAR driver in a patch-covered jumpsuit, seems almost inconcievable. Charms, pins, buttons, patches, what's left to us for proudly wearing our hobby for the world to see?
Oh, yes, tattoos.
As Matt Laffey tweeted last week, "The amazing #shmn13 has come to a close and I couldn't convince anyone to get matching Sherlock tattoos with me. Next time!"
You'd think as Canonical as tattoos are, somebody would have gone for a fish above the right wrist or a "J.A." in the crook of their arm. Unfortunately, if you charted the popularity of tattoos in American culture, I suspect their boom period seemed to coincide with a lull in Sherlock's popularity, and now that Holmes is cresting, getting ink done isn't quite as trendy as it was.
What I'd really like to see is an Elementary fan so dedicated that they get the full Jonny Lee Miller body art ensemble, since his tattoos have apparently become the tattoos of Sherlock Holmes in the minds of many. But we're only through the first season, and its fans haven't gotten truly hardcore yet. Or at least not tattoo-hardcore!
A Sherlockian tattoo might be one of the few tattoos I'd think about getting, but even I have yet to cross that rubicon, and I've shared an elevator with the head of the Baker Street Irregulars while wearing a gold BSI earring. Of course, I've never been at a con with Matt Laffey yet, either.
The perfect tribal badge of the Sherlockian has really yet to be discovered. Perhaps its that as students of the master of observation and deduction, we hate to set up any obvious clues for those scanning us for information. Or maybe we're just not as fanatical as we like to think we are . . . yeah, we're crazy, but we're not "#CRAY-ZEeEE*!"
Time will tell. (C'mon, Elementary fans! DO it! DO it!)
I know someone who has the famous Paget drawing of Holmes sitting on the pillows tattooed on her arm. I have no tattoos, but I do have a some Sherlock-themed charms and collect and wear bee pins to honor the Beekeeper. I keep them pinned to a deerstalker hat on a wig stand.ReplyDelete
Gee, Brad, I guess you forgot that Crystal Noll, one of the five founders of 221BCon, has "Crystal" tattooed on her inner wrist in Dancing Men code.ReplyDelete
I don't think I ever saw that. The web has a few images of people with "221B" on wrists, etc., but not much major tattooage going on out there.Delete
How about a not too obvious tat - such as, on the bottom of one's foot (if that can be tattooed) the words 'The Game Is Afoot'. Not me, though. I made it through the Navy with any, and am not about to start!Delete
Hmm, sounds like a henna artist might make a few bucks at the next 221B Con... I had a New Zealand fern put on my ankle in henna when I was in Auckland -- it lasted a couple of weeks and I really enjoyed it.ReplyDelete
I've seen Crystal's tattoo. Very cool.ReplyDelete
I will be getting two more myself. One of Elvis (hey, I am what I am), and one Sherlockian. I just can't make up my mind what yet.
Vince, putting a tattoo of Elvis on you is just redundant.Delete
Ironically, I'm getting a Sherlockian tattoo some time in the next month and have been working on an article about it for the BSB website for awhile now.ReplyDelete
If you don't want a tat, you could always get a "V.V. 341" brand on your forearm. (Although I think it would probably hurt more than a tattoo.)ReplyDelete
I once saw a portrait-tattoo of Jeremy Brett as Sherlock in a book about tattoos. I couldn't afford the entire book just to get that one picture, though. I think the tat was on someone in the UK.ReplyDelete