Monday, September 22, 2014

Applause for an offstage acting afficionado.

One could make a comment upon Dr. Watson and Kitty Winter singlestick dueling on a public sidewalk this week, as the CBS is teasing in their next season of silliness, yes. But that time would probably be better spent in praise of someone who is actually accomplishing something. And who might be worthy of such celebration?

Anybody say "Howard Ostrom?"

"Sheercheek Holmes -- An All-too-Human History of Stage & Screen Variations on a Name" by Howard Ostrom and Ray Wilcockson showed up on No Place Like Holmes today. And if you were anxiously awaited Ross K. Foad's 400th video on that YouTube channel, Howard's latest addition, with the help of his sometime writing partner, will fill up that time nicely -- an Ostrom essay is nothing if not comprehensive, especially when he's got Ray Wilcockson backing him up.

Thirteen very full pages of people who are almost named Sherlock Holmes this time out, ranging from 1900 to 2012.  (True, their essay on African-American Holmeses ran 27 pages, but it had pictures!)

In an age when the young and trending Sherlock-ish fans are blowing us away with their energies and productivity, Howard Ostrom has been out on that same internet frontier, putting out fabulous pieces that would have been mail-away-for-it-monographs or beefy most-of-a-journal articles once upon a time, foregoing the solid archival safety of print for the ability to share with the most Sherlock Holmes fans possible. He is a generous fellow indeed, and Howard's drive for collecting all the thespian culprits in any of his endeavors puts his name up there with those completists like Hobbs and DeWaal.

While I'll never be able to get the image out of my head of Howard at the first 221B Con, driving the young girls wild with his rockstar exposing of Sherlockian high-tops beneath his Invernesse cloak, the inestimable Ostrom is showing off more brain than ankle these days, and one is always happy to see a young soul rising on more than just their physical charms.

So here's to the latest work by one of our best Sherlockians out there these days. Keep up the good work, Howard! (And Ray, too, who will hopefully forgive a bit of Ostromian bias.)


  1. Thank you for the kind words, it means a great deal to me coming from you, whom I have the utmost respect for. Be forewarned - I'm putting the finishing touches on "It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Sherlock, The Comedic World of Holmes" and it is at 114 pages right now!!!! I'm sending you the first draft, so that you have something else to do when "Elementary" returns. xD!

  2. Howard's series of essays for NPLH perfectly complement his ongoing Holmes & Watson Collection. Whatever the line of investigation he will (Blue Carbuncle style) "follow it out to the bitter end"! It's a delight & a privilege to help where I'm able in what I consider both fascinating and invaluable research of benefit to more than Sherlockian devotees. Face to the south, then, and quick march, Howard!

  3. I had never heard of No Place Like Holmes; it looks like a deep, deep rabbit hole. Now I have to alternate between it and Action Sherlock Brain Theater (I'm on episode 46: Knock Knock). ::facepalm:: So much for getting ANY work done today. Thanks. I think.


  4. A couple of years ago Howard Ostrom joined us at WelcomeHolmes, the online discussion group associated with Nashville Scholars scion. We have been amazed by his prolific posts of Sherlockian movie minutiae, finding every actor who ever played Holmes onscreen in every country worldwide. Thanks, Mr Keefauver, for this public acknowledgement of his magnificence.