Thursday, April 9, 2015

The long road to 221B Con 2015.

Getting from Peoria to Atlanta can be done in a one day drive. Not a short one day drive, but it can be accomplished between sun-up and sun-down in a single day. Barely.

The drive started promisingly enough, as my usual Thursday morning podcast, Longbox Heroes, started out with a discussion of Sherlock Holmes. Which is pretty unusual, as it's a comic book podcast. And the two podcasters involved, Todd Rowker and Leonard F. Chikarason, are far from Holmes fandom, which made their conversation all the more interesting -- I always enjoy overhearing what the outside world is saying about good old Sherlock.

The reason for Sherlock talk was IDW's announcement that they would by publishing Nicholas Meyer's The Seven-Per-Cent Solution in comic book form. And what amused me to no end was the completely objective comic fan's view of the thing. The wonderment that of all the possible Sherlock Holmes team-ups, anyone would choose Sigmund Freud over someone distinctly more "comic book." (And their suggestion of a Sherlock Holmes/Daredevil team-up is actually more perfect than any Sherlock/Batman team-up or Sherlock/Dr. Who team-up commonly hoped for.) The curiosity as to why anyone would choose a forty-year-old Sherlock Holmes novel to adapt for comics at this point. The assurance of the comic book store familiar that there were always people who bought anything with Sherlock Holmes in it.

It was a refreshing set of viewpoints to begin a weekend soon to be spent among people who know the Sherlock stuff all too well. And a reminder that Sherlock Holmes belongs to people who don't really care about him as much as Sherlockians do, just as he does to us.

And since I couldn't stop in London to see Holmes on my way to 221B Con, I stopped in Metropolis to see Superman, because it's on the way. And Metropolis, being a city of opportunity, basically wound up paying for my 221B Con hotel stay after ten minutes before lunch at the local casino gambling twenty bucks on a quarter slot machine. (Don't take this as an endorsement of riverboat gambling, kids, and try this at home!)

Driving to 221B Con is like a literal trip down memory lane, as I pass Sherlockian memories I've had in Southern Illinois, Nashville, and Chattanooga. It's a long drive, as I said, but finally finding the Marriott Atlanta Perimeter Center was rewarded with a 221B Con welcome letter and a hotel that, as ever, seems to be housing more charming young ladies than the average business hotel. (God bless you, Benedict Cumberbatch! You may not be particularly easy on my eyes, but you definitely decreased the percentage of us old guys, with our limited cosplay options, in any large crowd of Sherlockians.)

And so it begins.

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