Saturday, April 2, 2016

221B Con 2016, second report: This is where minds are blown.

"These youngsters go everywhere, and hear everything," Sherlock Holmes once said of his Baker Street irregulars. Of course, he was talking about the street urchins en masse, and not individually. Because if he was talking about them individually, I've going to become very upset for not getting in on their secret.

Halfway through 221B Con and I'm already missing things left and right. So many tracks going at once that you're always going to be forced to sacrifice one thing for another. A pleasant conversation at a dealer's table might cost you half a panel. Time is a dear currency here at 221B Con, and it slips through your fingers quicker than water.

Started the day with the Three Patch Podcast, recording live on shipping. So many good thoughts from both the panel and the audience, but what stood out for me was TPPer Caroline's description of her monogamous ship relationship with Johnlock and how she's not even sure why she loves the thought of Sherlock and John together. "It's like loving your mom and dad," she said, or something very much like it. It'll probably be coming out on their next podcast, so you can hear her real words their. There is both honesty and energy at these panels, and I tweeted something about feeling like I was at a 1930s party of the Baker Street Irregulars of New York -- so much, new, raw energy. Nobody going on about "the way it should be done" or how so-and-so did Sherlockiana way back when. Sherlock-love in its purest form, happening right here and right now.

From there, the dealer's room, where I missed half of the "Sherlock and the Kobayashi Maru" panel from pleasant conversation, as mentioned earlier. Crossing Sherlock over into other fandoms' classic situations is a great way to churn up the imagination, and that room for of Trekky (the adjective form) Sherlockians were full of great thoughts, even up to how Jeremy Brett's Holmes would handle the starship command no-win scenario. So much fun there.

When that panel got over, its door opened to find a mass of humanity flowing upstream in the hall outside -- the David Nellist Q&A had been relocated to the larger Pavillion area! We joined that throng headed to hear the BBC's own Stamford and the session came together very quickly, despite the move. A few microphone glitches were handled seamlessly, and David was very much enjoying answering questions from Crystal, who hosted the session (reminding me very much of a starship captain, after the Kobayashi Maru business) and the fans, who happily lined up with a goodly variety of inquiries. David Nellist was a wonderful guest and a great fit for 221B Con. (And we got to learn, among other things, the real reason he wasn't at Watson's wedding. I'm so sad for that!)

After that, another episode of S(her)lock: The Web Series, this time based on "A Case of Identity" -- S(her)lock being very good at bringing the old Canon into more modern times, then hunger struck and the Elementary panel in the hour after just wasn't going to work. But that was okay, because after fortifying myself with the good Carter's lunch leftovers, I headed down and got David Nellist's autograph in the lobby and talked with him a bit about a variety of subjects, such as America's penchant for giant portions in restaurants and our over-dependence upon cars in getting about. As I wrote on Twitter, a few more 221B Cons and I may yet get over my fear of celebrities (of both the acting and podcasting varieties!)

This just in from the good Carter -- David Nellist just did a cameo in the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company's play downstairs, as I type this -- one more bit I'm missing! (Definitely needing a blogger collective to cover this thing!)

After getting David's autograph, I picked up a copy of Compound a Felony: A Queer Affair of Sherlock Holmes by Elinor Gray, who seemed maybe a little surprised that vanilla-looking old male me would be buying a bit of porn-y gay dom-sub pastiche (yes, Holmes and Watson are hard at it in the first chapter, pun intended), but it's a big, big world out there and one has to look in on what everybody else is doing at some point, or what, really, is the point? After the first chapter, Compound a Felony certainly wasn't boring me, so I'm sure I'll continue. (Boredom is the crime by which most books lose my attention, moreso than anything else.) You get old enough, it seems like people are people and parts are parts, so one can almost pretend there are whatever gender you enjoy's bits in there somewhere.

And now I've got an autographed picture of Fred Grandy (of Love Boat fame) who played Sherlock once, as well as an Alfred Molina. My curious collection of Sherlock stars is growing, thanks to a certain collector who might have been mentioned before, who is letting his daughter liquidate some very fine things this weekend.

221B Con doesn't get boring, you can count on that if you keep moving. So back on the move I go . . . .

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