Monday, November 14, 2016

A Sherlockian at Scoopfest.

Since I usually focus my Twitter feed on matters relating to Sherlock Holmes and the fans thereof, my tweets of the last few days might have been a little bit cryptic to many a Sherlockian. Since I didn't take a laptop like I do to 221B Con, I now have a little catching up to do on what was going on in Las Vegas . . . which includes the finale of the About Sixty Battle Royale for Sherlock story supremacy. And I'll get to that, tomorrow, probably. But for now, let me say this:

I love fans. I truly do.

And this weekend, I was deeply and madly in love with a group of fans that weren't Sherlock Holmes fans . . . not confessing fan-dultery here, as I have always been admittedly poly-fan-orous, going back to those Trek conventions in the early eighties and . . . well, my Marvel fanboying long before that. One cannot confine true geekery to a single love.

So this weekend, I headed off to Vegas to see how my newest fandom community was coming together . . . the devoted listeners of a little podcast called "Matt and Mattingley's Ice Cream Social." Their first ever Scoopfest was held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and both the size of the weekend event and the distances travelled reminded me of many a Sherlock Holmes fan weekend, as did the camaraderie, the side trips to nearby watering holes, and the surprises. But, the combination of Las Vegas and first-time excitement had the energy level turned up a lot higher for this particular weekend than a more established event.

You never know how a first-time attempt at any event like this is going to turn out. I'd already seen this sort of magic happen a few years ago with the first 221B Con, but this was a bit beyond that.

Imagine you went to the first ever Sherlock Holmes weekend and Arthur Conan Doyle, Sidney Paget, and William Gillette were organizing it and in the thick of things with the fans. (Or to be more modern, Moffat, Gatiss, and Cumberbatch.) And they were modest folk, expecting about fifty people to show up, and got a couple of hundred . . . a rise in attendance that, once they realized it was coming, just inspired them and their friends to do more and provide more.

That was where I was this weekend. Now, you may consider me a bit hyperbolic in comparing a modern comedy podcast by a couple of fun improv talents to a classic work of literature, but as I've seen over many years and many fandoms, fans tend to be fans. And when they come together, they are truly good people at their best -- a shared common joy brings strangers from all backgrounds together in a beautiful fashion.

At a time like this past week, when it seems like divisions might tear America apart in the days ahead, it is more important than ever to remember . . . and remember hard . . . those things that draw us together and make us better people. Whether it's Sherlock Holmes or an Ice Cream Social, as long as the source is a positive and joyous one, we can take that energy and maybe use it to help matters outside whatever group of like-minded folk we find ourselves in.

I went to Las Vegas, had only one drink and only gambled away ten whole dollars, but still had one of the best weekends of my life. Something that would not have been possible without the energy a group of fans can serve to buoy up true talents.

So, like I said, I love fans. Being one. Being around them.

And with that, back to Sherlock Holmes and his kickass legions of same!

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