Friday, April 13, 2018

221B Con 2018: Fanon: What is wrong with us?

Fanon is one of those organic things that has been growing in Sherlockian culture before we even had a name for it. Sherlock Holmes's birthday. The hiatus romance between Irene and Sherlock. Anything you can think of that's not from Doyle yet is commonly accepted among Sherlockians. BBC Sherlock brought with it some really curious common knowledges of fanon, with Red Pants Monday being one of the most common ones that I know of. So it came as no particular hardship when I agreed to report on the "Fanon: What's wrong with us?" panel for a certain absent Sherlockian who is, sadly, missing out.

This panel is both well-attended and short of panelists, only having one of the panelists show up ("Rabidsamfan").

She's focusing on Baring-Gould's contributions to the non-Canonical lore for her intro, and then, as an example, is discussing a Western romance novel with a character named Escott who is plainly Sherlock Holmes during his great hiatus. (Forgiven me for missing the name of the book. I should have noted it.)

Is the famous tent joke "fanon?" I suppose it is at this point, but it's brought into the discussion.

Jam Watson comes up from a Kate Beeton comic where a replacement Watson just loves jam. And on to Watson's red underwear (the source of Red Pants Monday) next, which gets a big laugh. A few more examples, and the floor is opened up to other favorites:

"One thousand Watsons walk into a bar."

Sherrinford being brought into things.

Toby, being Canonical and yet showing up in many ways: Lestrade's dog, the poisoned bull pup.

A reason for the Canon being so much fun: "There are generations of us trying to make it make sense."

(Side note: Not hearing anything that's "wrong with us" yet, but if being madly Sherlockian is wrong, I don't know what right is any more.)

(Second side note: If you sit near the wall, you hear the panel next door. The "Rare Pairs" panel is laughing a whole lot!)

The conversation has expanded a bit from true fanon to variations and additions coming into the characters from pastiche sources. Holmes and Watson's various relationships with women.

"Dark Watson" comes up as a fanon evolution that came after the Ritchie films, and then the BBC Sherlock, a Watson who was changed by war. ("Dom John" also gets a mention.)

The tantalus at 221B Baker Street being non-Canonical throws me and I actually had to do a search -- there is a "spirit case" with the Canonical gasogene, and a tantalus on Black Peter's sea chest. Hmm. I blame the BSI "Buy-laws."

Okay, there are some more digressions through varies stories going on, but I'm going to shut this down early as the burlesque show is coming up next and . . . well, burlesque show.


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