Okay, let's be honest. Some of us didn't expect much from Sherlock Holmes Magazine.
We'd lived through things like Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine that were as much about other detectives as Holmes.We'd paid fifteen bucks for a supermarket glossy thing that just reprinted old stuff most experienced Sherlockians knew by heart. Magazines also seem like a dying format these days, as the internet gives us fresh pictures and news before a publishing house can crank up its press. And Sherlockians . . . well, we've never had the numbers to support an all-Sherlock ongoing full color magazine.
What can I say, us older folks have a lot of outdated ideas in our head. The market isn't just the United States or Britain anymore. And the funding site model make it possible to make sure you have the buyers before you produce the product. But beyond that, I really, really didn't expect the raange that editor/writer Adrian Braddy would scoop up in his arms-wide hug of the current state of Sherlock Holmes.
Cumberbatch piece, check. Conan Doyle piece, check. We'd expect those. Photos and bits on both upcoming Netflix productions? Good. An Audible-produced Holmes game for Alexa voice interfaces? Hadn't heard of that. Switzerland banning Sherlock Holmes in the early 1900s? That's very interesting. A thoughtful look at one of the stories. The struggles of the first Sherlock Holmes novel. Holmes work during lockdown. Theater. A feature on The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes? Well, singling out that movie alone shows someone has taste.
But there's so much more than that one paragraph even describes. It's the range of this friggin' magazine that makes it wonderful. Instead of just taking what comes their way, the rations that fan-based Sherlockian publications, even the top of the line, have always existed on, the creator(s) of Sherlock Holmes Magazine went out of their way to capture the full range of Sherlock Holmes in this moment, along with bits of the past that are still of interest, all put together in an exciting and enjoyable manner.
The only sad part of this magazine's arrival was that somehow weather and my mailbox got one edge damp. It quickly dried, but is a just a touch wrinkled in one spot, which makes it no longer in mint condition. But you know what? This isn't a magazine to keep in mint condition. This is a magazine you can pick up time after time, put a little loving wear on it, and make it your own. Fuck collecting when something is this good -- I'm not going to be selling it off before I die.
Can Sherlock Holmes Magazine keep it up? I would be glad to see it. And am also glad to admit that I was very wrong in my assessment of what a magazine dedicated to Sherlock Holmes can be in the year 2020. We have such a rich wealth of Sherlockiana behind us, and, it seems, some real treasures ahead of us as well.