From April 7-9, people descended on the Marriott Perimeter Center in Atlanta from all over the country for 221B Con, a convention for everything Sherlock Holmes. The attendees were mostly female but covered all genders. They came from all over the country, including New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Minnesota, and Colorado (locations I heard in various panels.) They got here despite cancelled planes and bad weather. It is a small con in the 450-600 attendee range, but these people are dedicated! In fact, there are many more out of state people than there are Atlanta residents at this convention for some reason.
The convention was a joy as always. We saw more costumes this year, but cosplay is not the main attraction of this con. While it had a vendor room and tables for artists, booksellers, conventions, and so on, a video room, and a lounge, this is a creative and intelligent group. So there was a crafting room instead of a gaming room and the panels and workshops appeared to be the core of the con, at least from this writer’s perspective. It is a convention, so it is sort of like a make-your-own adventure.
My husband and I, however, really enjoy panels. Highlights for us ranged from discussions of Holmes-influenced anime to Sherlockian cocktails to talks by a clinician about whether Holmes was bipolar and whether he was addicted to cocaine (Conclusion: Yes and yes).
We also thoroughly enjoyed Q & A sessions with guest of honor Curtis Armstrong, who played Booger in “Revenge of The Nerds” and has had roles in other nerd classics like Risky Business and Better Off Dead as well as TV shows like Moonlighting and Supernatural. His only connection to Sherlock Holmes is being a fan like we are, and that he talks about this fandom in his upcoming book, Revenge of the Nerd, but he was funny and open, an excellent storyteller.
Another highlight was the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company (ARTC0) performance. ARTCo performs a live radio show at nearly every fan convention we attend. This one contained several comedic skits. “”ParaNOIRmal Encounters” was my favorite because of the delightful “cat.”
221B Con is an enjoyable, well-run convention where any Sherlockian, whether a fan of the original books, the new book adaptations, TV shows, or movies, will have a wonderful time.
This review originally occurred in slightly modified form in Blogcritcs Magazine.
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