221B is a Sherlock Holmes convention held in Atlanta every year. This year it was held at the Atlanta Airport Marriott, which had perhaps the most helpful staff I have ever encountered. I used my walker on Friday, but Saturday and Sunday I used my cane, and any time my husband Ken left my side in the hallway for a minute there was a staff person asking if I needed any help. I was constantly reassuring them that I was fine. I wondered if I looked particularly needy, but they were extremely considerate.
221B is, as conventions go, relatively quiet. What I mean is that it is one of the series of smaller fan conventions we cover in Atlanta. Granted, everything is smaller when compared to the monolith that is DragonCon, which brought 80,000 people to Atlanta every year, but by smaller I mean they have between 450 and 1,000 people in attendance. That is a number that can connect with one another without a lot of confusion and share their love of a particular subject, in this case mainly Sherlock Holmes.
Panels covered Holmes from the books to the movies to the BBC series and ABC’s Elementary. There was a great deal of programming about writing fan fic, which I don’t do, and demonstrations of how to create Victorian cosplay costumes right down to
the proper underwear. Once in a while, some other cultural icon got a moment, such as the Voltron panel we attended on Sunday. But mostly it was Sherlock and John in our ears and in our eyes, in the most pleasant way.
it seemed to me that there was more cosplay this year. Many of the costumes were very attractive and made people-watching fascinating.
Among the things that we enjoyed most this year were the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company’s presentations. Saturday, they performed the radio drama “Lady Sherlock,” which features a female Sherlock Holmes and her automaton Watson. it was very amusing, but my favorite performance was their Sunday performance of “Jeeves and Wooster. who have nothing to do with Holmes except that the stories were written about the same time, but they were charming, just the same.
There was also a burlesque performance for those 18 and over on Friday, which cost extra to benefit the Beacon Society. We did not go to see Fandom Nerdesque perform this time, but we have seen them before and they were both sexy and funny with their fandom-themed shows.
221B Con had a lot to offer and it was all fun, but it was, as always, the feeling of family and acceptance in the fandom that made it such an enjoyable con. I love Sherlock but really, it is the fans that make the con for me, and the Sherlock fans were lovely again this year.