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221b Con 2014

April 3-6, 2014: Atlanta, Georgia.

Fan cons are an amazing thing. First, they start as a simple idea of a date and location. Before our eyes, they grow shape and content through the collaboration of organizers and interested fans. It’s not until you get there, though, that the magic overtakes you.

Last year’s inaugural 221b Con was wonderful, but this year’s event reached the next level of Sherlockian awesomeness in every way.

Friday night started with a delight to the senses, Cara McGee’s fandom teaparty, complete with costumed tea servers, light refreshments, prizes, and a conflagration of joy that connected fans of Brett and Cumberbatch, fanfiction and web series, cosplay and roleplay.

TeaParty

 

At the same time, panels commenced, with entertaining looks at major canon characters and the exploration of the rich world of AU and Crossovers. Later in the evening, attendees were treated to an exploration of Holmes in the digital era and a collaborative fanfiction workshop. It was an opening night to remember.

221b Con 2

Saturday, the fullest day of the con, opened with an explosion of art and creativity in the dealer’s room, where artists like Chris Schweizer and Daunt shared their love of Sherlock Holmes and their incredible talent. For the Baker Street Babes, it was a morning to reconnect with our closest friends–Internet sisters we only see once a year, even though we podcast together.

The panel schedule on Saturday was packed with everything from the costume contest, co-emceed by Babe Lyndsay Faye, to discussions of the Doyle Canon and explorations of lesser-known adaptations. If it was related to Holmes, it was under discussion. Attending Babes Amy, Lyndsay, and Sarah, as well as Taylor (also a Con organizer) found ourselves all over the place, greeting old friends and making new ones while learning more about the rich Holmesian world we inhabit. The busyness of the day wasn’t enough to make us forget to miss Curly and the other Babes who were unable to be with us this year.

A highlight was joining Three Patch Podcast, Hope Mullinax, and Leveling Azaroth for an in-depth discussion of podcasting.

How to Podcast Panel

Thanks to everyone who visited the Baker Street Babes table and chatted with us about Holmes, purchased books from Amy and Lyndsay, and left with buttons and cards. You bought small things from us, but we hope our huge love is what stays with you.

Conswag

 

Sunday was a big day for us, as we congregated in the Carter room and prepared to record our live podcast, a tradition we started last year when we interviewed the empress of tea, Cara McGee. This year, our guest was the amazing Ashley Polasek, the world’s first PhD in the subject of Holmes on film.

LivePodcast

 

A few tech hiccups at the beginning didn’t stop us or the audience from picking Ashley’s brain about adaptations and studying Holmes in official academia, as well as quizzing her using questions as diabolical as which Holmes actor had the most Ls in his name (Roger Llewellyn).

As we always do, we made Ashley an honorary Baker Street Babe at the beginning of the interview. Toward the end of the hour, it was time for the moment we’d been waiting for. After shushing ourselves for the entire weekend, the Baker Street Babes had the highlight of our Con: We revoked Ashley’s status as an honorary Babe and asked her to become the 12th official member of the podcast. To our absolute glee, she accepted.

Ashley

 

When it comes down to it, 221b Con is about connecting–sharing what we love with others who love it, too. Costumes and artwork are entertaining and beautiful means of self-expression. Panels are giant conversations with old and new friends. The memories we make create a new country, a place where the love of Sherlock Holmes is the one thing that unites people of all ages and from all walks of life.

Altogether, 221b Con was a huge lovefest, but it was the single, special moments that will stay with us the longest.  For the Baker Street Babes, we came as 11 and left as 12, a fitting symbol of the fact that when the Sherlock Holmes fandom comes together, we’re all family.

Scarlet

 

 

 

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