Saturday, August 23, 2014

Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes

XIII: El perro de Baskerville

As an avid collector, I am constantly discovering ‘new’ editions. New being a relative word – some of the ‘new’ items I find might be decades old. Many of the things I find are quite mundane yet every once in awhile I come across something that really catches my eye. This is the case of a book I found nearly four years ago. I bought a copy of El Perro de Baskervilles with a very unusual cover. Much to my delight,when the book arrived I discovered it was volume XIII of a series called “Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes.” XIII is 13 for you folks that are Roman Numerically challenged.

I promptly begin searching for others in the series and over the next few months located and bought four more books from the series – III, VII, VIII, and XV (3, 7, 8, and 15). I also found cover images of three others – IV, X, and XI (4, 10, and 11). That is when the efforts to find more ran dry. Every few months I run searches and nothing ever turns up. The covers of these books are very stylized, sort of like El Greco meets Frederick Dorr Steele. But sadly the publisher gave no credit to the artist nor does the artist put their name any place visible on the cover art. Efforts to identify this wonderful artist have produced nothing.

VII: Sherlock Holmes sigue triumfando
VIII: El invincible Sherlock Holmes

1940s Zig-Zag Series

“Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes” was published by Editorial Zig-Zag in Santiago, Chile. This particular series came out in 1935. The publisher is still in business and throughout the years has done some remarkable series. One of their more interesting series, published in the mid 1940s, was “Coleccion “La Lantern”.”  This series also featured some very intriguing artwork. I will write more on this series at a later time.
XIV: La Banda moteada

Then last week, out of the blue, a book scout I use in Santiago, Chile emailed me. He had come across a copy of La Banda Moteada, volume XIV (14) in the series and asked if was I interested in buying it. Of course I replied and just yesterday the book arrived. Now I have six of the fifteen sitting on my shelves and it has renewed the challenge to find the missing nine volumes. These are the types of challenges that collectors love and are what stokes the fire even hotter. I know that one day I will complete this task but I also know, as a collector, there will always be more books to finds! 

Here is the complete of Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes and the rest of those wonderful covers:

Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes I: Un Crimen extraño
Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes II: Triumfo de Sherlock Holmes
Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes III: Nuevos triunfos de Sherlock Holmes
Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes IV: El ciclista fantasma\
Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes V: Cinco Hazañas de Sherlock Holmes
Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes VI: La Mas famosos hazañas de Sherlock Holmes
Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes VII: Sherlock Holmes sigue triumfando
Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes VIII: El invincible Sherlock Holmes
Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes IX: Policia fina
Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes X: Nuevas y últimas aventura de Sherlock Holmes
Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes XI: El problema final
Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes XII: La Resurreccion de Sherlock DH1
Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes XIII: El perro de Baskerville
Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes XIV: La Banda moteada
Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes XV: La Marca de los cuatro.

IV El ciclista fantasma
XI: El problema final
XV: La Marca de los cuatro
X: Nuevas y últimas aventura
de Sherlock Holmes

Happy Blogging!!

* These books are in my collection
** I just have cover scans of these books.  

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sherlocking at the Perot Museum of Nature & Science

When the Perot Museum of Nature and Science contacted the Crew of the Barque LONE STAR  Dallas’ Premiere Sherlockian Society about hosting a Murder Mystery for their Thursday hands-on lab night, the Crew jumped at the opportunity. After months of preparation, Thursday August 07 was when the fun began. The murder mystery created by the Crew’s Third Mate, Steve Mason, involved the murder of one of the museum’s wealthy donors. The participants were each given one of five packets. These packets contained clues including blood splatter patterns and fingerprints that help clear a suspect or indict them.

The evening started with a display table featuring all sorts of Sherlockiana. The next table was occupied by a team of Dallas Police Department fingerprint specialists. They were kept busy with a continuous line of youngsters waiting their turn to be fingerprinted. Oddly enough not very many adults opted for this part of the program. Steve gave a 15-minute slide-show on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes. More than a dozen members of the Crew of the Barque LONE STAR were on hand to help with the arrangements and be stationed at various locations throughout the museum to help participants should they become stuck and need help. 

The Perot Museum is a modern four-story building, celebrating its 2nd anniversaryThe first part of the murder mystery packet was a trip to the 4th floor. There the participants, according to the Inspector’s name on their individual packet, looked for their first clue on one of five montages of characters. Each montage included a single image of Sherlock Holmes, a Sherlockian version of ‘Where’s Waldo.’ Once found, this allowed the 'Inspectors' to travel from floor to floor where they had to match fingerprints and blood splatters  from their packet with one of five on other floors. Each correct match revealed another clue.

The final part was traveling to each of the nine halls in the museum. On each packet, there were clues written down and beneath these clues were numbered spaces. The answers were found in each hall. The corresponding letter for each numbered space was written in the solution space at the bottom of the packet, like an acrostic puzzle. This revealed the murderer. It was very clever and the more than one-hundred participants seemed to enjoy themselves. With ages ranging from four to the eighties, it was quite a feat but then again, we are talking about it's creator being a Sherlockian so it should not be that much of a surprise..

We passed out free Sherlockian-related books and invitations to our monthly meeting. Ironically, the most liked feature of the evening was not the fingerprinting or even Sherlock Holmes. It was the green-taped outline of the murder victim. Nearly every child took their turn lying down inside the figure and trying their best to contort their bodies to match the figure outlined on the floor. It reminded me of Christmas when the kids had more fun with the box the toy came in than the toy itself.

It is our sincere hope to spark the interest in Sherlock Holmes and maybe even add a few new members to the Crew. Only time will tell.

Taped outline of the murdered, wealthy patron....awe.

The Crew of the Barque LONE STAR : Don Casey, Rusty Mason, Steve Mason, Marland Henderson, Stu Nelan, Finger Sherlock,  Bailey Bates, Don Hobbs, Heather Mason, Pam Mason, Jenny Bates, Brenda Hutchinson, Sharon Lowry.
Happy Blogging !!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sherlocking in Vienna

If there is anyone out there who reads my blog, you must be a very patient person. It has been nearly three months since my last post. I have not always been this lax. When Brad Keefauver and I were churning out SherlockPeoria as a weekly blog, I never missed a deadline. For 520 straight weeks, my article would be edited and complete and on time. It was send immediately to Brad and the new post  would be up on the web. I am quite proud of tat run in Sherlockian publishing.

It seems now days that I have more excuses than some pimplied youth explaining why their essay was not turned in on time - The Hound of the Baskervilles ate it; I was ironing and it burned up in a Silver Blaze; it was ran over by a Solitary Cyclist. Well, you get the picture. I won't use any of those excuses. Let's just say I am as busy as a one-armed Beekeeper.

My final deadline for the first book I am editing for the Baker Street Irregulars International Series, moved up by a year. I thought I had until 2016 and it turned out to be due before 2015. I am preparing my paper for the 2015 Japanese Sherlock Holmes Conference, where I will be one of the main speakers. I have completed a Power Point presentation for the Afghanistan Perceives' 40th Anniversary in September and I have written an article for Canadian Holmes. So you can see I have not been to much of a slacker, except when it comes to my own blog. It seems I have blogged down.

Finger Sherlock enjoying some sachertorte and Viennese coffee.
So now I am in Vienna, Austria for my job. Instead of going to the Freud or Mozart Museums, here I sit, blogging to my faithful followers, all 3 of you, my wife, my son, and my two daughters. They told me there would be no math involved with blogging. So I carried along my second favorite traveling companion, Finger Sherlock and we had quite a few adventures.

St. Stephen Cathedral
One of the more fascinating places I visited was St. Stephen's Cathedral, which the Viennese lovingly call "Steffl" and it is one of the city's main landmarks. This is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in the world. There has been a church on the site since 1147. The building seen today was created in stages beginning in 1303. The south tower reaches a height of 450 feet. A companion north tower was never completed. Instead, a Renaissance-style dome was built in 1579 where the Pummerin, a 44,380 lb  bell made from the metal of cannons captured during the second Turkish siege of 1683 now sits.

Street vendors are a great place for a walking lunch as I can attest to several times over, but no trip would be complete with sampling a fine cup of Viennese coffee and eating a sachertorte. This is  a flourless chocolate cake served with whipped cream. There are too many museums to see in a lifetime but the Freud Museum is worth an analytically visit. There are also museums for Beethoven and Mozart.

I will leave you with these few tid-bits of to think about and who knows, I might post again in a few months.

Happy Blogging!!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure

Somehow I believe the title of this play is misleading. Let's see a show of hands of all of you that think this will be the Last Adventure of the Great Detective? Just as I thought, not a single hand.

The Wyly Theatre is staging Steven Dietz's adaptation of the 1899 William Gillette and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle play. This production is directed by Kevin Moriarty, need I go on? Okay, I will.

The Wyly Theatre is located in the heart of Dallas' Arts District and is an architectural marvel. The stage juts out into the seating area and is surround on three sides by the guests. This performance is broken into two acts separated by a 15-minute intermission.  The actors were superb and the sets were fantastic. The scene at Reichenbach left know doubts as to where it was for anyone that has been to the falls. The setting rooms and gas chamber were equally well crafted. The ingenious switch from locomotive to railway carriage was subtle but profound.

This brings us to the play itself. It never seemed to taken its own life. Maybe it was Moriarty's direction but something seemed just slightly lacking. All said, however, I would suggest anyone that have not seen it, head downtown Dallas and attend.  The play runs through May 25 but somehow I feel it won't be Sherlock Holmes' Final Adventure.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Lo Gossàs dels Baskervilles  2014. 

Last week I received an email from my friend and fellow collector Takahiko ENDO directing me to a webpage that showed a translation of the Hound of the Baskervilles in what appeared to be a language we were not familiar with. As I delved deeper, I discovered the book was translated into the language Occitan. Quickly, I added it to my database for the Galactic Sherlock Holmes as the 101st language with a Canonical translation. It was premature excitement on my part.

As is turns out, Occitan is a new language (in the Sherlockian translation sense) but I have Gascon listed which turns out to a dialect of Occitan. I have corrected the Galactic Sherlock Holmes making Occitan as the language and the two Gascon editions are now listed under it with notes stating that is is a dialect not a different language.

The source I use in determining languages is Ethnologue. This is what they say about Occitan and Gascon. There are a total of 218,310 speaker of Occitan. In France the speakers are in the Auvergne, Gascogne, Languedoc, Limousin, and Provence provinces. There are other speakers in Andorra, Spain, and Portugal.  Occitan is classified as an Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Ibero-Romance, Oc language. There are several dialects including Auvergnat (Auverne, Auvernhas), Gascon, Languedocien (Langadoc, Languedoc, Lengadoucian), Limousin (Lemosin), Provençal (Alpine Provençal, Mistralien, Prouvençau, Provençal). Highly fragmented dialect situation, with limited intelligibility between some varieties.

Lo Chanhàs deus Baskervilles 2001
The two editions published in the dialect of Gascon are both listed in the Galactic Sherlock Holmes. I have added the images of those two book as well as the Occitan edition. I suppose the confusion initially started because in Gascon the title is Lo Chanhàs deus Baskervilles  and in Occitan it is Lo Gossàs dels Baskervilles. In the language Catalan, the title is El gos dels Baskerville. Catalan is very similar to Occitan and it is classified as an Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Ibero-Romance, East Iberian language. The only difference is Occitan is Oc and Catalan is East Iberian. The rest of their classifications are identical.

There are about a dozen other languages spoken in France. One of those languages, Breton has published the Hound. Throughout Europe, there seems to be a push to revive older, regional languages. Let us hope there are more Sherlockians out there willing to keep the memory green in these languages. It is always exciting for my hobby, pursuing the next Sherlockian translation and adding it to my collection.

Happy Collecting!!
Lo Chanhàs deus Baskervilles 2012

Friday, February 7, 2014

Sherlockian After Burners

Here I sit in the Sherlockian Blogger's Slow-Lane and in dire need to kick it into high-gear and get the lead out. At the end of last year, I switched jobs and it has been time-consuming. Don't you just hate it when work/career related issues get the way of 'Sherlocking?'  

For those that are unaware, I was the media darling for a few short weeks. In January, the local ABC affiliate, WFAA's Good Morning Texas ran the piece they did in my library back in March. "Meet a North Texas Man With A Large Sherlock Holmes Collection" aired on January 7, 2014. Here is the link to that particular video.

Steve Mason. Herb Linder, Don Hobbs, Joe Fay, Stu Nelan.
Following that bit was my annual New York City trip to attend the Sherlock Holmes Birthday Celebration Weekend. The Texas contingent went in full force and represented our state in excellent manner. I attended the Distinguished Lecture along with a roomful of other like-minded Sherlockians. This year's Distinguished Speaker was Dr. James O'Brien , emeritus professor at Missouri State University and author of Edgar Award winning The Scientific Sherlock Holmes. Afterwards, I headed off to the The Daintiest Thing Under A Bonnet Ball, where I presented a toast to Altemont in Mock German. The Baker Street Babes sponsor this event to raise money for the Wounded Warriors. 

On Friday I was off to the Mysterious Book Shop where I ran into Ray Betzner. He was speaking to a young lady and then told her she should speak with me. It turned out she was a reporter for the London Guardian and was there to do a piece in conjunction with PBS' Sherlock season 3 premiere on that Sunday evening in the USA. Here is that article. I have been getting some grief because in the article, I am referred to as the 'legend' Don Hobbs - go figure. Here is that link:

Don Hobbs and Sonia Fetherston, BSI - The Solitary CyclistD
Friday rolled around and I attended the BSI Dinner held at the Yale Club. My friend Sonia Fetherston revived her schilling as The Solitary Cyclist. It was a joy to witness her sheer delight. The dinner was exceptional this year and full of surprises. You will have to ask someone else to reveal those surprises to you because my lips are sealed.

The cast of usual suspects appeared at O'Lunney's Irish Pub where the tradition of staying until at least 2:21 in the morning was well heeded and exceeded. Everyone there exercised their livers quite sufficiently. 
A few of the O'Lunneytics

My Saturday morning was spent in the Dealer's Room where I shared a table with some of the Dallas Sherlockians. I sold many copies of my Sherlockian art book and some of the blank note cards I created from covers of some of the more interesting foreign editions in my collection. I also made matching envelope liners.

CBC Sunday Morning News aired the piece that Mo Rocco did in January 2013. Once again, I had good on-camera time and since most of the Sherlockian community knew that it was going to run, I was the toast of the town during the Sunday Morning Brunch held later that morning. FYI, here is that link: 

According to the late Andy Warhol, everyone gets their fifteen minutes of fame. I must be extra special because I had my forty-five minutes of fame during January. Now I will just have to slide back into the slow-lane. Well at least until the next round.

Happy Blogging!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Game's Afoot

Addison’s Water Tower Theater staged Ken Ludwig’s “The Game’s Afoot” over the holiday season, so what better way to celebrate than to see it with a group of like-minded Sherlockians. That is exactly what The Crew of the Barque LONE STAR did last Saturday night. Three-quarters of a dozen attended the play (that is nine for those mathematically challenged). It was the first time I had seen the play and thoroughly enjoyed it. The Dallas Morning News slightly slammed it for not being a Sherlock Holmes play but those in the know, are perfectly aware of the major role William Gillette played in the Holmes mythos.

Anyone lucky enough to have visited the Gillette Castle in East Haddem, Connecticut, would have appreciated the set. My wife Joyce and I recognized the front room of the castle straight away. The wood and stone interior is very distinct and difficult to miss. The play takes place inside the front room of the castle, where Gillette is recovering from a gunshot wound suffered on stage of the final performance as Sherlock Holmes in New York City. He invites the cast members to his castle for a Christmas weekend. When one of the guest is stabbed in the back, Gillette dons his Sherlock Holmes persona to find the killer. The hilarity is non-stop.

Front room of Gillette's Castle
Director Robin Armstrong steers actors Greg Holt as William Gillette, Allyn Carrel (Martha Gillette), Randy Pearlman (Felix Geisel), Sherry Hopkins (Daria Chase) and the rest of the cast through tightly staged scenes where timing is of the essence. The entire production came off flawlessly. Even the non-Sherlockians attending laughed and applauded at all of the right spots.

Afterwards, those brave enough to stay up past 10 pm, migrated to The Lion & Crown, a local pub with extremely loud music blared out at us as we walked in, however, good Sherlockian Karma set in because we were afforded our own private room with a pool table. We ate, drank and acted merry before settling down to some Sherlockian business discussions. Tim Kline, Joe Fay, Steve and Pam Mason, and Joyce and yours truly rounded out the group of late night revelers. We ended the evening discussing the upcoming Birthday Celebration Weekend in New York City over a few pints of the local brew.
Exterior of GIllette's Castle

Happy Blogging!