Watson and Holmes: Volume 1 by Karl Bollers and Rick Leonardi

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It’s interesting that I’ve only ever read variations of Sherlock, but nothing actually written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle yet. I read some Disney versions as a kid (featuring mice as the characters, does anyone else remember that??) I just started watching the BBC show featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, which I’m enjoying and will finish in approximately three months, because crap those episodes are long. And as soon as I heard about Watson and Holmes, I added the first volume to my Amazon wist list and it was the first thing in my cart when I used the Amazon gift card I got for Christmas. Here’s the description, because I’m lazy and reasons –

“Collecting the entire first arc of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson re-envisioning as African Americans living in New York City’s famous Harlem district. Watson, an Afghanistan war vet, works in an inner-city clinic; Holmes, a local P.I. who takes unusual cases. When one of them ends up in Watson’s emergency room, the unlikely duo strike up a partnership to find a missing girl. Watson & Holmes bump heads along the way as they enter a labyrinth of drugs, guns, gangs and a conspiracy that goes higher and deeper than they could have imagined.”

This is a GREAT first volume. The case was interesting enough, the mystery was clear and not too complicated for me to follow, and the conclusion of this arc or mystery was a commentary on how black lives are treated in the media, which I loved. It shows what a modern-day, Harlem interpretation can bring to the table in terms of originality and uniqueness, and it’s clearly relevant to current events. Among the duo, the focus is a little more on Watson, and I’m hoping that as the series goes on (and yes, I certainly hope it continues) we’ll find out even more about his time in Afghanistan and his relationship with ex-wife. The art, for me, seemed a tiny bit inconsistent. Some panels I thought were fantastically done, some were… less so. But that’s really my only complaint so far.

Do you like comics with a focus on crime? Try Watson & Holmes. Like comics based on classic literature? Try Watson and Holmes. Like comics with some diversity? Try Watson and Holmes. With the exploding popularity of both comics and the Sherlock stories, Watson and Holmes should be on everyone’s to-read list. I’d like to say that I’m shocked that this hasn’t received more buzz, but given that it’s an all-black cast of characters, I’m jaded enough to say that I’m not surprised. Panels did a fantastic article about the series (which is how I heard about it), and I hope that love for this series spreads more and more through the comic-reading community. The second volume comes out March 1st, and it’s already on my to-buy list.

Sarah Says: 4 stars

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2 comments

  1. I have a huge tome of all Sherlock novels and stories collected together, I’ve read a few from there. Sometimes with all this recent Sherlock hype going on in the world I wonder how many people have read the original material – the writing is definitely not that modern. The comic looks very interesting – the premise is just genius πŸ™‚

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