Recently I stumbled over an interesting PDF on the Internet, that illustrates just how pervasive the character of Sherlock Holmes has been in pop culture. It's rather deceptively titled "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & The World of Sherlock Holmes," but if you can get past the first few pages of poorly formatted illustrations and captions, the author has provided well over a hundred illustrations of Sherlock Holmes comic book covers and screenshots of Sherlock Holmes appearances in various films and TV shows. I was familiar with several of the "crossover" appearances, but there were far more than I had ever encountered personally. Some of the comics are adaptations of canonical stories, while others are more...unique. Such as...
In case you're interested, the PDF I linked to above was created by The Crew of the Barque Lone Star, a Sherlock Holmes literary society in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of TX. If you live in that area, you may want to pay them a visit!
It seems appropriate in February, which is Black History Month, to point out another recent adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes story: Watson & Holmes, a comic book published by New Paradigm Studios. Described by the New Paradigm website as "a modern urban take" on the Sherlock Holmes stories, the comic book reimagines Sherlock Holmes and Jon Watson as African-American characters living and working in Harlem.
The title Watson & Holmes is apparently quite deliberate, as the focus of the comic book is Jon Watson, a former para-jumper in the U.S. Air Force. This brief preview of the comic book's first issue gives you an idea of the style of the book. (You can see a preview of the second issue here.) As with many contemporary renditions of the Holmes source material, I imagine some fans will find this unique update too foreign to appreciate, but it's certainly no bolder than Elementary or Sherlock, which both seem to be doing quite well these days. Meanwhile, the urban setting may stimulate new interest in the characters, leading new fans to discover Conan Doyle's stories, who may not have naturally gravitated towards them otherwise.
The Kickstarter page for the comic book's fundraiser, which raised twice the money they were hoping for back in May of 2013, has more information (and several sketches of the artwork), and was promoted by the popular Baker Street Babes podcast. So the comic book clearly has support from some very devoted Sherlockians. More proof that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are two literary character that will presumably live forever, in one form or another.
I'm a stay-at-home dad, and Director of Music Ministries at a United Methodist Church in Mt. Juliet, TN. And a longtime fan of Sherlock Holmes.