Comic Book Club: Sherlock Holmes Comic

by Lindsey Winsemius - Posted 3 weeks ago

Did you miss this episode of Comic Book Club? You can view it and add your own comments to the discussion!

This episode dives into the world of Sherlock Holmes through an early comic by Charlton Comics, created before DC Comics took them over. This comic offers a unique glimpse into the legendary detective’s world, showcasing a 1950s perspective on Arthur Conan Doyle's iconic character. We explore the comic, discuss its features, and reflect on why Sherlock Holmes remains an enduring figure more than 130 years after his creation.

Who was Sherlock Holmes?

Sherlock Holmes, the brilliant detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, first appeared in "A Study in Scarlet" in 1887. Doyle's creation quickly became a cultural phenomenon, captivating readers with Holmes's deductive abilities, eccentric personality, and the intriguing mysteries he solved alongside his loyal friend, Dr. John Watson. Over the years, Holmes has been adapted into numerous media, including stage plays, films, television series, and of course, comics.

The Comic: Sherlock Holmes by Charlton Comics

Charlton Comics' adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, released in October 1955, is a fascinating artifact from the mid-20th century. The first comic story that we read for Comic Book Club, titled "Sherlock Holmes in the Final Curtain," is one of the earliest known comics featuring the detective. There are two issues in this comic book series, both of which can be found in the Marketplace here.

The 1950s setting provides a nostalgic look at how comic artists and writers of that era envisioned Holmes's adventures. The artwork, typical of the 1950s style, brings a unique charm and historical context to the character that fans of classic comics will appreciate.

The Story: "Sherlock Holmes in the Final Curtain"

In "The Final Curtain," we follow Holmes and Watson as they unravel a complex mystery. The story captures the essence of Doyle's writing, with Holmes's keen observations and logical deductions taking center stage. This comic does a fantastic job of translating the cerebral nature of Holmes's adventures into the visual and dynamic format of comics.

Why is Sherlock Holmes Still Popular Today?

Sherlock Holmes's enduring popularity can be attributed to several factors:

His Persona: Holmes's unique blend of intellectual brilliance, eccentric habits, and unwavering dedication to justice make him a compelling character.

The Mysteries: The intricate and cleverly constructed mysteries keep readers engaged, inviting them to match wits with Holmes.

The Dynamic with Watson: The partnership between Holmes and Watson adds depth to the stories, humanizing Holmes and providing a relatable perspective through Watson's narrative.

The Artwork and Style

The artwork in the Charlton Comics adaptation is reflective of the 1950s comic style. Bold lines, vivid colors, and expressive characters are hallmarks of this era. The visual storytelling complements the narrative, making the mysteries accessible and engaging for readers of all ages. The preservation and digital scanning of these old comics allow modern readers to experience this piece of comic history in its original form.

Detective Comics: A Genre Worth Exploring

Detective comics have a unique appeal, combining the thrill of mystery with the art of storytelling. Sherlock Holmes stands out as a prime example of this genre's potential, but there are many other detective comics worth exploring. Whether you're a long-time fan or new to the genre, the mix of intellectual challenge and visual intrigue offers something for everyone.

You can read more classic and modern detective comics here in the Marketplace.

Want to check out the original book by Arthur Conan Doyle? Read it for free here:

Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Do you like classics stories adapted into Graphic Novels / comics?

It seems like every popular novel is getting a comic / graphic novel version these days. Comics based on famous literary characters, like Sherlock Holmes, provide an accessible entry point for new readers and a fresh perspective for long-time fans. 

This trend includes classics like "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "The Great Gatsby," as well as modern hits like "A Game of Thrones." Authors and publishers see graphic novels as a way to reach more people, especially younger readers and those who find regular books hard to read. These adaptations keep the original stories but add new life through artwork. It helps bring old stories to new audiences and combines the best of books and visual art. According to Publishers Weekly, graphic novels are selling more and getting lots of praise from readers and critics alike.

We hope you enjoyed this exploration of Sherlock Holmes in the world of comics. If you have suggestions for other comics you’d like us to read and discuss, drop them in the comments. Missed the live show but still have opinions you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments or join the discussion in the Marketplace. See you next time!