Sequential Sherlock

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It makes sense for Dynamite Entertainment to trust partners John Reppion and Leah Moore with the keys to the Holmes estate. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s greatest creation, like other classic literary creations before him has bound into each new century, since his 1887 debut. Crossing every form of entertainment, the detective has managed to stay relevant, imprinting the familiarity of deductive reasoning and deerstalker caps to each new generation he introduces himself to.

Now, Dynamite Entertainment continues their look at classic characters, after The Complete Dracula, with that series’ writers along for the ride. Joined by artist Aaron Campbell, and with covers by John Cassady, Sherlock Holmes has now landed on the cobbled streets.

BROKEN FRONTIER: Have either of you visited the Sherlock Holmes Museum in London?

 JOHN REPPION: We haven't sadly, no. Some friends of ours came over from Dublin last year and visited it though. We have the "Sherlock Holmes – Consulting Detective" business card they gave us pinned to our notice board. An interesting thing about the museum is that although its address is 221 Baker Street there was actually no such house when Conan Doyle was writing his stories. It wasn't built until much later and used to be a bank (I think). Apparently they would constantly receive letters addressed to Sherlock Holmes.

BF: Are you excited about Guy Ritchie’s Holmes movie with Robert Downey Jr?

LEAH MOORE: I will be interested to see what they do with it certainly. They are filming parts of it here in Liverpool, making use of the cobbled streets and grand terraces in the Georgian Quarter. I think most films set in Victorian London end up with bits of Liverpool in them, that or Prague. Hopefully we'll remember to go and see it when it comes out. We are terrible at saying we'll go see something, and then it’s finished before we get the chance.

BF: Holmes, and his creator are almost as interesting as each other. Was there anything that surprised you in your research?

JR:  We've resisted the urge to delve into Conan Doyle's life too much because I think it can colour they way you handle a character. The world of Holmes is so rich already that we didn't want to cram our heads any fuller anyway. He was an interesting man though, very interested in spiritualism, psychic powers and of course he believed in fairies.


BF: Do you think Holmes can still resonate with today’s post-modern audiences?

LM: I think the mystery element of the Holmes’ world will certainly always drag the audience in. Holmes exists in a very rich fictional place, which people love to visit again and again. I think that is unlikely to change, as no matter how far advanced we get technologically, or how much distance we have from that time, we always kind of know the Victorian times were the basis of the modern world. Industry and invention and massive social reform, all happened in this relatively short space of time. The 20th century was born out of the Holmesian London, and the 21st century from that.

BF: Why write a new story instead of adapt one of Doyle’s classics?

JR: Partly it was because we'd just come out of adapting Dracula and we wanted to do something different but, more than that, it was because there is so much more scope for Holmes. Conan Doyle's tales are mostly written from the perspective of Doctor Watson who is acting as a sort of biographer of Holmes' adventures but the great detective isn't always positive about what Watson writes. In "The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge," Holmes refers to the stories as "those narratives with which you have afflicted a long-suffering public". There's a whole other level to their adventures then; one which we don't usually get to see and so one which we felt we wanted to write about.

BF: Re-creating all the Victorian Age details must have been hard for Aaron Campbell. Did the three of you work closely together to get the look just right?

LM: We are working closely with Aaron, sending him as much reference as we can and going over his pages afterwards to catch any little details. So far he has it spot on, and I think the only problem he might have is where there was also an American equivalent of something from the same period, so Googling 1890s men's fashion might bring up slightly different results on American sites, compared to British ones.

To be honest though, you'd have to be really obsessed with the period to notice such tiny differences. He is so good at street scenes and interiors and people and well, everything really, we couldn't be happier.

Sherlock Holmes #1 is out now from Dynamite Entertainment priced $3.50.

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  • Andy Oliver

    Andy Oliver May 14, 2009 at 9:21am

    Definitely one to look out for when it's collected I think. John and Leah have missed nothing by not visiting the Sherlock Holmes Museum in London though. DEFINITELY one for the tourists only...

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