The thing about icons–characters that truly transcend the exact trappings of their creation–is that you can change the setting in which they appear, or their age, or their gender, or their race, and still the character’s important elements remain intact.
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson are icons. And whether it is turn of the century or modern day London, or a female Asian Watson is found at the side of Holmes in modern day New York City, the characters’ essences remain.
This August, New Paradigm Studios will offer the latest twist on two of literature’s most famous detectives in Watson & Holmes, from writer Karl Bollers (Emma Frost, X-51) and artist Rick Leonardi (Spider-Man 2099, Uncanny X-Men, Nightwing).
In working on this book it was decided that it isn’t enough just to put the Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson characters in 21st century America, Watson & Holmes needs to create a new identity for them. If we are serious about telling stories that can reach new readers we have to tell stories that reflect the vast number of people who aren’t well represented on comic shop shelves. The Watson and Holmes of this book are a rarity in today’s comic marketplace- African American men who are smart, well spoken, old fashioned heroes. It’s well past time for comics to have intelligent and well rounded portrayals of all races, genders, and sexual orientations featured prominently and what better way to do it than with two of the most beloved characters in all of English literature. It is our hope that Watson & Holmes can prove that there is a market for any character, and there is an audience who want to see people that look like them on comic pages, as long as they are done well.
And that’s not all. New Paradigm Studios will be releasing Watson & Holmes digitally before it hits in print, at the low low price of $0.99. New Paradigm founder Brandon Perlow explains:
Comics shouldn’t be different than any other medium. You go online to download your music or your movies. And like a song in iTunes, comics should have that feel of something you buy on a whim, because you are curious. That’s how we all discovered them, in supermarkets or on newsstands. That’s what we need to get back to.
Check out an 11-page preview of Watson & Holmes #1.