Watson & Holmes – A New Twist on Sherlock Holmes From New Paradigm
‘Watson & Holmes’ Mini-Series to be Released by New Paradigm in Summer 2012
Upcoming comic publisher New Paradigm Studios is set to release it’s first series, WATSON & HOLMES, in August. The series, which is a different take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary Sherlock Holmes stories, will first be released as low cost digital comics.
The goal of New Paradigm is to make comics that not only appeal to existing comic fans, but also broaden the market and attract new readers. Reaching that goal takes three unique steps; Offer readers something accessible, offer readers something good, and offer readers something new. WATSON & HOLMES is doing all those things while still making a book any comic fan can appreciate.
With an eye towards being accessible, New Paradigm founder Brandon Perlow decided to launch this debut book digitally at a cost of $.99 per issue. “Comics shouldn’t be different than any other medium.,” says Perlow. “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.” You don’t have to live near a comic shop, get a subscription box, or even leave your house to read WATSON & HOLMES, you just need $.99 and the internet.
It’s a fine line to present an idea new enough to make people notice but familiar enough to make them want it. Modern updates of literary classics have always been staples of comic book storytelling, so with New Paradigm’s first release we wanted to tell a story that would at once be recognizable but also feel fresh. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories are among the most recognizable and beloved serialized stories ever written.
It was an obvious choice to take these characters and bring them to the modern world, but it was one that works wonderfully. 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.
With the idea worked out the final, and most important piece of the puzzle was lining up the talent to make this book something everybody could get behind. Veteran comic writer Karl Bollers, best known for his work on various Marvel books including EMMA FROST, was chosen to bring the characters of WATSON & HOLMES to life. Fan favorite penciller Rick Leondardi was brought on to make the world of these characters seem real. Leonardi is best known for his legendary work on books like CLOAK & DAGGER, UNCANNY X-MEN, NIGHTWING, and the 2099 series from Marvel.
Rounding out the creative team are comic veterans Paul Mendoza, who is both coloring and co-plotting the book with Bollers, Taylor Esposito on lettering & production, and Justin Gabrie is editing the book.
- The Comic Book Critic