Watson & Holmes

Created by Karl Bollers and Rick Leonardi

“No time for explanation, the game’s afoot!”

Ever wonder what would have happened if  Sherlock Holmes had been an inner city black dude?

Me neither.

But comic book scribe Karl Bollers did just that, and it was a pretty fun spin on the Great One. His HOLMES is a local P.I., complete with dreadlocks, a scarf and a jaunty fedora, working the streets of Harlem, and DR. JOHN WATSON is an Afghanistan war vet who looks like Shaft’s (very) big brother, toiling away in an inner-city clinic. They meet cute in the ER, and team up to find a missing girl. But the original Holmes and Watson never had to deal with the soul-numbing realities of 21st century inner city life: drugs, guns, gangs, corrupt cops, internet thrill killers and dumpster babies.

Oh, and Holmes doesn’t like anyone–not even his brother Mycroft–calling him “Sherlock.”

The series only ran from 2012-13, although neither creators Karl Bollers and artist Rick Leonardi had anything to do with it after the the original five-part story arc, “A Study in Black.” The series was taken over by Brandon Easton and artist N. Steven Harris for the sixth and final issue. The series wasn’t quite dead, though—that sixth issue, plus three new stories, were rounded up to fill out a second collection that Publishers Weekly deemed “as uneven as it is ambitious.”


    (2012-13, New Paradigm Studios)
    Written by Karl Bollers
    Art by Rick Leonardi

    • “A Study in Black (Chapter One)” (December 2012, #1)
    • “A Study in Black (Chapter Two” (March 2013, #2)
    • “A Study in Black (Chapter Three)” (August 2013, #3)
    • “A Study in Black (Part Four)” (October 2013, #4)
    • “A Study in Black (Epilogue)” (November, 2013, #5)
    • “The Case of Mr. and Mrs. Gemini” (December 2013, #6)Kindle it!


  • WATSON AND HOLMES: A STUDY IN BLACK | Buy this book Kindle it!
    (2013, New Paradigm Studios)
    Written by Karl Bollers
    Art by Rick Leonardi, Larry Stroman
    Reprints the first five issues.
  • WATSON AND HOLMES, VOLUME 2 | Buy this book Kindle it!
    (2014, New Paradigm Studios)
    Writers: Brandon Easton, Lyndsay Faye, Hannibal Tabu
    Art: N. Steven Harris, Dennis Calero, Eli Powel
    Art by Rick Leonardi, Larry Stroman
    Collects the sixth issue, plus three new stories that include a reinterpretation” of Irene Adler.
    (2023, Fairsquare Comics)
    A reissue of the 2013 collection, with a new cover by Khary Randolph.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

One thought on “Watson & Holmes

  1. I enjoyed this series when it came out, it was a fresh twist on the Sherlock mythos without being reminiscent of the then-active “Sherlock” BBC series. The first storyline was great, and I didn’t mind #6 — although I haven’t read any of the three “new stories” in the collection.

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