OK, Sherlock Holmes has always been portrayed as a narcissistic egomaniac, but he was always so British about it. I’ve never been a fan of Dr. Watson, either because he eagerly laps up abuse from Holmes when he should raise up his cane and crack the detective’s head open.
Facts are facts, Watson, and after all you are only a general practitioner with very little experience and mediocre qualifications.
I suppose, Watson, we must look upon you as a man of letters.
You mean well, Watson. Shall I demonstrate your own ignorance?
See? Holmes could use a good punch in the face.
And he gets many in the collected volume of Holmes, published by AIT/ Planet Lar from the indie comic written and drawn by Perez.
Perez shows Holmes as an out of control maniac, perpetually high on coke, opium or heroin, and barely tolerated by the London police. The case is to quietly find the missing skull of composer Franz Joseph Haydn, a task which sends Holmes stumbling about London in drag, trying to bury a live hooker, and accusing the wrong guy of being Professor Moriarty.
Watson manages to be a bit more manly that he’s often portrayed in Arthur Conan Doyle’s books. Just how manly? As we see in a brothel scene, about halfway down to his knees. But, he’s still besotted by Holmes brilliance which, here, is largely imaginary.
I liked Holmes because of it’s ridiculous take on Holmes and Watson, particularly Watson’s skewed narration of the events as they happen. It’s clear that Watson is experiencing a different story from what we’re reading.
There is an afterword from Perez where he addresses the difference between the elegant artwork on the covers and the loose and dirty artwork in the interiors. Perez says that he didn’t do the entire book in that scratchboard look because he wouldn’t have been able to finish.
Even if it would have taken years to finish, the book would have been better off with the scratchboard look throughout. Not because Perez’s interiors suck or because it would have been prettier, but because the elegance of that artwork would have been such a high contrast to the behavior of Holmes and Watson.
If the characters are drawn like Beavis and Butthead, you expect them to act like Beavis and Butthead. In the art style of the covers, Holmes’ and Watson’s actions would have been brought to another level of absurdity and the whole would have been funnier. However, Holmes and Watson are drawn roughly, so it isn’t surprising when Holmes shows up in bad drag and proceeds to make an ass of himself.
We expect Sherlock Holmes to be an ass, but we expect him to be so very refined about it. It’s about time that arrogant bastard got his comeuppance.
Holmes is written and drawn by Omaha Perez. The volume “Haydn’s Head” is published by AIT/ Planet Lar.
Lisa Fary is a graduate of the creative writing program at Florida State University and holds an advanced degree in Special Education. Her early exposure to classic Battlestar Galactica in 1979 is largely responsible for her lifelong interest in science fiction and her childhood ambition of being an intergalactic space cowgirl.