Sherlock Holmes in Comics – Expanding on the Original

New stories featuring the classic version of the Sherlock Holmes character. (Arranged by original publication date.)

Dell published two issues of Four Color titled “The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” in 1961, #1169 and #1245. They have both been reprinted under one cover by Coachwhip Publications. Art for the first issue (two stories) is attributed to Frank Giacoia. Art for the second (another two) is attributed to Bob Fujitani.

Detective Comics #572

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Detective Comics, the title that introduced Batman, issue #572 (DC Comics, 1987, cover art by Michael Wm. Kaluta) featured a story called “The Doomsday Book” written by Mike W. Barr. It teams up a number of detective characters, and Sherlock Holmes stars in a chapter titled “The Adventure of the Red Leech”, set in 1886, drawn by E. R. Cruz. He reappears in the final chapter, “God Save the Kingdom!”, in very well-preserved form, art by Alan Davis and Paul Neary.

Sherlock Holmes by Alan Davis

This story has been reprinted in Legends of the Dark Knight: Alan Davis (2012), Batman: The Dark Knight Detective Volume 1 (2018), and DC’s Greatest Detective Stories Ever Told (2021).

Sherlock Holmes a Paris by Posy Simmonds

Posy Simmonds drew the three-page “Sherlock Holmes å Paris” for Le Figaro Littéraire in 2008; it was reprinted in the more recent Literary Life Revisited (2016). Watson tries to investigate an author enraged by a negative review while Holmes battles anti-smoking laws.

Sherlock Holmes: The Painful Predicament of Alice Faulkner

Sherlock Holmes: The Painful Predicament of Alice Faulkner (Alterna Comics, 2009) is an adaptation by Bret M. Herholz of the 1899 stage play. His style is wonderfully gloomy and heavily cross-hatched, with overtones of Edward Gorey.

Sherlock Holmes and the Vampires of London

Sherlock Holmes and the Vampires of London (Dark Horse, 2014, cover art by Jean-Sébastien Rossbach) is the first of a hardcover trilogy of reprinted European albums written by Sylvain Cordurié. This one, illustrated by Laci, takes place while Holmes is thought dead after the Reichenbach Falls. He finds himself involved in a struggle amongst different vampire factions. (It also has a scene with Mycroft Holmes near the beginning.)

Sherlock Holmes and the Necronomicon

Sherlock Holmes and the Necronomicon (Dark Horse, 2015), the second of the trio, has the same artist, who also provided the cover. In this story, Moriarty also survived the Falls, through occult means and telepathy.

Sherlock Holmes: Crime Alleys

Sherlock Holmes: Crime Alleys (Dark Horse, 2016, cover art by Ronan Toulhoat), art by Alessandro Nespolino, is less mystical than the previous two volumes in the series. It’s a flashback story, where a younger Holmes is sharing a flat with a gifted violinist, instead of Watson, and working with Colin Pike at Scotland Yard instead of Lestrade. There’s a younger Moriarty, too, and his crime boss father.

A Study in Emerald

Neil Gaiman’s Hugo-winning short story mashing up Sherlock Holmes characters with Lovecraftian tentacle monsters was adapted by Rafael Albuquerque and Rafael Scavone and illustrated by Albuquerque in A Study in Emerald (Dark Horse, 2018). In an England run by characters from the Cthulhu mythos, the detective and his ex-military partner attempt to solve a horrific murder, with quite the twist ending.