This review was written by Doug Hahner.
With SHERLOCK: A STUDY IN PINK, Jay has created a manga comic for the Tumblr Generation. Fans on Tumblr have really latched on to the BBC television show. Fans seem to love seeing different interpretations of the characters. This manga book offers fans a chance to see the characters in a new way.
If you haven’t seen the BBC television show, the story moves along quickly. The mystery is set up in the first few pages. A string of seemingly-unrelated suicides have baffled the police, and the remainder of the issue introduces us to our heroes: John Watson and Sherlock Holmes.
Both characters get their chance to be fleshed out here. We learn of John’s service in Middle East, and of Sherlock’s deductive skills (as he reads John.) The story gives a modern/valid reason for John to be Sherlock’s chronicler. John is suffering trauma from his time in the military, and his therapist says that writing will help him. This is a very modern take on the Watson/Holmes relationship. Not only is Watson helping Holmes in his investigations, or will as the series progresses, but Holmes is helping Watson to become acclimated with his newfound civilian existence.
Readers who’ve seen the BBC television show will note that SHERLOCK: A STUDY IN PINK offers nothing new. In fact, the show’s creator (Steven Moffat,) gets top-billing on the manga, even above artist/adapter Jay. With manga being more of a visual medium, I was hoping for some dynamic artistic techniques, but to my eye there really weren’t any here. The show on BBC is more visually interesting, in terms of the way it displays Sherlock’s skills.
For readers who have not yet seen the BBC show, I would recommend the BBC show over the manga. If you’ve seen the BBC show, and are interested in a new look at the same story, then you’d most likely enjoy this manga. For me, I’ll take the BBC show over the manga.
Final Score: 5 of 10 riding crops