Sherlock Holmes comic book pastiche “Murder in the Blue Room”

As Monty Python said, and now for something completely different: instead of works from Conan Doyle’s lifetime, I want to do something a little later in time. This is a Sherlock Holmes comic book pastiche that appeared in “Detective Picture Stories” #1 in 1936.

sherlock holmes parody spurlock and watkins

Detail from “Murder in the Blue Room” by J.A. Patterson

j. a. patterson cartoonistThe artist was John A. Patterson, of whom little is known. He seems to have been one of those journeymen cartoonists. He might have settled in Tulsa, Okla., where he ran a mail-order cartooning school. He also wrote a number of how-to books in the 1940s.

j. a. patterson cartoonist

Instructional book by J.A. Patterson

The publisher, Centaur Publishing, published a number of pulp comics and after seeing the success of Batman and Superman, wanted to expand into superheros. They tried with “Amazing-Man,” but after issue #1, their art director absconded. He took with him most of the staff, formed their own company, and discovered they didn’t have the cash to publish comics themselves. They hooked up with another pulp publisher who was interested in this new-fangled idea and talked them into supplying the characters and art. You might have heard of them.


sherlock holmes pastiche comic





sherlock holmes comic book pastiche


Sherlock Holmes Edwardian Parodies and Pastiches I: 1900-1904” is available at all fine online book and ebook sellers, plus New York City’s Mysterious Bookshop (and soon at Midtown Scholar in Harrisburg).

Want to read more parodies and pastiches? The complete list can be found here.