Alex Roberts writes:
Titan Comics brought their new Sherlock Manga series to San Diego Comic-Con with Sherlock showrunner Steven Moffat and his wife and producer Sue Vertue.
The manga series, based on the stories written by the show's co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, features characters in the likeliness of the show actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. According to the panel, the goal of the comics is to take the beloved books and television series and expand them to a new genre. They are the same stories we are used to, but expressed in a new way and bringing the tales to a new crowd. The manga are also able to expand on what we are familiar with, such as bringing some of Watson's thought processes into the mix.
One of the more interesting discussions in the panel was Moffat describing the Sherlock Holmes time period and the difference between the old, period piece lens and cutting-edge modern versions. Moffat talked about how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote Sherlock as an advanced, scientifically sound pioneer at a time when having your own microscope was considering astounding. Many people love to think of Sherlock as a Victorian period piece, but it was always intended for him to be at the forefront of science and logic and utilizing all the tools available to him. In updating his tools to the modern age, it was a matter of simply replacing the telegraph with text messages.
Moffat also praised Doyle for his cleverness in taking an easy solution and making it complicated enough to follow along with Sherlock and be excited as he deduced the answer. Moffat tried to use the same style to convolute the journey before you arrived at the end solution, joking about how The Hounds of Baskerville is ultimately, "Sherlock finds a dog."
When asked about the difficulty in bringing a generally unlikable character to the forefront of stories that depend on the readers connecting to him, Moffat described how the draw of the character is being along for the ride; as long as you can be swept away by his cleverness and dark wit, you will be able to enjoy the adventure. Moffat also playfully stated that — despite Doyle's description that he was not attractive — it is very important to always cast a sexy actor to play Sherlock.
The moderator asked the Moffat and Vertue about the challenge of "topping yourself" from season to season. Moffat stated that he sought to find new stories but not necessarily one-upping the previous seasons, as that would "drive him bonkers." He discussed how much he enjoyed seeing the "floating text" aspect mirrored in other shows and joke sketches and how fun it was to see other people utilizing what they had started.
The next manga release, Sherlock Holmes: The Great Game #1, goes on sale in the U.S. on August 9th. Be sure to check out the other Titan Comics Sherlock titles that followed the first two episodes of the show: A Study in Pink and The Blind Banker, both already available.