REVIEW: KID SHERLOCK #4 “The Tripper”

In which, Sherlock and Watson go, quite literally, elementary.

At Baker Elementary School, best-friends Sherlock Holmes and John Watson spend their days filling their minds with multiplication and art projects, like any normal children would do. But they’re not normal, are they? Sherlock is often wrapped in his own mind, oblivious to those around him and looking at the world’s mysteries through his magnifying glass. Watson is a loyal, lovable and helpful… dog? Together the two make up a team of resident sleuths: solving mysteries, clearing names and just trying to get five minutes of fun in at recess. When students up and down the hall begin to experience accidents, it’s up to our two heroes to sniff out the culprit. But will Sherlock pay attention to what’s going on around him long enough to see the unseen? And will Watson have the courage to face an old foe? In my opinion, it’s worth it to pick this comic up and find out!

Justin Phillips has scripted a simple, easy to follow story for children of all ages. It’s the perfect kind of story arc to introduce a younger generation to the intrigue of Sir Arthur’s original characters, in a setting that’s both relatable and not overwhelming. Including plot twists containing tie ins to previous issues, the creator has also tossed in lessons on friendship, honesty and keeping an open mind that will prove valuable later in life. As Watson says, “We show our friends support in times of need!” The boys work together to learn the truth about the culprit, and a few things about not jumping to conclusions as well. Phillips is also the letterer of KID SHERLOCK, and I feel like he did a perfect job. The work is clean, with a font that will be very easy for both adults and younger people to read without being distracted from the overall story. The sizing stays consistent as well, helping your eye travel easily between the text and the adorable artwork as a cohesive piece.

The artist, Sean Gregory Miller, did both interior and cover art. The styling is a delightful cartoon style, a mixture of exaggerated features and simplistic details children enjoy. The design of the hall monitor, specifically, reminds me of Dexter’s Laboratory, otherwise it’s a fairly generic style. I know, as a mother, that my own kids will enjoy the design of Watson, who resembles a sheepdog in a very dashing set of glasses with a super cute hat on top of it. The art is definitely complimented by the colors Lesley Atlansky brings to the page. Bright and cheerful, the colors pop off the page in an eye-catching display that’s fun to look at. It lends an air of innocence and vibrancy to the story, which I didn’t really expect given the mystery-solving genre. But it fits perfectly, allowing the reader to enjoy the normally carefree nature of elementary school while they embark on this adventure. It also let’s what could be dark humor, like the chalk outline of a body, take a playful aura and make it appropriate for what I assume to be the target audience: children between the ages of five to eleven, and adults like myself who are really just big kids at heart!

Overall, I found KID SHERLOCK to be a fun adventure that I plan to continue on with my own kids. The childish take on intrigue and hidden truths made the comic a must-read for some light enjoyment. And even better? Phillips tops it off with six pages of bonus material! The very end of the story is followed up with a page of fan art, a maze to sleuth your way out of and a word search containing simple words from the story. There’s even a few pages filled with tips on coloring and learning to draw characters and scenery. Do yourself a favor and snatch this up.

Writer(s): Justin Phillips
Artist Name(s): Sean Miller (Pencils), Lesley Atlansky (Colors)
Cover Artist(s): Sean Miller

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