Crowdfunding Spotlight: Sherlock Holmes and The Empire Builders

You could, perhaps, be forgiven for wondering if the world really needs another take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s world famous detective Sherlock Holmes. But the creators of Sherlock Holmes and The Empire Builders – The Gene Genie Volume One, Joel Meadows and Andy Bennett, have been teasing some fantastic imagery for their new comic in recent weeks, so I reckon it’s worth heading to Zoop to give it your consideration.

I’m in good company, too – early commentators who’ve praised the project include SF and fantasy author Michael Moorcock and WETA Workshop’s Richard Taylor, and Joel also sent me a terrific preview, including some of the material previously published in Tripwire, earlier this month, that has piqued my interest.

Sherlock Holmes and The Empire Builders - The Gene Genie Volume One - cover by Mark Chiarello
Cover by Mark Chiarello

On offer is a hardback graphic novel offering 68 pages of strip, with covers from Mark Chiarello and Walter Simonson, Sherlock Holmes and The Empire Builders, pitched as “an epic alternate world sci fi adventure featuring The World’s Greatest Detective as people have never seen him before”.

When Watson leaves Holmes to help Crick unravel the DNA helix and finds himself in the employ of England’s most evil man, Holmes is forced to team up with an unlikely group to defeat this monstrous figure and return England to its status quo…

“With your support here we can get the first part of this exciting graphic novel out to readers,” says Joel, a longtime promoter of the comics medium and more, largely through his long-running Tripwire magazine and web site.

“Testing the waters with three shorts which ran in Tripwire magazine, we felt that now was the time to debut this in its own graphic novel series.

Sherlock Holmes and The Empire Builders - The Gene Genie Volume One - Preview
Sherlock Holmes and The Empire Builders - The Gene Genie Volume One - Preview
Sherlock Holmes and The Empire Builders - The Gene Genie Volume One - Preview

Much of what’s on offer in this book will be new material, plus character sketches, script pages and an interview offering extra information on the series. The money raised from the crowdfunding campaign will pay cover artists Walter Simonson and Mark Chiarello, the pin up artist Shawn Martinbrough, and, of course, the series co-creator and artist Andy Bennett.

It will also cover the cost of printing the hardcovers and the add-ons, as well as paying for the design and pre-production of the book.

“I have been a fan of Holmes since I was a child,” Joel says of the project explains the story has been twenty years in the making, “and Sherlock Holmes and The Empire Builders is my love letter to Doyle’s creation, while bringing something new to the canon.

“We feel now that we are ready for a longer form story.”

“When you think there is nothing more to be said or done with Sherlock Holmes, along come Meadows and Bennett to breathe fresh life into the great detective,” Michael Moorcock, creator of Elric and a veteran comic strip writer, to boot, says. “Bravo! I’m thoroughly enjoying this original tale!”

Joel Meadows
Joel Meadows

London-based Joel Meadows, best known as the editor and publisher of Tripwire since 1992, is a journalist and writer with over three decades of experience on newspapers, magazines and books.

His CV includes some of the world’s most renowned publications including Time Magazine and The Guardian. He has also written extensively about comics, film, TV and culture for a wide variety of publications.

Andy Bennett
Andy Bennett

Born in southern Ohio, Andy Bennett, who currently lives in Columbus, is a graduate of Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, and The Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus.

Today, he serves as a digital media designer at Highlights for Children in Columbus, as well as offering freelance design and illustration work for a wide range of clients, including Marvel Comics and IDW. He also draws brilliant Muppets!

Check out Sherlock Holmes and The Empire Builders – The Gene Genie Volume One here on the crowdfunding platform, Zoop, for more on the story and bonus extras on offer, including art prints

Categories: British Comics, British Comics - Graphic Novels, Comic Previews, Comics, Creating Comics, Crowd Funding Projects, downthetubes Comics News

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Discover more from

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading