Home Sweet Holmes Inc – Baker Square
by Robert Pincombe
A key element of launching any comic book is creating a world in which your characters can live and breathe. Grounding characters in a well-thought out environment allows them to seem more real and engaged because we see them in their environment and learn things from how they interact with the things around them.
The artists of Holmes Inc. have shared design duties to define a world where the Holmes and Watson families have carried on Sherlock the First’s legacy. So while we give nods to Sherlock’s adventures here and there, we also play up to the lengthy history of his descendants.
Since our stories span the Globe these corporate mystery solvers need a place to hang their magnifying glass. That’s why Holmes Inc. has offices across the planet. But for this family of thrill seekers, home will always be their headquarters in the heart of London.
The exterior of the Baker street headquarters fell to me to design but it sure looks beautiful under the pen of artist Christopher Yao. Don’t cha think?
I combined real world history with the Holmes Inc back-story to create a headquarters deeply involved in the fabric of everyday London life. Much of the real Baker Street was devastated during the Blitz of WWII. So it wasn’t hard to picture Holmes and Watson buying up much of the land to help citizens relocate and rebuilding the street for their own lofty purposes. Decades later, Number Two would use that parkland and the original buildings to construct a corporate headquarters worthy of the Holmes and Watson names.
Rather than being 221B Baker Street, the modern Holmes building occupies an entire city block now named Baker Square, with much of the area devoted to a public square, open gardens and art installations. Baker Square sits on the same block occupied by the current Sherlock Holmes Museum, steps from Regent Park – where boating, playgrounds, aviaries, parkland, sports pitches and the London Zoo are located.
This real world location led me decide that Baker Square hosts many arts festivals, live performances and a weekly “Clue Club” scavenger hunt for local children – hosted by Elizabeth and Trey. The building itself is built around two Victorian houses based on the actual Sherlock Holmes Museum and its neighbouring restaurant. I imagined Holmes and Watson restoring their former home brick by brick, with their descendants structuring their glass lobby around the Holmes Museum and café within.
In addition to being to draw my Holmes Inc. exterior in the first issue, Christopher Yao also furnished these interior lobby designs based on the exterior. He really captured the grandeur I hoped to achieve and solidified the layout.
This is the kind of design teamwork that makes Holmes Inc. leap off the page. And you ain’t seen nothing yet!