Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Jack the Nipper

One of the unique items in my library is a comic strip. What makes it unique is that it isn’t a newspaper clipping or even a print. It’s the actual comic drawn by the artist.

In the 1980s, Funky Winkerbean was much more of a humor-oriented strip than it later became. For an entire week in January 1988 the artist, Tom Batiuk, showed the strip’s title character reading about “Sherlock Holmes’ Secret Cases.”

On Jan. 6, the Great Detective’s birthday, it was “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Terrifying Toddler.” In the second panel, Holmes and Watson are in shadow and Holmes is saying, “All the evidence points to the fact that these crimes were committed by a small child, Watson!” “You mean?” Watson asks in the third panel. “Yes, my dear friend,” a deerstalkered Holmes in Inverness cape responds. “I fear that once again Jack the Nipper is on the loose!”

That was my favorite of the week’s strips. A Cincinnati Post colleague at the time, editorial cartoonist Jeff Stahler, told me that I should simply write to Mr. Batiuk and ask him if I would give me the original drawing. I did, and he did!

He also wrote to me the following:

Dear Dan,

Thanks for your note. I’m glad that you enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes series, and I’m more than happy to send along the “Jack the Nipper” strip.

I found that Sherlock Holmes fans are among the few people that enjoy being irregular.

Best wishes,

Tom Batiuk
Jeff Stahler also warned me that because of the media Tom Batiuk used for his artwork – felt-tipped pen on thin paper – the images would fade with time. That proved to be unfortunately true. Nearly a quarter of a century later one can barely see the outlines of Holmes and Watson in the framed comic strip that hangs on the wall of our den. But I know they’re there.

What are some of your gems of Sherlockiana?


  1. That's why I'm proud of Great Detective and I share the same birthday. Which means I may have his 'ghost' in me? J/K I really enjoyed your blog and really looking forward to see more of it about Sherlock newsletter and blog.

  2. Thanks for the kind comments. Please keep reading the blog and share with like-minded individuals. More followers would be nice!