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Cover of Book 1: A Study of Scarlet.
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Signs of Three is an ongoing crime/mystery webcomic by Author Lorem Ipsum, and a contemporary update of the Sherlock Holmes stories.

The comic aims to update Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson's adventures into the modern day, whilst simultaneously introducing LGBTQ+ themes and similar diversity absent in the original tales.


This webcomic provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Name Change: Lestrade's full name is listed as "Arie Greyson Lestrade", but he goes by his middle name.
    • Compare the original, who was only known as "G. Lestrade".
  • Aerith and Bob: Sherlock and John.
    • And the former's parents, Concord and Grace.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Watson lost the lower half of his right leg whilst serving in Afghanistan.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Sherlock is stated as having ADHD by the author.
  • Bi the Way: John Watson is bisexual.
  • Caption Humor: The Alt Text alternates with quotes from the stories relevant to the situation, or humorous phrases about the page.
    [On a page featuring a married lesbian couple]
    Caption: Good thing about modern Holmes stories: we can make it GAY :D
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The speech bubbles are coloured depending on who is speaking.
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    • So far, we've had Red (John Watson), Blue (Sherlock Holmes), Pink (Mrs. Hudson), Green (Lestrade), and Yellow (Stamford). Minor characters also have their own signature colours.
  • Corrupt Church: Scarlet mentions that her late girlfriend Lucy's church was "like a cult", controlling the town and virulently homophobic.
  • Ditzy Genius: Invoked, as with many incarnations of Sherlock Holmes. This one things of his mind as a tool box, only keeping the most valuable and helpful "tools" inside it.
    Watson: You're an expert biochemist...but you've never seen Doctor Who?
    Holmes: The mind is a toolbox with limited space, Watson! Why would I keep aliens in my toolbox?
  • The Gambling Addict: Watson, who states that his gambling habit is part of the reason why it's impossible for him to stay in pleasant accommodation for too long.
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  • Gender Flip: The male Stamford of A Study in Scarlet is switched out for one Michelle Stamford.
  • Inspector Lestrade: DI Lestrade himself, funnily enough.
  • Mythology Gag: Has its own page.
  • Old Friend: Invoked in the first chapter of Book One, in which Watson runs into an old friend from medical school, who subsequently introduces him to Sherlock Holmes.
  • Race Lift: Whilst the Watson of the books is depicted as Caucasian, here he is a black man.
    • Likewise, police detective Tobias Gregson also goes from white to black.
    • Word of God states that Mrs. Hudson is Asian in this adaptation.
  • Sherlock Scan: Several examples.
  • Suspect Existence Failure: During A Study of Scarlet, barely an hour after Holmes & Watson investigate a suspect, Inspector Gregson discovers he has been murdered.
  • Transgender: After accepting the deal for 221b Baker Street, Sherlock confesses that he is transgender, which - to his delight, expressed by cute dancing stick-men - Watson is utterly unbothered by.
  • Vlog Series: An in-universe example; Watson keeps a vlog about his life, including moving into 221b with Holmes.
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