Sherlock HolmesOkay, maybe I'm crazy. Some people have suggested that, throughout my life. But I had a very strange moment earlier today, looking at the character posters for the upcoming Sherlock Holmes movie as I left a theater. Maybe you've seen these posters -- I've cropped one in the image on the right. Before my inner Robert Downey Jr. fan could coo "oooh" at the image of the actor, my inner New Orleanian spoke up and said, "Holmes? As in D.H. Holmes?"

If you grew up in the New Orleans area and are a certain age, you may understand. D.H. Holmes was a popular department store when I was young -- in fact, it was a small chain that had stores in a number of Southern cities. The most famous D.H. Holmes was on Canal Street, where Ignatius Reilly waited under the Holmes clock in the novel A Confederacy of Dunces. Dillard's bought the department-store chain awhile ago, and the store on Canal is now a swanky hotel (they kept the clock, though).

Yes, but what does this have to do with Sherlock Holmes? Elementary, my dear Watson -- the fonts used in the movie posters are remarkably similar to the wide serif fonts used by D.H. Holmes in its later years. Let's have a closer look.

Here's a closer look at the font from the character poster -- the same font used in other posters for the film:



And here is an old D.H. Holmes sign, from a store in Pensacola, as found on a website about a Florida gardener's greenhouse:



Here's another example of the D.H. Holmes logo, from a website that sells bottlecap fridge magnets adorned with old New Orleans store and sign logos (which look pretty cool, I might add):



Do you see what I mean? I grew up with that font on D.H. Holmes shopping bags and mall stores -- pronounced "Homeses" by many New Orleanians -- and it took me aback to see it on the Sherlock Holmes posters. It can only be a coincidence, but I have to wonder if I'm the only person from New Orleans who made this connection? Am I stretching the similarity too far? Maybe so, but now I expect Robert Downey, Jr. to talk with a Y'at accent and stride down Canal Street, arresting Ignatius Reilly as a suspicious character. Yikes.