K. Patrick Glover Reviews ‘The Trial of Sherlock Holmes’, ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’, ‘Victorian Undead’, and ‘Sherlock Holmes & Kolchak’


(This is the second of four pieces I’ll be writing this week about Sherlock Holmes. The first, an overview of classic Holmes comics, appeared on Saturday in my column, Four Color Memories [See here]. The third and fourth pieces will appear later this week on my blog, (Parenthetically Speaking). I hope you enjoy each of them.)

A few days ago I spent some time telling you about the various Sherlock Holmes comics that I’ve read over the years, however, I don’t want to leave you with the impression that Holmes comics are just a thing of the past. Indeed, the Great Detective is in the midst of a popular resurgence and his face can be seen in comic stores everywhere.

Any discussion of current Holmes comics absolutely has to start with Dynamite Entertainment. Their ongoing title, Sherlock Holmes, is easily the best work on the character within the medium. Skillfully written by Leah Moore and John Reppion, with art by Aaron Campbell and covers by John Cassaday, the package makes a stunning whole.

The first story arc, ‘The Trial of Sherlock Holmes‘, was a sharp and original tale. Running over five issues, Moore and Reppion handle the pacing wonderfully and if the clues and twists are maybe a touch to easy to figure out, I’m willing to put that aside and simply enjoy the ride. Campbell’s layouts are stylish and sure and the colors by Laura Martin are rich and vibrant.

If I find any fault at all in the book, and it’s a very minor complaint, but the recurrent use of the names of famous Sherlockians, such as Hardwick, while cute, tended to pull me out of the story. For those not too familiar with other Holmesian writers or scholars, this shouldn’t be a problem at all. The first story arc is available now in a lovely hardcover. I eagerly await the second.

Also on the racks recently was a new graphic novel adaptation of The Hound of The Baskervilles, published by Self Made Hero. Scripted by Ian Edginton with art by I.N.J. Culbard, this is an ambitious piece of work. Drawn in an exaggerated style that I would never have pictured in such a tale, on most levels, the book works.

The script is very close to Doyle’s original. So close, in fact, that if the book has any downfall, it is that closeness. Doyle’s word flow wonderfully in the original, in part because of the prose surrounding them and in part because we’re reading about two character having a conversation while sitting in opposite chairs. Not exactly visually appealing, but prose is not a visual medium.

Here, away from its original home, the dialogue tends to ramble and seems just a bit disjointed. Edginton could have taken a few liberties with the words and produced a tale that flowed naturally. He didn’t. Culbard’s unique take on the art saves the day here and makes the end product something well worth keeping.

Which takes us to Wildstorm’s current mini-series, Victorian Undead, a book that pits the Great Detective against, well, zombies. Ian Edginton is the author again, and I’ve been told he lifted the plot from a 2000 AD series called Defoe. Having not read Defoe, it doesn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book and I would think, by series end, it will have veered wildly from its inspiration as Holmes is a very distinctive hero and the way in which he defeats the zombie menace must be equally distinctive. As of now, we’re only two issues in, so anything can happen.

The art on the book Davide Fabbri and he handles the task well. The colors are fantastic, and the story moves along at an energetic clip. I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next, and with such a silly premise, what more can you hope for.

Moonstone has also released a recent Holmes mini-series, teaming him with Kolchak the Night Stalker. It’s one of those lost tales, story within a story books and it was, well, okay. To be honest, nothing stands out in my memory, neither from the story or the art. It simply is, and you can pass the time with it, if you like.

Join me later this week at (Parenthetically Speaking) where I’ll be talking about some of the various Holmes pastiche novels that have been published over the last thirty or so years and later still when I finally break my silence on the new Holmes film starring Robert Downey Jr. And then right back here, next Saturday, for the next installment of Four Color Memories.

Till then, very sincerely yours,

K. Patrick Glover

Related posts:

  1. Hypergeek Examines Sherlock Holmes #1. Being an Honest Dissection of a Contemporary Classic
  2. ‘Four Color Memories’ – by K. Patrick Glover – Installment the Tenth, in Which We Talk a Walk Down Baker Street
  3. ‘Four Color Memories’ By K. Patrick Glover - Installment The Fourth, In Which Worlds Collide
  4. ‘Four Color Memories’ by K. Patrick Glover - Installment the Third, in Which Questions Arise and Problems Are Solved
  5. ‘Four Color Memories’ – by K. Patrick Glover – Installment the Ninth, in Which Who is Most Definitely Not on First


3 Responses to “K. Patrick Glover Reviews ‘The Trial of Sherlock Holmes’, ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’, ‘Victorian Undead’, and ‘Sherlock Holmes & Kolchak’”
  1. leah moore says:

    wow that’s a great review! really glad you enjoyed it. I hadn’t registered that there is a Sherlockian called Hardwick…I threw the name in as a nod to a particularly fearsome teacher I had in primary school…she threw my exercise book across the room at me because my handwriting was so bad! Its the same with the name Gammage, who was a dinner lady who used to make me eat liver by mashing it into my vegetables!

  2. A teacher? Hah, I love coincidence.

    There are actually two fairly famous Hardwicks tied to Sherlock Holmes. The first being Michael Hardwick, who wrote the novels Prisoner of The Devil and Return of The Hound, along with several other Holmes books. (Prisoner of The Devil is particularly good) and then there’s Edward Hardwicke who played Watson opposite Jeremy Brett’s Holmes on television.


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  1. [...] four pieces I’m writing about Sherlock Holmes. The first two can be found at Hypergeek, here and here. The fourth, a look at Holmes in film, can be found back here in a few [...]

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