Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ian Edginton and I.N.J. Culbard. STERLING, $19.50 (9781402770821)
If, like myself, you are pining for the return of everyone’s favourite mystery solving duo in the third series of the BBC’s SHERLOCK, the wait may be getting to you. Luckily for us there are ways to temper the sense of withdrawal we’re feeling. One way is to turn to the original stories but not every television viewer will go in for that. If only there was a way to consume the adventures of Watson and Holmes in a form as visual and engaging as the series we all love without having to travel forward in time (It doesn’t work; I’ve tried).
Enter: A Study in Scarlet: A Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel brought to us by Sterling Publishing. This book is every bit as visual and engaging as SHERLOCK but pays closer attention to the original stories. It is a reader’s chance to get Sherlock Holmes’ origin story very close to the way it was originally intended but in a beautifully drawn imagining courtesy of artist I.N.J. Culbard. Ian Edginton’s attention to detail in the writing is also wonderful and many panels seem to have jumped right out of the pages of the original novel.
Comic book fans with no interest in Holmes will also find themselves lost in this book as it provides them with a much needed break from the typical superhero narratives: a break which they might not realize they need until they’ve taken it. A perfect blending of classic fiction and the graphic novel, this book could be the jumping off point for many comic fans to find a love of classic literature or, conversely, for fans of classic literature to find a love of comic books.
For readers who enjoy this and are eager for more, it will come as good news that, besides two more Shherlock Holmes entries, Sterling has given the graphic novel treatment to classics like Jekyl and Hyde, A Tale of Two Cities, and even Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment.