Sunday, 7 February 2010

A Study in Scarlet

This isn't the first time A study in Scarlet has been adapted into a graphic novel but it is still a welcome addition. Ian Edginton is very faithful to Doyle's story. The book is quite pleasing all round. Ian Culbard delivers a style of art that doesn't ape the Strand illustrations, rather he chooses to caricature the characters using Doyle's descriptions. Everyone is instantly recognizable throughout. A narrow palette of colours is used, mainly all shades of brown and blue, with red (or scarlet) usually reserved for depicting blood. Much atmosphere is gained by the colour choices and by the way that available light is used realistically. The tricky hurdle of the lengthy back story sequence is nicely vaulted by constantly bringing the visuals back to the storyteller with Sherlock Holmes and co listening. All in all very good. I'm always most loyal to the original text but this stands up well.

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