Thursday, July 5, 2018

A book for your shelves even if you're not the comics sort.

It's good to have your Sherlockian preferences known in certain quarters.

Walking into Acme Comics at lunch today, a copy of A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman, adapted and with art by Rafael Albuquerque, was waiting for me, even though I didn't have the forethought to order it.

It's a pretty little hardcover comic book . . . er, graphic novel, if you need fancier terms. The art has a slight Disney-esque vibe at first, which may lull you into a false sense of being safe and happy in the tale to come. And, if you're not familiar with the Gaiman tale, the path of A Study in Scarlet that it seems to be following, save for one large splash of what horror Watson remembers facing in Afghanistan, might make you comfortable as well.

But as the details of the victim become clear, any suspicions that this is not exactly our Sherlock Holmes and John Watson immediately vanish. An alternate universe then? But how alternate?

It was good to read Neil Gaiman again in the medium where I first became acquainted with his work, and even though I read the tale being adapted when it was first published back in 2003, in a collection titled Shadows Over Baker Street, I had forgotten enough to enjoy it fresh.

The tale adapts well to an illustrated form, and this new graphic novel presentation of "A Study in Emerald" from Dark Horse Comics is well worth picking up. It's not a traditional Sherlock Holmes tale, but therein lies part of the delight of the story, which I'll leave you to find for yourself if you haven't had the pleasure before.

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