COMIC REVIEW: A Study in Scarlet

Original author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Adapted by: Ian Edginton
Illustrated by: I.N.J. Culbard

“There’s the scarlet thread of murder… and our duty to unravel it”

A body is found in a bloodstained room – without a scratch on it. A name has been partly written in blood on the wall. A woman’s wedding ring is found…

From a dingy London tenement to the plains of the American Wild West, Study provides the test case for Sherlock’s “science of deduction” – but the greatest enigma to his new friend Dr.Watson is Sherlock Holmes himself.

Although I have been a  Sherlock Holmes fan for many years I must admit to never having read A Study in Scarlet, which was first published in 1887 so  to be able to read a comic adaptation of a Holmes story without  knowing the details of the plot was a real treat.

I  read “The Hound of the Baskervilles by Edginton and Culbard last year which I loved. The problem for me had nothing to do with the adaptation but  that  I had either read ,listened to or watched this story countless times over. Although I loved both the art and the writing style, for me, there was no sense of mystery, no intrigue. I knew who the culprit was, I knew all the twists and turns from the small to the major. However from the first page of A Study in Scarlet from SelfMadeHero I was throw in at the deep end with no prior knowledge of the plot and it was a great feeling. It was like I was coming to Holmes for the first time and it seemed appropriate to be doing this with the tale which bought one of  fiction’s most well known and loved detective teams together for the first time.

Sherlock Holmes has always been one of my favourite characters and this latest graphic novel is a fantastic insight into the mind of Sir Arthur Conan Doyles’s most  famous sleuth.

To begin with the art was the same style employed on the Hound of the Baskervilles but at the same time it deftly reflects the fact that we are at the beginning of the careers of Watson and Holmes, which was a nice touch. I loved the use of heavy inking on the characters and minimalistic character design which gave all the players a very distinctive look. Holmes looks exactly as I expect him to look and Watson seems to be more in line with Doyle’s character rather than the bumbling buffoon some films would have us believe.

Edginton writing marries the art perfectly and effortlessly brings  this tale of deduction, revenge and murder to the comic world. The way in which the art will take over from the writing to show Holmes at work is brilliantly handles. Edginton knows that sometimes no words are needed to convey a particular scene when you have such fantastic art backing you up.

Having never read A Study in Scarlet I can’t speak as to whether this is a faithful adaptation or not of the original novel but the one thing I can say is this feels like a Sherlock Holmes story and a darned good on at that. As long as Edginton and Culbard  keep putting out this level of quality with their Holmes adaptations they can count on me to be reccomending them to anyone who will listen.

If you a comics fan looking to get into the world of Sherlock Holmes then I would definitely recommend “A Study in Scarlet’ by as a place to start.

GS Reviewer: Nuge

Source: SelfMadeHero

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