Waiting For The Trade – The Hound of the Baskervilles

Story: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Adaptation: Ian Edginton
Art: I.N.J. Culbard

I have absolutely no idea how it happened but whilst I’m a huge fan of most incarnations of Sherlock Holmes I’ve managed to get well into my fourth decade of existence without seeing, reading or heading The Hound of the Baskervilles. So when Self Made Hero put out this trade adapted by Ian Edginton and with art not to dissimilar from his partner on Scarlet Traces D’Israeli, I thought to myself what better way to experience it for the first time.

Unfortunately this lack of experience means I’m not going to be able to comment on the faithfulness of the adaptation or give comparison to other works.

Firstly the collection itself. It’s an odd-sized book, maybe an inch shorter than a traditional US-format comic and has quite a stiff cover with wings that fold in on themselves to give a pseudo dust-jacket feel. The paper feels to me like very high quality newsprint, a bit thicker than DC used on Wednesday comics and very consistent in colour and texture. I mention all of this as it gives the book a very high quality feel. There’s a light smattering of extras and a tease for the next adaptation “A Study in Scarlet”.

I like the interpretation of the characters, Holmes is insightful but acerbic at times with his self-confidence verging on arrogance. Watson isn’t portrayed as a bumbling oaf and seems a brave and capable investigator, if very clearly not on Holmes’s level intellectually. My only criticism of the story itself would be that it lacks tension to a certain extent, possibly due to boiling it down to 120 comic pages it doesn’t feel like mysteries have ample time to stew in the mind.

The art is simple but quite effective. I wouldn’t put Culbard’s work here in the same league as D’Israeli, it lacks the detail in the backgrounds and characters do stray a little off-model at times. It’s solid work though and nicely coloured with the occasional use of texture to give the impression it, or parts of it, was painted on canvas.

Rating:
Reviewer: Dave Williams

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One comment

  1. Spikey_p /

    Good review, Mr. Williams, Ta.

    Looks a little bit too cartoony in the character design for my taste for something of that era, but I’ll certainly give it a look. Certainly helps if its a pretty book and will look good on the shelf, I’m just shallow like that sometimes. Glossy wings. Love it.

    It’s certainly an odd choice for the first Holmes story, not least because he’s not in it for most of it! From what I can remember, he feigns disinterest in the case, refuses to accompany Watson down to Dartmoor to investigate and proceeds spends a good 2/3rds of the book hiding!I guy that the aim was to go with one of the three novella-length Holmes stories for the first collection and HotB most likely has the most widely recognised title out of the three. Mind you, Study in Scarlett, the first one, doesn’t have Holmes in it at all for half of it either! Or Watson, for that matter…

    Can’t wait until they take a crack at The Sign of Four, that one is the absolute badgers nadgers.

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