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Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Hound of the Baskervilles. A.Conan Doyle (Author), adapted by Ian Edginton, I.N.J.Culbard (Art) SelfMadeHero (2009)

This a superb adaptation of one of the best of the Sherlock Holmes long stories, Ian Edginton and I.N.J. Culbard have created a suitably faithful version that translates the story very effectively into a different medium. The story opens with one of the great Holmes and Watson set pieces, the deduction from an object of information regarding its owner. In this case the object is a walking stick left behind by a potential client. The scene nicely sets up the relationship between Holmes and Watson as well as highlighting Holmes ability to observe details and make deductions. The client proves to be Dr. James Mortimer and he has an extraordinary story to tell. It is about a family legend that appears to assumed a deadly reality for Sir Charles Baskerville, a friend of the doctor and which may have consequences for his heir Henry Baskerville. Sherlock Holmes sees that the story could have a cause that is much more mundane and dangerous than any supernatural event and he takes on the case. The story develops from there is a very enjoyable fashion, the atmosphere is suitably foggy and sinister, there are twists and tuns, the reveals are nicely staged and the climax is satisfying and effective.
The greatest danger in any adaptation of a Sherlock Holmes story is that it will loose the essential element provided by the first person narration by Dr.Watson in the original. Ian Edginton manages transpose the story so well that no one who has read the original nor someone who has not would feel shortchanged. The art is also superb, it is rather cartoony and this works far better that trying to capture the feel of the Strand Magazine illustrations. I.N.J. Culbard has gone for his own versions of the characters and they are excellent, they are clear and expressive. This book sets a very high standard for Sherlock Holmes adaptions.

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