5 hours to go: Sherlock Holmes – The Final Problem. The 3rd Petr Kopl graphic novel on Kickstarter.
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“There are certain characters who Sherlock Holmes has run across a number of times: Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Arsene Lupin etc. However, there is one literary character with whom the great detective has seldom matched wits – Frankenstein and his Monster. This in retrospect, this makes some sense. Mary Shelly’s novel is not set in metropolitan London, and it set some seventy years before Holmes took up his magnifying glass and deerstalker. However, that doesn’t mean that some authors haven’t tried to combine this famed characters into one story. Luke Benjamin Kuhns’ Sherlock Holmes and the Horror of Frankenstein does just that. How does it fare? Let’s find out…
It is 1885 and a spat of grave robberies have startled London. Sherlock Holmes, in the midst of a bout of great ennui, is disinterested in case. That is until he’s approached by Inspector Bradstreet of Scotland Yard. It seems that at the scene of the latest grave robbery, a night watchman has been murdered. His curiosity sufficiently piqued, Holmes and Watson begin their investigation. The murdered man’s face betrays signs of tremendous horror, and upon further investigation Holmes discovers a giant footprint nearby. By the detective’s estimation, the man’s murderer was at least eight feet tall. Who is the murderer? What do they want with the bodies, and is there a connection with the infamous Dr. Frankenstein?
Despite the fact that this graphic novel shares a title with one of Hammer horror’s lesser-known works, it owes more to the style of the Universal horror films of the ‘30’s and ‘40’s. There’s a genuine sense of mystery, adventure and horror mixed into the plot. Plot tropes from Universal’s films are mixed in from the mad scientist and his lab. I won’t spoil the story, but one character who appeared in one of Universal’s most famed Frankenstein films turns in a wonderful appearance here. Despite its horror story trappings, author Luke Kuhns manages to weave an excellent Sherlockian plot and his presentation of the characters through dialogue is excellent. I am not very familiar with Kuhns’ writing, but this makes me interested to look into more.
As I mentioned above, this is a graphic novel. Illustrator Marcie Klinger did an excellent job in capturing the Gothic atmosphere of the story. The artwork is dark and evocative and very nicely detailed. However, I was rather surprised to find Sherlock Holmes dressed in a standard twentieth-century trench coat though!
Without giving away too much plot, Sherlock Holmes and the Horror of Frankenstein gets around the logistical problems of combining these two famous stories by acting as a sequel to Mary Shelly’s original. For fans of Frankenstein, some of the characters some of the original novel pop up in flashback and fill in some of the gaps. In this way, the story is able to work on its own without trying to limit itself to the confines of a previously-published work. I applaud the original story telling, especially since I had no idea what to expect going into the graphic novel.
In all, Sherlock Holmes and the Horror of Frankenstein is a very surprising work. Author Luke Kuhns is obviously well-versed in both his Sherlockian and horror film knowledge. With an interesting, original plot, and moody (though at times anachronistic) artwork, the graphic novel comes recommended from me. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.”
Reviewed by Nick Cardillo
Sherlock Holmes and The Horror of Frankenstein is available from all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble USA, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).
The Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews The Hound of the Baskervilles – A Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel
“The Hound of the Baskervilles, adapted and illustrated by Petr Kopl (MX Publishing; www.mxpublishing.co.uk; 12 December) is clever, funny, beautiful and brilliant. It’s the first in Mr Kopl’s Victoria Regina series (A Scandal in Bohemia is the fourth). Don’t be surprised to find the narrative intersecting with the events of Dracula, The Lost World, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and even Rossum’s Universal Robots, as well as other exploits of Holmes and Watson. Look closely at the illustrations and you’ll see all sorts of unexpected details — though you may be too engrossed in the story on first reading.”
The Hound of The Baskervilles – A Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel is available from all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository .
“This is a different book than most English speaking Sherlockians are accustomed to. First, it has been translated from Czech. Next, it is a graphic version of SCAN, but it also includes SPEC as if it occurred intertwined with events in SCAN. Finally, it also includes additional material. In most cases, the additional material comes as a bit of a surprise. The appearances of Dorian Grey and Mr. Hyde in SCAN may give some indication of the things in store for the reader.
This book is the fourth in time-sequence of ten or eleven graphic novels produced by the author. I am not sure how many will be published in English nor in what sequence other items will appear. I’m also not sure how many involve Sherlock Holmes although I expect he will appear in at least five and, perhaps, in six. In any case, these books are not published for children. Adult subjects and illustrations appear and the graphics are well done and interesting. All-in-all, they are presented much better than most comic books I have seen.
Readers should be prepared to be surprised. The general story lines follow those in the Canonical Tales, but the difference is in the details. It is never quite clear, in this single installment, who bears which relation to whom. Irene Adler is certainly a major player, but who she works for and who is opposing her for which reasons are not at all clear. One almost gets the feeling that Sherlock is a bit-player in a play that stars others.
The artwork is quite individual and is very well-done. The story line is left open and presents more questions than answers. I sincerely hope that later additions to the series will provide a few answers and resolve some of the puzzles. The author’s “take” on Sherlock Holmes is certainly unique and this presentation of two of the Canonical short stories is both unique and fascinating. This is truly an interesting “read.”
A Scandal In Bohemia – A Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel is available for order from all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository .
“Spectacular full colour artwork” – review of Sherlock Holmes and The Scandal in Bohemia graphic novel
“Petr Kopl’s SHERLOCK HOLMES: A SCANDAL IN BOHEMIA is an imaginative comic-book adaptation of more thanv one story, with spectacular full-color artwork and a preface by Ales Kolo-drubec. First published in Czech and now translated into English, it’s a welcome sample of Kopl’s ‘Victoria Regina’ series. He has an interestingvweb-site at <www.petrkopl.cz> (if your computer runs Google Translate you can pretend you’re fluent in Czech)”
Peter Blau, September 2014.
The Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews A Scandal in Bohemia – A Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel
“Due on 12 September is A Scandal in Bohemia, adapted as a graphic novel by the brilliant Czech illustrator Petr Kopl and translated (back) into English by Paul & Jana Simpson. Actually there are two adventures here, the other being ‘The Speckled Band’, and both serve to show Holmes that women can be just as courageous and intelligent as men – much to Watson’s satisfaction. The result is a feast for the eye and the imagination. The vivid, exciting text is enhanced by artwork that’s by turns deeply atmospheric and devastatingly funny – and often beautiful. This is a thoroughly classy production (MX Publishing;www.mxpublishing.co.uk). The original won the 2013 Fabula Rasa Czech Award for the best script, best artwork and best comic book. It’s easy to see why. Mr Kopl has a website at www.petrkopl.cz.”
A Scandal In Bohemia – A Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel is available for pre order from all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository .