Review: Petr Kopl's comic-book A Scandal in Bohemia *Updated

Yesterday I purchased signed copies of A Scandal in Bohemia and The Hound of the Baskervilles. Two comic-book versions of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Czech illustrator Petr Kopl.

As you can clearly see from the cover, the illustrations are stunning. What I didn't expect was that this was much more than a retelling of the first Sherlock Holmes short story. In fact this book weaves together two main Sherlock Holmes stories and throws in elements of others along with some cross over elements from the work of other authors.

The Speckled Band is the other story that you get and it is weaved in almost seamlessly. The amazing thing about Kopl's artwork is that you instantly know who the characters are before they are introduced. This is because Kopl captures the character of the characters perfectly. It couldn't be clearer if they wore name tags. This takes skill. 

The only aspect I didn't care for was the crossover elements where characters from other works were brought in. I never like this and I don't feel it was necessary here. Fortunately these other characters were only slightly more than cameos and hence did not detract too much from the main event.

Kopl plays with the characters a little in a way that works. Mrs Hudson is a very angry woman which is what you always imagined she would be with a tenant like Holmes. There also a good amount of comedy. I found parallels on the comedy front with the recent Warner Bros. movies.

I recommend this book.

*Update - I forgot to mention earlier that the book includes some opinion pieces. One of these is on the subject of Sherlock Holmes and sex and is one that all fans should read.

Written by Alistair Duncan
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