A Study In Emerald – Neil Gaiman & Rafael Albuquerque (Dark Horse)

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Well, this is ridiculous quite frankly. Gaiman, Holmes, Lovecraft-that’s three of my favourite things right there and in A Study in Emerald they’re smashed together in what is truly a collaboration made in literary heaven. The 2004 HUGO award winning short story A Study In Emerald is now available in comic book form, brought to life by none other than Eisner award-winning artist Rafael Albuquerque.

Essentially what we have here is a Sherlock Holmes mystery, taking place in the shared fictional universe of H.P Lovecraft-the Cthulhu Mythos to those in the know. The beauty of this book, is that both the worlds herein are instantly recognizable. The dingy cobble stoned backstreets of Whitehall contrast nicely with the nightmare worlds of Cthullu where Dr Watson first stared fear in the face, when recalling his encounter with the famous beast. Now back in familiar territory Watson finds himself looking for somebody to share lodgings with. Enter the great Sherlock Holmes. The book spends very little time in establishing their relationship, as it’s already engrained in British culture, so we need waste no time in telling that particular story again. So onto the first case we go courtesy of Inspector Lestrade. When a body is found in a shabby little bedsit, with green bile spattered all over the room, the game is indeed afoot.

Beautifully presented with Victorian style artwork on blood spattered pages, this is superb reading. Fans of Gaiman will recognize his style and ability to twist your thoughts, throughout his book, while Sherlock fans will love it for its authentic period feel and loving homage to one of literature’s finest characters…Chris Andrews

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