Tag Archives: Sherlock Holmes

Preview: Sherlock Holmes: The Vanishing Man TP

Sherlock Holmes: The Vanishing Man TP

writer: Leah Moore, John Reppion
artist: Julius Ohta
cover: John Cassaday
FC | 104 pages | $17.99 | Teen+

Michael Williams is a family man. A reliable man at both work and home. When he disappears, there are no clues left behind. Now, it is up to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to find out what happened to him and what danger may be lurking around every corner, in the case of The Vanishing Man!

Sherlock Holmes: The Vanishing Man TP

Preview: Sherlock Holmes: The Vanishing Man #1

Sherlock Holmes: The Vanishing Man #1

writers: Leah Moore, John Reppion
artist: Julius Ohta
covers: John Cassaday (A), John Cassaday (RI-Virgin), John Cassaday (RI-B/W)
FC | 32 pages | $3.99 | Teen +

Michael Williams is a family man. A reliable man at both work and home. When he disappears, there are no clues left behind. Now, it is up to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to find out what happened to him and what danger may be lurking around every corner, in the case of The Vanishing Man!

Preview: Sherlock Holmes Omnibus Vol. 1

Sherlock Holmes Omnibus Vol. 1

writer: Leah Moore, John Reppion, Scott Beaty
artist: Aaron Campbell, Daniel Indro, Matt Triano
cover: John Cassaday
FC • 400 pages • $34.99 • Teen+

COLLECTS TRIAL OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, LIVERPOOL DEMON, AND YEAR ONE

Presenting three captivating mysteries of Arthur Conan Doyle’s beloved sleuth, Sherlock Holmes, in the first-ever Omnibus collecting his comic book adventures! From young Holmes’ first encounter with Dr. John Watson, to the detective’s role reversal as a suspect for murder, to a rash of Liverpool killings seemingly committed by a supernatural entity, the finest whodunnits in the Dynamite Entertainment library begin with this very volume! Collects the complete “Trial of Sherlock Holmes”, “Year One”, and “Liverpool Demon” storylines.

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Review: Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook #1

Mycroft Cover D (1)Retired NBA superstar and United States cultural ambassador Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, mystery novelist Raymond Obstfeld, and artist Joshua Cassara (New Avengers) join forces in Mycroft #1 to tell a clever and occasionally saucy mystery adventure story about Sherlock Holmes’ older brother. Cassara has a smooth, cinematic art style from the opening scene where the British Museum is destroyed by a mysterious bauble.  The theme of not dwelling in the past and embracing is reinforced throughout the book as Mycroft laughs at his fellow students for fawning over the Mona Lisa in a philosophical exercise where they had to choose either to save a dog or the famous painting. He would have just saved his own ass.

Mycroft #1 is most concerned with showing the character of its protagonist, but Abdul-Jabbar and Obstfeld throw in some fun twists and turns to keep you on your toes. Even though it’s set in Victorian England when Mycroft and Sherlock were still students (And when our antihero had a six pack instead of being his traditional portly self.), it’s far from stuffy as Mycroft spends a lecture making a crude Punch-style cartoon of his professor and then sleeping with the professor’s wife. But there’s a twist as he wanted Sherlock to walk in on them and see a naked woman for the first time. Mycroft is just as intelligent (If not more.) as Sherlock, but he has a true, rebellious streak and spends his life playing pranks and games on less intelligent beings. However, his carefree life could be coming to an end with a last page cliffhanger that changes the comic from the British version of Casanova to more League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Steampunk elements were already a big part of the aesthetic of the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes films, but Abdul-Mycroft Holmes Preview 3Jabbar, Obstfeld, and Cassara take a subtler touch in introducing elements of the genre to Mycroft #1. Instead of giant airships, there are little mechanical doo-dads in the background with colorist Luis Guerrero adding dashes of gold in his palette to break up the greys and blacks of Victorian interior decorating. Steampunk also fits in with the theme of progress and thinking out of the box as Mycroft uses both to get himself out of an awkward situation at the end of the issue.

In Mycroft #1, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld craft a protagonist that is basically the Tony Stark of the Victorian Era.  He is a polymath, can solve a mystery while burning you with a one liner, and has a kind of roguish charisma whereas his brother Sherlock can only stutter his future catchphrase. (And if basketball was invented, Mycroft would probably have one hell of a skyhook.) Artist Joshua Cassara adds to Mycroft’s appeal by drawing the lazy, self-absorbed genius exuding great confidence with winks and smiles while the people around him are crying out with outrage. By the time the issue closes (With a joke and a cliffhanger.), you’re not sure if you want to be Mycroft or be with him, and you will definitely prefer him to Sherlock.

Story: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld Art: Joshua Cassara Colors: Luis Guerrero
Story: 9 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Titan Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Fan Expo Interviews: Ronn Sutton

Fan Expo Toronto will be taking place this year between September 3rd and 6th, and Graphic Policy had the opportunity to talk with a few of their featured guests before the beginning of the convention.  Up first was Ronn Sutton, an accomplished illustrator known for his work in noirish stories and sci-fi.  We got a chance to talk with him about his career.

smPg3printedGraphic Policy:  One of the characters which you have most worked on is Honey West.  What are the main challenges of working in the crime noir genre in terms of the design?

Ronn Sutton:  Honey West was a female detective that appeared in nearly a dozen extremely popular pocketbook novels throughout the 1960s. The concept was that Honey’s father was a Private Investigator who was killed during one of his cases. His daughter solved her father’s murder and then took over the detective agency. So the Honey West books, a short-lived TV series, and the comics are all set in the 1960s. This gave me a wonderful opportunity to recreate the time period in my artwork with the clothing, hair styles, cars, furniture, etc of that era. I love researching and drawing comics that are drawn in a specific time period because it gives you a chance to recreate an authentic world on your pages.

But the character I worked on the longest was Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Over a nine year period I drew nearly 50 Elvira stories for Claypool Comics. That’s about 800 pages I drew for the Elvira, Misstress of the Dark series. Many scripted by my partner Janet L. Hetherington.

GP:  On the same subject what makes for a great femme fatale and how do you give this quality to Honey West?

RS:  I was very concerned with making Honey look like she lived in that era. So I showed off the clothes of the period by having Honey wear as many as six different outfits in one comic, using the styles of the times: pencil skirts, fur pillbox hats, gaucho jackets and lots of leopard prints, etc. I was trying to capture the essence of mid-60s female movie stars like Jayne Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe. There’s something indefinable about the way those women stood, walked, and dressed with a real earthiness. I tried to analyze what it was and I think I caught much of it. For the last two HW stories I drew I brought in a model to help me and had her pose.

C5DraculasGuestGP:  Switching subjects, how do you feel about the use of horror in comics?  Some might say that it is not the best medium for the genre as it is harder to capture the same tension.  How can you compensate for it?

RS:  I’ve drawn a couple hundred comics, probably the largest portion of them were horror comics. When it comes to drawing macabre comics, its all about the atmosphere; choosing what to show and what not to show. Drawing in a lot of deep shadows and not revealing more than you have to. I have a 14 page adaptation of Bram Stoker’s short story “Dracula’s Guest” coming out in the next month or two in the 144 page horror anthology called Graphic Classics Volume 26: Vampire Classics. I rendered the artwork in full-colour on the actual artboards using markers, dyes, and colour pencils. It required a very limited palette to set a constant mood through out the strip. For the most part in the story, Dracula isn’t really seen. He’s more of a presence. So I had to concoct clever way to visually have him there and not there at the same time.

GP:  Do you think that horror relies too much on a single concept instead of reinventing itself?  For instance movie horror tends to recycle ideas in numerous sequels while comic book horror tends to be more original?

RS:  I think the only limits to horror comics and illustration rest with the person creating it. Horror can be claustrophobic or it can be otherworldly. It can invoke a single horrible villian or even hordes of demons. Comics have a long history of turning monsters into heroes. Horror comics are wonderful to draw because you can let your imagination run wild with pencil & paper creating vistas and creatures that even could be unconvincing in film, as well as being costly and difficult to manufacture.

GP:  You have also had the opportunity to work on some characters such as Sherlock Homes and the Phantom.  Both of these characters have managed to survive to the modern day with some popularity.  What do you think that it takes for some characters to achieve this same level of notoriety?

RS:  I think a character like Sherlock Holmes has been around for so long, and been adapted, re-invented and parodied so many times that everybody is familiar with the basic character, while few have actually read the original books (I have!). What is neat about The Phantom is the costume has been handed down from father to son for 21 generations creating the illusion that its been one single long-lived person for hundreds of years. Hence the reference to him as “The Ghost Who Walks”. I think part of  the appeal of both characters is they’ve both been around for a very long time; both have distinctive looks, and both are just regular people who rely on superior intellect and physical prowess (without any sort of “super” powers).

ronn001GP:  One of your projects was Lucifer’s Sword which involved a story focused on a motorcyle gang.  How hard is it to draw a convincing motorcycle?

RS:  I think the important thing to know about Lucifers Sword M.C.: Life & Death In An Outlaw Motorcycle Club is that it was scripted by Phil Cross, who has been an active member of the Hells Angels for nearly 50 years. The 96 page graphic novel was a slightly fictionalized autobiography. The Lucifers Sword graphic novel was set in the late 1960s in San Jose, California area, so in my drawings I was striving to accurately portray the clothes, buildings, cars and, obviously, motorcycles of the time.

When it came to drawing all the Harley Davidson motorcycles, my editor was an enormous help in identifying and supplying me with photo-reference of those rigid-frame bikes. As well, each bike had to be drawn unique to its owner since those motorcycles were all chopped and customized. So no two were alike.  So, on top of all this I was watching all the old Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson, etc biker films that were so popular 45 years ago (like Hells Angels On Wheels, Angels Die Hard, etc). I collected up all sorts of biker books and magazines including biker tattoo magazines in an attempt to just get everything right.

I’m VERY happy that the biker community has embraced and praised Lucifers Sword M.C.: Life & Death In An Outlaw Motorcycle Club, and particularly that they cited in their reviews the accuracy in the drawing of the choppers. You can hear a CBC radio interview between Hells Angel Phil Cross and myself discussing our graphic novel here.

smColorSciFiGirlGP:  Are there any genres which you would life to get some more exposure in?

RS:  I LOVE drawing science-fiction strips. As opposed to historical stories I’ve drawn that require so much accurate visual reference research, with sci-fi you get to make up EVERYTHING! Which is both fun and a daunting task. So many of the artists that I admired as I was growing up drew some wonderful sci-fi comics.

I have a “side-project”, that I work on in between more pressing comic assignments, which is a graphic novel adaptation of The Citadel of Lost Ships. It was written by Leigh Brackett and originally published in  Planet Stories, in the 1930s. I work on it at my own pace and while I want it to be a ripping traditional heroic adventure, the designs of the costumes, starships and alien cities range from the type found in old time pulp magazine illustrations to futuristic hi-tech. So its a wild amalgam of styles. It will be a long time yet before I’m done, but it will be enormous fun to read I hope. You can watch for news update about this project, and others, on my website.

Preview: Sherlock Holmes: Moriarty Lives #1 (of 5)

SHERLOCK HOLMES: MORIARTY LIVES #1 (of 5)

David Liss (w) Daniel Indro (a)
Francesco Francavilla (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+
FANS, ASK YOUR RETAILER FOR THE:
Daniel Indro original art retailer incentive cover

Professor James Moriarty has faced his arch rival, Sherlock Holmes, above Reichenbach Falls, where they have both plummeted to their doom. Or have they? Washed ashore in a strange town in Switzerland, Moriarty is alone, penniless, and without his network of thieves. Will his cunning and guile be enough against a foe more ruthless than Holmes himself? It’s one of the greatest villains of all time  as you’ve never seen him!

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Preview: Sherlock Holmes: The Liverpool Demon #5 (of 5)

SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE LIVERPOOL DEMON #5 ( of 5)

Leah Moore, John Reppion (w)
Matt Triano (a)
Francesco Francavilla (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Having seen the Liverpool Demon with his own eyes, Dr. Watson sets out to find the fiend’s lair. Fearing the worst, Holmes searches frantically for his companion in the vast, uncharted labyrinth beneath the city’s streets. Meanwhile, at Hitchcock’s Menagerie, Inspector Thornton discovers to his horror that it’s feeding time…

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52 Reviews, Part 4

So, for the fun of it, I collected all 52 DC #1 issues. And I’m offering up my final reviews of the entire group. Keep in mind, though, that I’m generally a Marvel fan and, while I’m working may way through DC’s recent big events, I’m only up through the middle of Countdown and I haven’t read any of DC’s non-event comics in a long time, so I’m coming at these stories with a bit of a disadvantage in terms of chronology and character knowledge. Since DC is certainly trying to attract new readers, though, this makes me come at them with a perspective similar to their hypothetical new fans… Tomorrow or the next day, I’ll have a post on my overall thoughts on the whole reboot.

All Star Western #1 (DC) – I was prepared not to like this too much. I liked Jonah Hex as a kid, but I hadn’t read it since then. And I generally don’t like anything Western. Add to the mix that Hex wears a Confederate uniform and is anti-science and anti-urban and there’s no reason I should’ve liked this. And yet I loved it. Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti tell a very well-written tale that incorporates Western tropes, Jack the Ripper, Sherlock Holmes and the mythology of Gotham City. It all fits together very well, although a possible turn with the villains of the story could upset me if it goes the way it looks. I could probably do without another dead hooker story, but since it’s a Jack the Ripper homage, I’m okay with it in this case. It’s hard to argue that Moritat’s art isn’t perfect and while I don’t usually notice color artists in comics, Gabriel Bautista’s work is good enough here to get a shout out.

Story: 9.5 Art: 10 Overall: 9.75

Aquaman #1 (DC) – Aquaman is a character I’ve never really liked. I bought all the jokes about how lame he and his powers were, so I never really paid much attention. Which played me right into Geoff Johns’ hands in this one. This is a funny comic book, maybe the funniest of the entire New 52. It makes fun of all of those jokes and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It also puts all of those jokes to rest and shows us that Aquaman isn’t the joke we think he is, he’s much more powerful than that. This issue also sets a new paradigm for the character and is a great way to re-introduce him to the world.

Story: 10 Art: 8 Overall: 9

Batman: The Dark Knight #1 (DC) – Hands down the Batman books are the backbone of the New 52. Every one of this is good to great and they give us a lot to look forward to. This is the worst of the bunch, but it is still readable, entertaining and looks good.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.5

Blackhawks #1 (DC) – My deceased father was a childhood fan of Blackhawks and he always talked about them, even into his 60s. They weren’t really ever around much in my comic reading days, so I was interested in giving this one a shot as a way to connect with my dad’s comic book tastes. I think he would’ve liked this one and I thank the creators for giving me that connection to my father once again.

Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75

The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men #1 (DC) – Another character I haven’t read much of since my childhood is Firestorm. The way the character(s) work here is quite a bit different, so far, than what I remember. The issue is pretty good and Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone do some pretty strong writing in terms of tackling stereotypes and race. I will say the ending to the issue left me a bit confused, but hopefully that will be cleared up next month.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25

The Flash #1 (DC) – This one was a bit of a spoiler for me, since I’ve only read major DC events up to Countdown. I had no idea Barry Allen was back. This is a pretty nice story with a good mystery and a pretty awesome last page. Brian Buccellato’s art is quite good, too.

Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.5

Green Lantern: New Guardians #1 (DC) – The Green Lantern comics have also been pretty strong across the board and this one adds to that. The story here is quite interesting and leaves with a pretty good cliffhanger that will definitely have me back next issue.

Story: 8 Art: 7 Overall: 7.5

I, Vampire #1 (DC) – Wow. That’s really the best word to describe this, which I think is the best issue of the entire New 52. And I generally hate vampire tales. But this one is so well-written and so beautiful that I am now officially hooked on this series. The plot has such a great apocalyptic feel to it that I find myself wondering if the old I, Vampire tales were quite this good. I don’t remember them ever getting to this level.

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10

Justice League Dark #1 (DC) – Magic tales are not usually my cup of tea, but DC seems to have been getting them right in recent years and this is no exception. Unlike most of the new issues, this one really is the start of something new and it is a good beginning that really makes me want more. There are some amazing visuals in this book, particularly the June Moone splash. Some of the dialog and text is superbly written as well, such as the line: “The reek of skinned babies and sliced eyeballs.” Man, is that creepy or what? There’s more where that came from.

Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9

The Savage Hawkman #1 (DC) – No question this is the weakest book of the week. For one, I’ve never really been a huge Hawkman fan, but this issue is confusing, makes no sense at times (Hawkman starts off by shooting his old costume) and doesn’t look very good at times. It’s not terrible, but with all the other great comics DC put out this week, this one pales in comparison.

Story: 6 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6.25

Superman #1 (DC) – George Perez re-introduces Superman here with a tale told in a throwback style with lots of third-person narration, a nostalgic tale of Metropolis’s history and a strong introduction to the themes and supporting characters in the series. Oh, and there’s some kind of epic battle with a fire-monster alien, too.

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

Teen Titans #1 (DC) – Another tale launching a new team with introductions to some of the team members, this one is entertaining and has a lot of potential. Scott Lobdell does much better here than on Red Hood, so much so it’s hard to believe this is the same writer as that crap. Red Hood looks even worse now that we see that Lobdell can write a strong female character (in this case Wonder Girl).

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8

Voodoo #1 (DC) – This issue conflicted me the most this week. After two weeks with controversies over female characters and their depictions as weak or nearly naked, it was disappointing to open this issue and see a half-naked stripper jump out at me. And then to see page after page of half-naked strippers for the entire issue. But Ron Marz shows that he isn’t writing as simplistically as you might expect. The opening page, as Brett pointed out to me, says “Are you ready gentlemen? Because this is why you’re here!” as if the near-nudity is meant as a tongue-in-cheek (no pun intended) thing and a slap at the fans who buy books for that purpose. But I kind of got the same feeling from this as I got from a story on Fox News where they condemn pornography while showing a clip from a porn movie. Marz does make sure to show us that the female characters in the issue are, at a minimum, intellectually, physically and even morally superior to the male characters (except for maybe the end of the issue where moral superiority drops off). This is definitely a comic where the female characters are the only characters that matter, but I wonder if that same point couldn’t have been made by having Voodoo work as a waitress instead of a stripper, since that would’ve fit the logic of the story just as well.

Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.5