Sherlock Holmes as a series of exciting graphic novels

Today marks the publication of The Valley of Fear the fourth and final volume in Self Made Hero's graphic novel adaptations of Arthur Conan Doyle's four full-length Sherlock Holmes novels. Adapted by Ian Edginton and drawn by INJ Culbard, these four volumes are among the most exciting treatments of the Holmes novels that I've ever seen -- Culbard's pulpy, golden-age illustration style complements Edginton's sharp eye for pacing to great effect. The books hew very closely to the original Doyle novels, abdriging the less-interesting expository sections and stage-direction through the use of cleverly juxtaposed panels, which, though often wordless, keep the action moving at great potboiler pace (click through below to see some examples of the great art in these books).

Each volume is introduced by a short essay from a Holmes scholar or contemporary mystery novelist, providing excellent context for the story, its original production, and the way it was initially received. I've loved Sherlock Holmes all my life, and I've read the original novels a dozen times or more, but these adaptations still brought new life and energy to the familiar texts. But they're not just a great complement for a Holmes-lover's collection -- they'd make an excellent introduction to the original stories, for adults and sharp adolescents alike.

Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novels


  1. I think that it’s really cool that they are making the Sherlock Holmes into graphic novels. This way, the people who don’t like to read will be able to enjoy the Holmes stories.

  2. It’s nice to see adaptations of Holmes, but they needn’t have bothered with “The Valley of Fear” It’s a terrible book that reads like a cross between furniture-gnawing paranoia and a sheaf of advertising copy for the brutal Pinkerton agency.

  3. I think it’s great that they have made the Holmes stories so accessable, and I can see how they would lend themselve to the graphic novel format. Hopefully they will turn people onto the stories themselves but it doesn’t matter. Remember, Conan Doyle, like Dickens and many other “classic” authors was orignally published in weekly instalments in magazinse – Holmes appeared in the strand magazine – and so the books we know today are in themselves an adaptation. If you don’t know how Holmes met his appearent end at the hands of arch enemy Moriaty, read The Final Problem, suspense from start to finish!

  4. I’m pretty sure this was posted on Boing-Boing before, but for those interested in the original Strand stories Stanford has them in PDF form at this link.

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