REVIEWS OF GRAPHIC CLASSICS: ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE

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Graphic Classics: Arthur Conan Doyle
(First Edition, 2002)

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SHERLOCK MAGAZINE
Issue 49, 2002
Reviewed by David Stuart Davies

This is an interesting idea: comic strip versions of a variety of Conan Doyle texts created by different artists. Within the covers of this attractive book we have the familiar Holmes tales of The Hound (presented at a thrilling pace in 25 pages), The Speckled Band and The Copper Beeches along with a complete and very entertaining version of The Lost World. To supplement these stories there are also two of Doyle’s gruesome tales, The Los Amigos Fiasco and How It Happened, along with an illustrated excerpt from The Coming of the Fairies.

This volume is the second in a series featuring the work of popular writers — the first presented the works of Edgar Allan Poe. In this instance it can serve as an enjoyable introduction to the world of ACD or a vivid reminder of it. The divergence of visual styles of the drawings — each piece is illustrated by a different artist — helps to maintain the freshness of the project. I particularly liked Donald Marquez’s The Lost World and Nestor Redondo’s Speckled Band. Good fun and good value.

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SPERMACETTI PRESS
Review by Peter E. Blau

"Graphic Classics" is an attractive series of single-author anthologies edited and published by Tom Pomplun, and the second issue is devoted to Arthur Conan Doyle (Mount Horeb: Eureka Productions, 2002; 144 pp., $9.95); the contents include "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" (illustrated by Nes-tor Redondo and adapted from the version that Pendulum Press published in 1974); "The Lost World" (illustrated by Don Marquez and reprinted from the version he published in 1994); and many new stories (including "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches" illustrated by Rick Geary, "The Los Amigos Fiasco", "How It Happened", and "The Hound of the Baskervilles").

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THE TOMB OF DARK DELIGHTS
www.countgore.com/tomb.htm
4/5/03
Review by J.L. Comeau

The TombKeeper will admit that as a very young Tombette, her sister's and her favorite game was playing "Sherlock Holmes and Watson". After the fighting about who was going to be Sherlock was settled, we would go in search of clues that would lead us into mysteries and their solutions. Graphic Classics brings back the joy of discovery in this collection of Holmes stories, as well as an excerpt from Doyle's lesser known book, The Coming of the Fairies, which he wrote from the viewpoint of his belief and interest in spiritualism, specifically his belief in the existence of fairies. Lavishly and lovingly illustrated by the best in the business, and diabolically good reading. The game is afoot, TombRats! TombKeeper's highest recommendation.

Creature Feature ©D. Dyszel 2003

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DIAMOND BOOKSHELF
October 2002

Rosebud is a literary magazine, around since 1993, which publishes stories in the comic book format. In 2002 the magazine began a publishing program called Graphic Classics, which collects several stories and poems by classic authors. The first volume featured works by Edgar Allan Poe; this second volume features stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The most famous character Doyle created is, of course, the Great Detective himself, Sherlock Holmes, and the book features several Holmes mysteries: "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches," adapted and illustrated by Rick Geary, "The Adventure of the Speckled Band," edited from Doyle's story by Tom Pomplun and illustrated by Nestor Redondo, and "The Hound of the Baskervilles," adapted by Tim Quinn and illustrated by George Sears. The book also includes "The Lost World," adapted and illustrated by Donald Marquez; this story, featuring the irascible Professor Challenger, was the basis for several movies with the same title, about finding dinosaurs and a primitive people coexisting on an isolated plateau in South America. Doyle wrote many stories and novels in addition to the Sherlock Holmes stories, and two short stories are included here. "The Los Amigos Fiasco," adapted and illustrated by J. B. Bonivert, recounts the tale of an early experimental electric chair which spectacularly fails to execute a criminal; "How It Happened," adapted and illustrated by Matt Howarth tells the tale, channeled by a medium, of Sir Brock and his disastrous first drive in his new thirty-horsepower Autocar. Doyle's Preface to "The Coming of the Fairies" is included because he was a staunch advocate of spiritualism, and lastly there's a poem, "Master," illustrated by Roger Langridge.

"The Hound of the Baskervilles" and "The Lost World" are both merely summaries of the novels from which they were abridged; the other stories feel more complete. The art is very straightforward in presentation, clear and easy to follow (good for those not used to reading comic books), very reminiscent of the old Classics Illustrated comics. Redondo's art, in particular, has that old-fashioned, classic look I remember from the old comics my brother used to pick up at garage sales when we were kids. And, like Classics Illustrated, this volume serves as a great introduction to Doyle's writing. This is suitable for middle school libraries as well as public libraries, and could be a useful purchase for those librarians who need to include some "literary" works in their graphic novel collections. It's also fun to read.

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Graphic Classics: Arthur Conan Doyle
(Second Edition, 2005)

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BOOKLIST
September 15, 2005
Review by Francica Goldsmith

This new edition offers not only a greater range of Doyle’s output but also more cartoonists to interpret the writing. Yes, Holmes is here: Rick Geary delivers an image-driven retelling of "The Copper Beeches" and Rod Lott and Simon Gane take on Holmes in "The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb." But Doyle wrote a lot besides detective stories: J. B. Bonivert offers an adaptation of the author’s sf story "The Los Amigos Fiasco"; Peter Gullerud and Pomplun rework "The Ghosts of Goresthorpe Grange"; and Pomplun takes on "Sharkey," a tale about pirates. Neale Blanden, Roger Langridge, Milton Knight, Antonella Caputo, and Nick Miller are also among the contributors to this black-and-white collection, which showcases as many drawing styles as story types. An excellent book, recommended for most high-school collections, even those with the first edition. Adults will like this, too.

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SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
November 2005
Review by Jennifer Feigelman

Doyle's prose and poetry are brought to life in this exciting volume. It has some overlap from the first volume (Eureka, 2002), but also includes some truly outstanding new tales. In The Ghosts of Goresthorpe Grange, a man believes that his house is occupied by spirits and seeks out the help of a medium. Ultimately, he is drugged and swindled, and the dreamlike style of the art reinforces this mood. In Two Great Brown-Pericord Motor, two men create an invention and become fiercely jealous and protective of it, until disaster erupts. This volume also contains two Sherlock Holmes stories and thrilling tales of sea adventures. Though each one is illustrated by a different artist, the writing ties the collection together nicely. Unlike the earlier volume, this one utilizes a consistent comic format throughout. The artists have deftly captured the themes and moods of each piece in the black-and-white illustrations done in a wide range of styles and techniques. This assortment of tales may attract new readers to Doyle's work.

© 2005 School Library Journal, Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier, Inc.

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THE DISTRICT MESSENGER
The Newsletter of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London
December, 2005
Review by Roger Johnson

Graphic Classics: Arthur Conan Doyle is a curious and fascinating collection of comic-strip adaptations, drawn from pretty much the whole range of Conan Doyle’s work. There are two Sherlock Holmes stories, one each of Brigadier Gerard and Captain Sharkey, ‘The Los Amigos Fiasco’, ‘The Great Brown-Pericord Motor’, ‘The Ghosts of Goresthorpe Grange’ (otherwise ‘Selecting a Ghost’), ‘A Parable’ and the poem ‘Master’. The last two brief pieces are complete, but the others are adapted, using a good amount of the original text. Each is illustrated by a different artist, so the styles are as varied as the stories themselves. There’s a confidence and vivacity about the book that’s quite a distance from the old ‘Classics Illustrated’ series.

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