The Trial of Sherlock Holmes

After the long and drawn out affair that was Android Karenina, I needed something a bit more fast paced to enjoy. My attentions quickly turned to The Trial of Sherlock Holmes, a new graphic novel written by Leah Moore, the daughter of Alan Moore, and and John Reppion and illustrated by Aaron Campbell.

The Trial of Sherlock Holmes is a new Holmesian mystery, not a retelling of a Doyle original. It’s a classic locked room case where the only suspect seems to be Sherlock Holmes himself! Dun dun, DUN!

This was a fast paced and entertaining read as Holmes seeks to clear his name despite looming suspicion under the backdrop of visiting foreign royalty and a bomb threat sending terror through the streets of London.

I especially appreciated that this graphic novel presented an original Holmes story. It’s quite the challenge to create a mystery worthy of the great Sherlock Holmes, and I think Leah Moore and John Reppion have proven that they are up to the task. The illustrations are beautifully executed and realistically colored.  Though The Trial of Sherlock Holmes has no elements to make this graphic novel an expressly Steampunk work, the setting is correct, and really it’s Sherlock Holmes, which makes it instantaneously interesting to Steampunks.

The book is packed full of goodies after the graphic novel’s story is complete. The bonus materials  include a panel-by-panel discussion of Chapter 1, “A Smoking Gun,” essays on Sherlock Holmes, and one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, “The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot.”

If you or someone you love is a Sherlock Holmes affectionado, I enthusiastically recommend this graphic novel. I’m sure you will be pleased with your investment.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 2

It’s been a while since I covered a good graphic novel here, so I figured I’d bring you some reading material with the weekend just on the horizon.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume II by Alan Moore  is an excellent sequel to the first volume. Centered around the arrival of H.G. Well’s alien invaders from The War of the Worlds to Victorian London, it is up to the League to save the Empire from disaster.

As is to be expected in the League series, there is incredible attention to detail and the artwork is heavy with references to well known Victorian works. At the beginning of Part 6 “You Should See Me Dance the Polka,” there is a family of foxes gnawing on an unmistakable Peter Rabbit that literally made me laugh out loud. Indeed, the better well versed in Victorian prose and poetry, the more likely you are to enjoy The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series.

As with all of Alan Moore’s work (at least, everything that I have read so far), The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume II is intended for a mature audience. This is not a comic book to hand to the miniatures and expect clean and wholesome fun. But for those who can handle a graphic novel that is at times, well, graphic… this is a marvelous read that will make you squee with delight as homage is paid to Victorian writers that may escape the notice of those less steeped in their influence.

Does anyone have any recommendations for Steampunk graphic novels? I recently picked up the new Sherlock Holmes publication by Leah Moore (Alan Moore’s daughter) and am intending to read and review it after I finish my present read, The Collector of Worlds. I won an gift card at a charity raffle to a local comics book store and would love to hear your recommendations if you have recently enjoyed a Steampunk title.