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Comic Book Review

Book Cover

A Study in Pink #4


Writers: Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss
Artist: Jay.
Publisher: Titan Comics
RRP: UK £2.65, US $3.99, Cdn $4.99
Age: 12+
32 pages
Publication Date: 14 September 2016

Sherlock Holmes and his new partner John Watson are investigating some mysterious suicides. Sherlock has deduced that the murderer has the latest victim’s phone, so he and Watson have texted the number with instructions to meet at 22 Northumberland Street, hoping to trap the killer… Sherlock and John take to the streets of London in a breathless chase on foot – but is their quarry any closer to being caught? What kind of mind does it take to challenge – and baffle – the peerless Sherlock Holmes…?

I don’t know whether this is inherited from the original Japanese version of this manga or is new to the English translation, but someone seems to be making up the presentation of the episodes as they go along. In this issue, for the first time, there is a three-line “Previously” recap at the top of the first page. It looks rather awkward there, and it appears to push the artwork down towards the bottom of the page.

This is particularly unfortunate since there would have been plenty of room to fit an entire page of recap (perhaps showing a montage of images from last time to accompany the text), as this instalment is just 20 pages long. Because the content runs short, a page of early sketches of Sherlock by Jay. is presented towards the back of the comic book.

Two things that don’t run short, however, are Sherlock and John themselves, as this is the part of the story in which they sprint across London in pursuit of a suspicious taxi!

To be honest, this is a rather nothingy episode, in which yet another character (a restaurateur whom the detective once cleared of a murder charge) mistakes John for Sherlock’s boyfriend, and the hilarity over Holmes’s improvised salutation “Welcome to London” doesn’t really work on the page. About the most substantial incident is Sherlock proving that John doesn’t need his walking stick, but then we knew that already.

I could murder some pasta with Parmesan after that trip to the restaurant, though…


Richard McGinlay

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