Comic Review: Neil Gaiman’s A Study in Emerald (Dark Horse)

Dark Horse brings us Neil Gaiman’s new book, A Study in Emerald. With a nod and a wink to Sherlock Holmes, this trade does it right. It’s a murder investigation […]

Dark Horse brings us Neil Gaiman’s new book, A Study in Emerald. With a nod and a wink to Sherlock Holmes, this trade does it right.

It’s a murder investigation in old tyme London. A detective has recruited a new sidekick, and together, they must unravel the mystery of a horrible crime.

Well phrased and set in an atmosphere of fog, secrecy and tinged with Lovecraft-type terror, A Study In Emerald is a really good story. Gaiman sets the tone with the addition of period dialogue and situations, which lends a tone of authenticity to this tale. There are descriptions of events of the time. Antique advertisements fill the gap between chapters of the book. It works.

Altogether great and absorbing reading. Gaiman has the strong gait of the confident writer and makes no missteps. Artist Rafael Albuquerque, with colorist Dave Stewart, renders JUST ENOUGH in the panels to tell the story. It is a marvel to view his work as the gestures and poses are really so natural that he makes it all look easy. That IS the sign of a good creative team: they make it looks easy.

In this case, a period-soaked adventure into the damp and dangerous world of London is easy to read, while the detectives have a devil of a time of it.

Bonus sketches are included after the story…

Dark Horse Comics, A Study in Emerald, $17.99 for 92 pages of content. Not rated.

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!