I have probably written elsewhere on this blog about how much I love Christopher Fowler's Bryant and May series.
I was boasting to my partner a few weeks ago that after having finished The Invisible Code, Mr Fowler's latest in the series, I had read them all, only to realise (sob!) that for some reason that completely escapes me, I had skipped Bryant and May on the Loose - and bought Bryant and May Off the Rail TWICE! Don't ask...
I am now the happy owner of the first Bryant and May graphic novel, The Casebook of Bryant and May - The Soho Devil, a collaboration between Chris Fowler and the artist Keith Page.
I've grown up reading books on the one hand and comic books and graphic novels on the other hand, and therefore the medium feels very familiar. My favourite comic series of all times is Yoko Tsuno.
I have found it hard to keep up with it though since I've been in England, and am 6 adventures behind! But I should be getting the missing ones this Easter... :-)
I wonder if it has ever been translated into English. It is absolutely awesome... Science fiction, history, sumptuous landscapes, time travel, kick-ass heroine whose adventures take her all around the world, from contemporary Scotland to 15th century Java via a far away galaxy situated several light-years away from the Earth... I read them from childhood into adulthood, and they can all be read and re-read a hundred times...
So, back to the Casebook... It really is a treat, lovingly put together by real crafters... Keith Page has managed to bring all the characters from the books - and London! - to life: the two larger than life octogenarian detectives and their boisterous, hard-working team, down to the office cat Crippen.
We get two stories, The Soho Devil and The Severed Claw. I love the traditional feel of the illustrations; you can hear the pencil and smell the ink and paint while looking at the page; these are not computer-generated illustrations for sure - and this way, it fits much better with the series which delves into London's history and hidden past (and present)!
And of course, I laughed a lot, as I always do whilst reading a Bryant and May book.
The Casebook is for everyone: for the faithful readers of the book series of course, but also for B&M newcomers who will find the best introduction to the series within the pages of this volume.
There are also a lot of extras!
An extra, extra special treat: Arthur Bryant's Secret Library. The B&M stories are peppered with references to the incredibly eclectic, arcane and obscure books owned by Bryant. They are his reference books - and have helped him solve more than one mystery! - and have the most wonderful titles ever. I am sure some of them are real books... So, what about Victorian Water closets: A Social History? or Colonic Exercises for Asthmatics? Embalming Under Lenin? or Gardening Secrets of Curate's Wives (privately circulated volume?)? and what about Mystical diagrams of Solomon's Temple (colouring in edition)?
It's just GREAT!
You can also find a guide to the whole series with synopsis as well as a wonderful one-off illustration for each book!
We'll drink to the publication of The Casebook, then, shall we?
The Casebook of Bryant and May is available to purchase HERE!
6/3/2013 06:37:43 am
Many thanks for your kind review of the graphic novel - I think we're going to be doing a follow-up, as both Keith and I are keen, which will make your edition a collectors' item - so hang onto it!
6/3/2013 12:16:52 pm
Thank YOU for taking the time to leave a little comment on here, it's an honour! :-) Looking forward to the next one!
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