Somerset Holmes: The Graphic Album by Bruce Jones, April Campbell and Brent Anderson (graphic novel review).

As I said last month, looking through the small list of Eclipse Books graphic novels, I spotted ‘Somerset Holmes’ by Bruce Jones, April Campbell and Brent Anderson from 1987. I think I only got the first issue back in the day and this edition is certainly bigger than the standard comicbook size.

In the introduction, writer Bruce Jones explains that Eclipse said he could write whatever he wanted for them. His future and then wife, April Campbell, became the model for the title character and they both decided artist Brent Anderson should be brought on board after his work with Jones on ‘Ka-Zar’ for Marvel. It’s undoubtedly a good fit here. Jones also comments that the intent of the story was for the possibility of turning the story into a film and you do have to wonder why none of the studios never optioned it. Maybe they should give this book another look.

An amnesic woman is hit by a car but only glancingly. She staggers to a doctor’s residence who treats her bruises and while she waits in his surgery for her clothes to have a wash finally discovers he’s been stabbed and she’s on the run again. Along the way, she takes the name ‘Somerset Holmes’, based off a billboard she sees. From thereon, you’re on a roller-coaster of a ride as she associates with various people, not all surviving, as she seeks the truth. The only clue she has is key.

There’s a certain amount of Hitchcock feel to the story. Think ‘North By Northwest’ style but pure Bruce Jones. Give yourself an empty 80 minutes to read in one sitting because it’s a turn the page story as to what happens next. The only shame is not seeing the covers of the original four comicbooks but they didn’t really do that in those days. It’s not Science Fiction but is an excellent thriller.

GF Willmetts

July 2020

(pub: Eclipse Books, 1987. Undisclosed page count graphic novel large softcover. Price: I pulled a second-hand copy for about £20.00 (UK) so there are still some copies out there. ISBN: 0-913035-16-5)


Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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