Sherlock Holmes and the Vampires of London Review: Literature in Comic Book Form

Sherlock Holmes is prime real estate for writers to do any kind of story and make it “posh Victorian.” Sylvain Cordurie not only succeeds in this endeavor, he even spices it up some by adding vampires to the story in “Sherlock Holmes and the Vampires of London.”

After faking his death to thwart Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes finds himself in the middle of a vampire feud. Here, he has to help a head vampire track down and kill a wild vampire that has been killing many Londoners.

The thing about writing a Sherlock Holmes story is successfully making it read like it was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Cordurie manages to make the narrative read like it is a Holmes story written in the 19th century. The majority of the story is told through a letter Holmes is writing to Watson. The writing make the reader feel like this is actually Holmes writing.

The story proper is a Victorian vampire story done right. It avoids many of the tropes that are in modern vampire stories and make the vampires act more like how Victorian Londoners would. Even the wild vampire comes across as having more class than your typical vampire. He’s more Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” than the “40 Days of Night” vampires.

Top that off with it reading like a classic “Sherlock Holmes” mystery with Holmes doing detective work and using his wit more than his brawn- and it’s easy to see that this formula works, splendidly.

The art, by Laci, gives the comic a true Victorian vibe. Despite Jean-Sebastien Rossbach’s steampunk inspired cover art, the inside art stays true to the setting. The environment gives off that Victorian medieval clashing with the modern feel. Also, when the story’s in a bad part of town-The East End for example-the reader does get that feeling of “here be ruffians.” You can even smell the liquor, horse manure and soot.

“Sherlock Holmes and the Vampires of London” is true modern Holmes literature. It has the charm of Doyle’s writing style, vampires that aren’t savage killers and art that brings London to life. It’s high literature meets comic.

About Rocco Sansone 848 Articles
Rocco Sansone is a “man of many interests.” These include anime/manga, video games, tabletop RPGs, YA literature, 19th century literature, the New York Rangers, and history. Among the things and places he would like to see before he dies are Japan, half of Europe, and the New York Rangers win another Stanley Cup.

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