This is a horror/ detective story set in 19th Century London, particularly the literary London made famous by Conan Doyle, Dickens, Stoker, et al. This was originally published in French by Soleil Productions (Éditions Soleil) as part of their extensive 1800 range before being picked up by Dark Horse.
The story concerns a detective from Scotland Yard who must hunt down two escaped Psychopaths. The book does a great job of evoking the atmosphere and flavour of the period. But just in case you don’t get the subtlety it crams in as many characters from the worlds of Sherlock Holmes and Dracula as possible. Even Bram Stoker himself makes personal appearances.
This was originally two volumes (for the two escaped prisoners) but both stories flow nicely into one another. It can be a little disconcerting having so many familiar names from literature popping up everywhere and it can seem like a lost volume of Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
The art is nothing less than spectacular. It feels hand painted in watercolour much like the Blacksad books and this allows it to really capture the grime and mire of Victorian London. The panel structure dances between avant-garde and chaotic but always seems to hit the dynamic tone and compliment the pacing at each moment. The palate is mostly grey and subdued but effortlessly switches to black for flashback, red for terror and a sickly yellow for some mad science.
It is one of the few small volumes that actually deserves a hardcover to match its sumptuous interior.
Double Thumbs Up!!