Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Back to Baker Street

Forget the purists, Calgary publisher keeps Sherlock Holmes evolving

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


London, 16th December 2009 – Robert Downey Jr came face to face with himself when his new Madame Tussauds wax figure paid him a “visit” at Claridges yesterday.  The Hollywood star is portrayed as legendary detective Sherlock Holmes from the new Warner Bros film, Sherlock Holmes, which premiered on Monday.   

The figure depicts Downey Jr in the strikingly modern spirit of the film, dressed in a replica of one of the movie costumes, with penetrating stare and tousled hair.  The figure will star at the world famous attraction in a set inspired by the film – complete with some very contemporary interactive twists for guests to enjoy.

For more on Madame Tussaud's London click here.


AudioFile magazine has put together some interesting material on various audio programmes, largely of the audiobook variety i.e. one person readings,  featuring Sherlock Holmes. The site currently offers some behind the scenes audio interviews  with readers David Timson, Simon Prebble, Ralph Cosham and dramatist Yuri Rasovsky. AudioFile magazine also currently offers a free download of three stories  - Silver Blaze, The Adventure of the Stock-Broker's Clerk, and The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans - courtesy of Naxos AudioBooks. 

To check out the AudioFile Magazine Listeners' Guide visit AudioFile Magazine's site here.

Illustration by Hemesh Alles copyright Naxos AudioBooks 

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Premiering in July 2009, this new on-going series has been chilling readers to the bone for four issues now. Beginning with the free preview The Ghost of Mary Shelley, the series most recently featured Sherlock Holmes and his stalwart companion John Watson tackling the depravities of the Lodge of Bellorophon through the Chimera story arc.

Issue 4 is due in January 2010 and will bring a slight detour for the avid reader, focusing for a while on the mysterious office occupied by Mycroft Holmes. Mycroft, the keeper of so many secrets, has some terrible things to tell you – so listen closely.

While Dark Detective has largely been available only through Australian newsagents, that is about to change in January 2010 when interested readers will be able to order the printed comics directly from Australian publisher Black House Comics. In the meantime, you can download the preview issue The Ghost of Mary Shelley as a PDF file by clicking here.

The creative team behind Dark Detective: Sherlock Holmes features:

Christopher Sequeira has written for Marvel, DC, BOOM! Studios as well as being responsible for numerous independent titles. His Holmes work has been featured in Gaslight Grimoire: Fantastic Tales of Sherlock Holmes ("His Last Arrow") and he is a member of the Sydney Passengers. Check out his blog at www.comicbookwriter.blogspot.com.

Phil Cornell is a commercial artist who, while never having drawn for comics before, has become well known for his faithful renditions of Arthur Conan Doyle’s world. His fine story illustrations and frontispiece graced the pages Gaslight Grimoire: Fantastic Tales of Sherlock Holmes and he also provided cover art and interior art for Curious Incidents Volumes 1&2.

Dave Elsey is an Oscar nominated special effects artist who has worked on everything from Hellraiser to The Wolfman. His amazing covers bring forth a different side of Holmes and show both the man and monster within. Dave is also co-creator of the title and works the digital magic evident on each and every page. Dave has also provided the cover art for the forthcoming book Gaslight Arcanum: Uncanny Tales of Sherlock Holmes.

A talented team loaded with skill and imagination! These folks know their Sherlock Holmes and bring a wonderfully dark 'classic horror movie' sensibility to this project. If you love Sherlock Holmes, classic Universal monster movies and the output of Hammer Films Studios...this is definitely for you! Visit Black House Comics for more details!

Highly Recommended!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Madame Tussauds Press Release:
 Unsuspecting travellers at one of the UK’s busiest stations were joined by one of the world’s most famous names this morning when Sherlock Holmes came home to Baker Street.   

The Holmes in question was a startlingly lifelike wax figure of Robert Downey Jr in his latest role - on a brief sojourn before taking up residence at Baker Street’s other famous name, Madame Tussauds.    The figure portrays Downey Jr in the strikingly modern spirit of the much anticipated new Warner Bros film, Sherlock Holmes, premiering in London on Monday (14th December).  Dressed in a replica of one of the movie costumes the figure will be featured at the world famous attraction in a set inspired by the film – complete with some very contemporary interactive twists for guests to enjoy.        Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock Holmes will star at Madame Tussauds from 14th December.   Sherlock Holmes opens in UK cinemas on Boxing Day.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Technology is a wonderful thing, especially when it may have useful applications in a classroom setting, which is what the creators of Vook: The Sherlock Holmes Experience appear to have in mind.

So what is a Vook? Well according to the website:

"A vook is a new innovation in reading that blends a well-written book, high-quality video and the power of the Internet into a single, complete story.
You can read your book, watch videos that enhance the story and connect with authors and your friends through social media all on one screen, without switching between platforms.

Vooks are available in two formats: As a web-based application you can read on your computer and a mobile application for reading on the go. With the web-based application you don't have to download programs or install software. Just open your favorite browser and start reading and watching in an exciting new way. You can also download and install the mobile applications through the Apple iTunes store and sync them with your Apple mobile device."

And specifically about The Sherlock Holmes Experience:

"The Sherlock Holmes Experience vook is a revolutionary new way to read about the exploits of Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary creation: Sherlock Holmes. The vook features two classic stories by Doyle -- The Man with the Twisted Lip and The Adventure of the Speckled Band -- and enhances them with videos that delve into the history and legend surrounding the character of Holmes.

15 compelling videos take you back to the gas-lit London streets where Holmes would pull on his deer stalker, summon Doctor Watson, and set out from 211B Baker Street on another crime solving adventure. The videos help you envision the world of Holmes and highlight details and historical facts that further immerse you in the mystery. Go to London's Baker Street, made famous by Doyle's stories. Visit Holmes' sitting room where so many mysteries were solved. Learn more about Holmes' crime solving techniques from the experts who have studied them. The videos in this vook provide a glimpse into the world of the famous detective and what inspired the innovative crime fighting series written by Conan Doyle.

Readers can also easily access more information on the Web by using the many hyperlinks embedded in this vook."

Sounds good? Well, having gone through the two stories this afternoon, I'm impressed with the results. While some of the video has a goofy 'man on the street' Q&A element, the video footage featuring Sherlock Holmes Society of London members Catherine Cooke and Nick Utechin are really quite well done. Largely, the video material provides context for the modern reader and works rather well.  The classroom applications are strong, but this is also useful material for the casual reader too.

Will this catch on as the best way to bring classic fiction to the internet generation? Hard to say, but it's certainly worth a look, particularly as the folks behind The Sherlock Holmes Experience have said "...we’re giving one copy of the Sherlock Holmes Experience free to every accredited educator in the UK and the US. The vook is going to bring the world of Holmes to a new generation of readers in an intelligent and useful manner." Check it out.

For more info or for educators to request a copy, visit the Vook website.