The Salmon of Doubt #2
IDW Publishing 2016
Written by Arvind Ethan David
Illustrated by Ilias Kyriazis
Coloured by Charlie Kirchoff
Lettered by Chris Mowry
Plagued by nightmares about a childhood he never had, Dirk Gently has returned to Cambridge University to seek the advice of his former tutor, the time-traveling Professor Reg Chronotis. There he discovers that a holistic detective can have more than one past, and his adventures have only just begun…
Arvind is really going out of his way to incorporate all these versions of Dirk into one story and he’s doing it extremely well. I like that this whole thing feels like a huge jumbled mess because it feels like this what Dirk’s mind is like on a daily basis. Things are random and seem to have no connection but in all reality thanks to his belief in the interconnectedness of it all there’s something here that ties it all together. Only we as readers and unattuned to his way of thinking just can’t see it yet.
Sally’s own adventure here is wonderful to see as it finally gives her a chance to kind of see and understand that Dirk while treating her like he does isn’t a bad thing it’s just he’s socially kind of inept. That he trusts her the way he does I think is something she begins to see with everything she goes through this issue as well as understanding that his dreams aren’t just figments of something to be so easily dismissed. In a way this should bring her closer to him and help her understand him but we’ll see in exactly what manner all that plays out later.
I also feel like this is the big setup for the new series. Introducing readers to what’s going to be coming their way, or already as the case may be. I’m not terribly sure about this whole idea that he’s being trained as a spy and that these test subjects are being held captive against their will being something that will play a huge role in his life. Then again it’s part of Dirk’s dreamscape of other realities where he exists so without further exploration it’s one of those things that well make it interesting.
I say it all the time but Ilias’ interiors are superbly done. His attention to detail here is incredible and the way he uses the page layouts and backgrounds really have this way of just increasing the enjoyment of the story. The angles and perspective we see have a great unique quality to them at times and Ilias really does well to keep that whole vision of how different Dirk is alive in his work. Each issue brings me a new appreciation for his talent and skill level.
I have to say I’m thoroughly enjoying this and while I have no idea how Arvind will be able to connect it all together, including Bernice’s story, into a larger one where they all converge I will say that I have absolute faith it will be extraordinarily well done. There’s both a whimsy and a seriousness to this that balance like a high wire act, precariously, and it’s orchestrated in a way that draws you into the story beautifully.
Welcome my friends to the show that never ends for there will always be a manner to connect all things.