Cloudwrangler Comics 2019
Written by Jeff Rider
Illustrated by Carlos Cabaleiro
Coloured by Anthony Lee
Lettered by Rachel Deering
When Major Sheffield Holmes, nephew to the great detective, and his mysterious American partner Capt. Imogen Watson solve a grisly murder in London’s East End in 1914, they uncover a dark cabal that threatens to destroy the Holmes family and plunge the world into global war!
So this folks right here took me by surprise and made me want to see more! I got this at C2E2 at a table the guys had and I knew some, because of past reviews and emails, and I thought this looks interesting. They wanted to tell me about it and I said don’t I wanna be surprised and boy was I! It isn’t easy to put a stamp on a character or franchise and make it your own. So by expanding the Holmes family and introducing us to a nephew as the main the character here well that is a stellar way to do a mystery with a Holmes, and Watson, without mucking about with the original who is very much set in a certain mould.
Jeff does more than a sensational job here and with this being my introduction to his work I have to say that I am mightily impressed. This is LGBT friendly as you will see reading this and it has adult situations, nudity—which needed a full frontal. There are a number of things about this that I found fascinating chief among them is that this is set in 1914. This is the proper era for it and so there isn’t a need to “update” it for the present and to me shows a kind of courage because it is really easy to place it in the “now” because your aren’t familiar with speech patterns or wordage. So yeah this is what I live for in terms of authenticity of the Holmes family.
The way the book is structured is fantastic! There is a really nice flow to the sequences that we see here. This helps the reader be able to follow along get pulled into the story and fall for the conveniences of the era. The opening is bloody marvellous and it’s something that will definitely capture your attention that’s for damn sure. It will pique your curiosity to keep if nothing else. I like the way the characters are introduced to us, it doesn’t feel overwhelming by too many too quickly but rather ties into the flow I mentioned earlier and again shows off Jeff’s skill for writing and storytelling.
The interiors here are really rather amazingly well done. There are moments when I am not sure how the panel got to look like it does, seeming stretched is the best way for me to describe it, and it does add a little something, something to the way it’s told. The linework here is so nice, strong and sure feeling and I like it as it can be delicate when called for but overall it gives off the strong masculine hand that isn’t afraid to utilise the space. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show off this spectacular eye for storytelling. The way that backgrounds are utilised expand the moments and show a nice feeling of size and scope to the book. The colour work here is really nice as well. There is some absolutely beautiful use of shading and gradation here also in defining some characters personalities with their attire. Together these two really put a nice mark on this visually.
The pacing and the characterisation couldn’t have been done any better than how we see it here. The idea is surprisingly, as in why hasn’t anyone done this before, good and the way we get to see it all is seriously fun. Along with these incredibly strong interiors make this one that you are going to need to find a way to get your hands on one! The dynamic between the two leads will interesting to see play out and if how they already bounce off one another then I am really looking forward to seeing what Jeff has in store.
This is why I walk the convention floor and look at everything so I can GEMS like I have here! So head on over to https://cloudwranglercomics.com/ and see what they've got!