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The Irregulars: In the Service of Mr Holmes [Paperback]

Bong Dazo , Ben Templesmith , Steven-Elliot Altman , Michael Reaves
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 8.73 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

22 Mar 2005
A madman stalks the streets of London's Whitechapel slum, leaving a trail of grisly murders in his wake. The police have only one suspect: a prominent and respected physician named John Watson! The master detective Sherlock Holmes, in order to solve the most fantastic mystery of his career and save his greatest friend from the gallows, employs a band of young street urchins to infiltrate the alleys of Whitechapel. They can go everywhere, see everything, overhear everyone. They are the Baker Street Irregulars! Join the Irregulars in the most fantastic and terrifying adventure of their lives, as they uncover an evil unlike anything Sherlock Holmes has ever faced!

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse; Graphic novel edition (22 Mar 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593073038
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593073039
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 15.4 x 22.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,355,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Unacknowleged Lovecraft for My Taste 21 Aug 2007
By A. Ross TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I'm a fan of graphic storytelling, and more of a fan of the Sherlock Holmes canon than the average citizen, so this particular bit of pastiche caught my attention. Here the focus is not on Holmes, but on the titular "Irregulars," that band of street ragamuffins he used as minor henchmen. The plot kicks off when Dr. Watson is identified as the perpetrator of a grisly slaying in Hyde Park. Leaving aside the implausibility that in Victorian London a respected gentleman who has worked with law enforcement would go to jail on the word of a prostitute (or that the prostitute would come forward as a witness to start with), as well as the implausibility that Holmes would heed a directive to head overseas while Dr. Watson was in the lurch, Holmes places the good doctor's liberation in the hands of his urchin Irregulars.

From here, the story takes an altogether unexpected turn, as the Irregulars turn up evidence of the dark arts, and the malign hand of Professor Moriarty. Indeed, as the tale grew ever more fantastical and veered into the realm of opening interdimensional gates, summoning ancient Egyptian demons, and so forth, I felt as if the writers had stopped channeling Doyle in favor of Lovecraft. And indeed, a little poking around on the internet reveals the plotline to be a Lovecraftian one and at least one of the characters (a violin-player of some considerable power) to be borrowed from a Lovecraft short story (see "The Music of Erich Zann"). This raises a complaint I have: in the front of the book "grateful acknowledgement" is given for the use of Doyle's characters, however no mention is made anywhere that both character and plot elements have also been borrowed from Lovecraft.
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Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Miskatonic Irregulars 10 May 2005
By Jeffory Hart - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This handsome volume is illustrated by Angelo Ty Dazo in a black and white style that is both contemporary and yet evocative of a Victorian penny dreadful. The tone of the adventure is established by a series of Joe Friday-style captions set over a moody cityscape: "It's the year of our Lord 1885. The city's our London. The hour's on midnight. My name's Wiggins."

I am a sucker for a tale about a gang of spunky lads, and they don't come spunkier than Wiggins and the Irregulars (Patch, Molly, James, Burke, Puck and, since they gotta have a dog, Toby).

When Watson is charged with murder and Sherlock Holmes is otherwise engaged (Yeah, right, just like he was too busy to help Henry Baskerville), the responsibility of exonerating the good doctor is entrusted to Wiggins and Company. Taking to the street to see everything and overhear everyone, the intrepid youngsters encounter a terrifying cosmic evil in Whitechapel unlike anything ever faced by Holmes himself. Only with the help of Professor Challenger, Miss Adler and H. P. Lovecraft's ill-fated musician Erich Zann can the plucky Irregulars hope to foil Moriarty (!) and survive to collect their shillings.

As is perhaps natural in a story of energetic youth, there is more emphasis on wide-screen action than calm ratiocination, but that is what the illustrated medium is designed for. Best of all, however, are the nicely drawn (in every sense of the word) characters of the Irregulars. Instead of indistinguishable dirty-faced ragamuffins clattering up and down the 221b stairs, Altman and Reaves present a group of vivid individuals with clearly defined personalities and, like any elite task force, specialized abilities.... Sort of a dirty half dozen.

This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I would love to follow the adventures of these Irregulars as they grow and mature --- Molly the matchstick girl is going to be a real heartbreaker.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Holmes-Lovecraft Misfire! 5 Aug 2009
By Michael OConnor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Silly me. Here I thought this graphic novel was going to be an interesting journey back to Sherlock Holmes' London as seen by those street-smart urchins known as the "Baker Street Irregulars." But, no, this tale quickly jettisons Watson and Holmes and plunges Wiggins & Co. into yet another "tampering with nature/unleasing forces beyond the grave" mishmash that has almost nothing to do with Holmes, London, Victorian life, times and crimes, etc.

THE IRREGULARS feature Moriarity - naturally - who has gone beyond robbery, murder, extortion, etc. and now wants to bring the god-awful "Dark Ones" out of their interdimensional prison to wreck and ruin dear old London and the immediate vicinity. The irregulars - who I have to admit are nicely delineated and have the lingo down pat - travel into the rift with some help from Professor Challenger and a violin-laying deaf mute to do battle.

I thought the tale was a poorly grafted together combination of Doyle and Lovecraft with a little Stargate thrown in the mix. Lots of huge, tentacled creeply-crawlies, shape-shifting ghouls, foreign-language gobblydegook, etc. Holmes, it ain't! I also had mixed feelings about the artwork. Sometimes I felt it was too much; so much detail being crammed into a panel you didn't know where to focus.

I certainly wouldn't mind a return visit from the Irregulars if the authors anchored their adventures in the correct time and place. (News flash: Real-life Victorian crime was fascinating!) But if it's going to be more world-ending beasties, I'll take a pass. Not recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Unacknowledged Lovecraft for My Taste 21 Aug 2007
By A. Ross - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I'm a fan of graphic storytelling, and more of a fan of the Sherlock Holmes canon than the average citizen, so this particular bit of pastiche caught my attention. Here the focus is not on Holmes, but on the titular "Irregulars," that band of street ragamuffins he used as minor henchmen. The plot kicks off when Dr. Watson is identified as the perpetrator of a grisly slaying in Hyde Park. Leaving aside the implausibility that in Victorian London a respected gentleman who has worked with law enforcement would go to jail on the word of a prostitute (or that the prostitute would come forward as a witness to start with), as well as the implausibility that Holmes would heed a directive to head overseas while Dr. Watson was in the lurch, Holmes places the good doctor's liberation in the hands of his urchin Irregulars.

From here, the story takes an altogether unexpected turn, as the Irregulars turn up evidence of the dark arts, and the malign hand of Professor Moriarty. Indeed, as the tale grew ever more fantastical and veered into the realm of opening interdimensional gates, summoning ancient Egyptian demons, and so forth, I felt as if the writers had stopped channeling Doyle in favor of Lovecraft. And indeed, a little poking around on the internet reveals the plotline to be a Lovecraftian one and at least one of the characters (a violin-player of some considerable power) to be borrowed from a Lovecraft short story (see "The Music of Erich Zann"). This raises a complaint I have: in the front of the book "grateful acknowledgement" is given for the use of Doyle's characters, however no mention is made anywhere that both character and plot elements have also been borrowed from Lovecraft. Yes, most of Lovecraft's work is now generally believed to be in the public domain, but that doesn't mean you don't cite it! (And for the record, this is hardly the first Doyle/Lovecraft mashup, Neil Gaiman's Hugo-winning short story "A Study in Emerald" is freely available online.

Anyway, I've never been a huge fan of Lovecraft's baroque tales, so when the Irregulars find themselves trapped in another horrifying dimension, I rapidly lost interest. A nice job is done giving the sextet (plus a dog) some personality and individual quirks and characteristics, but once the spells start flying and netherworldly creatures start appearing (not to mention a shapeshifting character based on the Springheel Jack legend), I was hard pressed to care. Others may get more mileage from it. The black and white artwork is impressively detailed and does a very nice job capturing faces, however there is sometimes a certain flatness to it that make some of the crammed panels hard to decipher. I'd definitely be interested in seeing further adventures from the Irregulars as long a they steer clear of the fantastical.
5.0 out of 5 stars great shape 27 Jan 2013
By Jason A. Wade - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book came in great time. It was in great shape. I would go through these guys every time. Great job!
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly silly Cthulhu/Holmes pastiche 19 Dec 2008
By J. Shurin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Irregulars features Sherlock Holmes' rag-tag group of street urchin informants, the Baker Street Irregulars. The group (all of whom are surprisingly clean with good dental hygiene) set off the clear the name of their good friend and mentor, Doctor Watson. The kids soon find themselves in too deep, as the villain (predictably Moriarty) seems to be tinkering with something eldritch. In fact, he's doing something a bit squamous as well, and it all goes quickly tumbling down into the Lovecraftian well.

The realm of Lovecraftian/Sherlockian fiction has tempted a lot of writers, and none of them (with the notable exception of Neil Gaiman) have ever handled it very well. The Irregulars tries very, very hard to be up to the challenge of being a pastiche of both genres, and winds up failing at both. The Sherlock bits are decidedly un-Sherlock and the Lovecraftian bits reek of Lin Carter. The ambition is there, but the execution is not.
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