Honor Among Punks: The Complete Baker Street Graphic Novel presents for the first time in one volume all the classic Baker Street stories that originally appeared in the late 1980s to early 1990s. Baker Street began as an idea of doing a pastiche of sorts on the classic stories from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famed character, Sherlock Holmes. Originally, it was intended to take the stories and modify them to a new world created in an alternate London. The Victorian Age, which in our reality ended at the turn of the 20th century, continued. World War I happened but on a lesser scale, one hardly inciting the moniker of "The Great War." And World War II? Never happened. Adolf Hitler ended up dying as an old man and never engaged in his genocidal crusade across Europe.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Punks are cool. Mysteries are cool. Sherlock Holmes is cool. These three things alone suggest that Honor Among Punks should be awesome, and as it turns out, it is.Set in London sometime in the early 90's of a world that never experienced WWII, The Baker Street stories revolve around Sue, an American medical student, and her punk roommates. One of these roommates, Shanon, also happens to be a former police detective and one of the finest deductive minds in the Western world. Luckily, the punk scene of alternate London provides no shortage of crimes and cases to be cracked by this rag-tag team of amateur detectives. This thick, heavy volume contains two long stories and a few brief vignettes that originally ran monthly around the turn of the 1990's by Caliber Comics. As behooves a good independent title, the writing is full and rich. Davis and Reed have a real understanding of character and conflict, with a dramatis personæ who learn and evolve even through the scant ten issues that were published. The cases Shanon and company undertake are layered and complex, existing in a fascinating sub-culture that may or may not have ever really existed, but which comes at us fully formed with cliques, politics, and territory the story only just penetrates. By the end, I was terribly frustrated that I was not going to learn anything more about this fascinating new world. At first the black and white art may seem very... hmmmm perhaps 'independent' is the best word for it. The lines are rough, but give it a moment and one quickly sees that Guy Davis' art is full of detail and energy: we're dealing with real people here in a real world, even if they are only about two inches high and glossy. On a side note, it is also quite fun to see Davis' art change every so slightly through the course of the work as he learns more about his characters and refines their style. He is also sure to keep everything within the Neo-Victorian aesthetic of his alternate world, from clothes and architecture right down to the font of the sound effects, a touch that really brings it all together. My only real complaint is that the book is put together a bit too cheaply. Sure, it's on glossy paper, but the layout is a bit off with some margins going off the page, and sub-standard printing means that occasionally, there simply isn't any ink where there should be. That, and the lettering is often a little too erratic to read easily, though I suppose that fits in with the punk setting.Technical flaws notwithstanding, Honor Among Punks is a fantastic tribute to Doyle's Sherlock Holmes created by two men with a deep love of both the source material and the modern subculture in which they transplant it. It is a real shame that we may never see more work out of Baker Street from these artists, as there is a vast world there waiting to be revealed.