« In medical practice it is inevitable to observe the details. »
– Dr. Joseph Bell
From France, then, we have the now-whimsical, now-terrifying exploits of Professeur Bell, somewhat loosely based on Joseph Bell, a lecturer at the medical school of the University of Edinburgh, who was Arthur Conan Doyle‘s teacher and the alleged real-life inspiration for Sherlock Holmes.
Joan Sfar wrote and drew the first two entries in the series, but struggled to achieve the more realistic and detailed style he’d set for himself. With the third volume, he was joined by the skillful and versatile Hervé Tanquerelle, who handled the art chores from then on. A smooth transition.
Sfar has been invoking a marvellously complex and nefarious universe surrounding a « hero » with an increasingly slippery grasp on morality and reality. Heck, even Frank Belknap Long‘s Hounds of Tindalos got a surprise look-in. Recommended.
Published so far in French, Italian, German and Polish…
« L’Irlande à bicyclette » is the fifth and latest in the series, published in 2006. Ahem, fellas… it’s been *quite* a while. La suite, s’il vous plaît?
Intrigued, as you should be (you do have a pulse, right?)… care for a few furtive glances between the covers?
I’m not going to waste my breath trying to explain. Just dig that mood.