Arrow Video will release a Blu-Ray edition of Hammer Films‘ classic Sherlock Holmes adaptation, The Hound of the Baskervilles, on 1st June 2015, so we thought we’d chart some of the story’s comics retellings by way of marking the event.
Sherlock Holmes is the most filmed character of all time – but it is arguably this 1959 re-telling of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound Of The Baskervilles, starring genre stalwarts Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, that is one of the character’s most memorable big screen adaptations.
Rising up out of the swirling mists of Dartmoor, Baskerville Hall stands tall and gloomy. Its occupant, Charles Baskerville, has been found dead in mysterious circumstances. Could Sir Charles have been the victim of the so-called “Baskerville Curse”, which tells of a deadly beast that stalks the surrounding countryside?
Unperturbed by the legend, next-in-line Sir Henry Baskerville (a rare leading man performance from Lee) sets out to Dartmoor to assume inheritance of the family estate, under the auspices of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes and right-hand man Dr. Watson (Andre Morell).
Imbued with an atmosphere as thick as fog, The Hound Of The Baskervilles is a superlative gothic yarn which benefits from game performances from Cushing, Lee and Morell, as well as the expert direction of Terence Fisher, known for helming many of Hammer’s most celebrated efforts including The Curse Of Frankenstein, Dracula and The Devil Rides Out.
If you’re a fan of of the Sherlock Holmes stories, you’ll know The Hound Of The Baskervilles has also been adapted into comics form many times. There are too many to mention them all here, but SelfMadeHero launched a series of Holmes retellings with the story in May 2009, written by Ian Edginton and drawn by I.N.J. Culbard, following it up with A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of the Four in 2010 and The Valley of Fear in 2011.
Indian publisher Campfire also released an adaptation recently, in 2011., adapted by JR Parks and illustrated by Vinod Kumar, as did Dark Horse, their 2013 version the work of Martin Powell and Jamie Chase.
Petr Kopl, the award winning Czech artist whose Sherlock Holmes graphic novel A Scandal In Bohemia won the Comic Book of the Year award in 2013, successfully secured crowdfunding to translate and release his adaptation in English and it was released by MX Publishing, the ‘largest’ Sherlock Holmes independent publisher in the world. The adaptation was released in December 2014, meeting with plenty of praise.
Further back in time, US publisher Eternity, perhaps better known for their creations Evil Ernie and Lady Death, also adapted Sherlock Holmes into comics; their version of Baskervilles featured in Issue 13 of their 23-issue series, adapted from the 1950s Sherlock Holmes newspaper strip created by Edith Meiser and drawn by Frank Giacoa.
Back in 1975, another US publisher, Marvel, had plans to publish an ongoing Sherlock Holmes black and white comic magazine (as the web site Diversions of a Groovy Kind notes, around the same time DC was working on a color version–more of that in a future post!).
“For a variety of reasons, those plans fell through,” notes blog’s author, “but they did manage to put together a beautiful adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic The Hound of the Baskervilles. Adapted by writer Doug Moench and artist Val Mayerik (with art assists by Dan Adkins, P. Craig Russell on part one; Tony DeZuniga inked and completed the art for part two), The Hound of the Baskervilles ran in two parts, issues 5 and 6, of the black and white try-out mag, Marvel Preview (Winter 1975-Spring 1976).
The story has also been parodied many times. Disney cartoonist Carl Barks created a ten page parody in 1960, The Hound of the Whiskervilles, starring Uncle Scrooge, translated into several languages – and a 1965 issue of Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories featured The Hound of Basketville, starring Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Gladstone Gander, and Pluto, as Sherlock Mouse, Doctor Goofy, Sir Gladstone Basketville, and the hound.
The Hound of the Baskervilles Special Edition Contains:
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) feature presentation
- Original Mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- New audio commentary with Hammer experts Marcus Hearn and Jonathan Rigby
- Brand new interview with hound mask creator Margaret Robinson
- Brand new interview with assistant director Hugh Harlow
- Andre Morell: Best Of British – A featurette looking at the late great actor Andre Morell and his work with Hammer
- The Many Faces Of Sherlock Holmes – a 1986 documentary looking at the many incarnations of Conan Doyle’s celebrated character, narrated and presented by Christopher Lee
- Actor’s Notebook: Christopher Lee – an archive interview in the which the actor recalls his experiences of making The Hound of the Baskervilles
- The Hound of the Baskervilles – Excerpts read by Christopher Lee
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper
- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Hammer archivist Robert J.E. Simpson, illustrated with original archive stills and posters
Cat No: FCD1110
Duration: 87 mins
Subtitles: English SDH
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1