That was a great great read. I just finished this morning reading Moonstone's second volume of reprints of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Martin Powell and Seppo Makinen. I've raved about these before, having already in my collection a trade reprint of "Scarlet In Gaslight" guest-starring Dracula, and "Return of the Devil" in original comics fromat, but I've never before been able to read all four stories in this epic run. They are all excellent but the ones new to me are as good as the others if not better. The stories do all operate in a single universe, and you do sense that they are part of a larger tapestry.
"A Case of Blind Fear" is simply compelling, grabbing you and never letting go. The Invisible Man always seemed a somewhat lame threat to me, conjured and massaged to seem more dangerous than he actually was, but in this story I feel his malevolence and the danger is palpable. "The Loch Ness Horrror" is a sequel to "Return of the Devil" in which Holmes confronted the Satanist Alister Crowley, and it delivers big time. This might be Makinen's best artwork of any I've seen and the story is complex and relentless, weaving elements of the Hound of the Baskervilles into a new tale of danger and the occult. The ending is a true shocker and I had to immediately read it again to make sure I'd not missed something. The tag is elegant and resonates perfectly within the Holmes mythos. I think this story is finished for the first time in this trade, running as a serial in the Sherlock Holmes Reader it seems never to have reached its conclusion there.
I can't recommend these stories enough. If you find the Moonstone reprints, they are cheap at $20 and $15 bucks each for the entertainment contained within. These are B&W books, but they show the true glory that B&W can achieve, these books would be lesser events in color I suspect. There is a lot of comparison of these early stories to Alan Moore's later League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and I'll say categorically that Powell's stories are better.
I've always enjoyed reading Sherlock Holmes, but I have to admit I've never had the good fortune of reading any of these. Can I borrow yours? ;-p
Anyhow, your high praise has me intrigued -- I love a good mystery in any medium, I enjoy good B&W artwork, particularly in settings like this, and...it's Sherlock Holmes! I don't know how soon I'll be able to start tracking these down (my poor wallet is still doing some recovering) but I'll definitely put these on the "to get" list.
Dang, today (10/31) would've been an appropriate day to start reading!
"Go Get 'Em Cap!"