Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
Reviewed: Issues 1-3
Writer: Chris Ryall
Artist: Tony Atkins
Douglas Adams’s second best known creation gets a comics adaptation, and writer Chris Ryall does a very good approximation of the late author’s writing style, complete with freewheeling plotting and daft non-sequitur dialogue.
Dirk Gently, for those still uninitiated, is a detective who believes in “the fundamental interconnectedness of all things” and solves mysteries by following random causal links between events. This may look like making it up as he goes along to the casual observer, but somehow he always reaches the right conclusions in the end.
The comic’s initial five-issue arc, “The Interconnectedness of All Kings”, opens with Dirk fleeing to San Diego after some unspecified catastrophe in his native England. Stealing luggage belonging to a WASPish couple who also happen to be serial killers, he chances upon a detection-themed teahouse.
All this is tied in with a pair of revived Ancient Egyptian mummies who are sucking the lifeforce out of others to survive, and with Mr Bird, an immortal who’s distributing peculiar golden cellphones amongst the homeless population.
In addition there’s room for supporting roles for two characters from the original novels, time-travelling academic Professor Urban “Reg” Chronotis and journalist Kate Schechter.
Tony Akins, perhaps best known for his work on Fables, illustrates the series very ably. His tight, humorous style brings to mind Steve Parkhouse, and his Dirk bears a more than passing resemblance to David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor – perhaps a nod to the fact that Adams drew on elements from a couple of his own Who scripts as the basis for the books (Chronotis, for example, began life in the aborted “Shada” serial). In all, it’s good, breezy fun for newbies and the Adams faithful. James Lovegrove
All is connected, except in Wi-Fi blackspots.