Dirk Gen­tly’s Holis­tic De­tec­tive Agency

Comic Heroes - - Comics We Rate -

Re­viewed: Is­sues 1-3

Writer: Chris Ryall

Artist: Tony Atkins

Pub­lisher: IDW

For­mat: On­go­ing

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.

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