REVIEW: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency #3

STORY BY Chris Ryall, ART BY Elias Kyriazis & John Livesay, Publisher: IDW

I love the Dirk Gently books. I very much enjoyed the BBC TV adaptation. I was looking forward to this. I really was. Then I read it. The last time I was this disappointed I was in the back of a van and someone told me there were no sweets. I found myself speed reading it after a few pages when I realised it wasn’t Dirk but a pastiche of him. It’s like Mr Ryall watched a few Eaton comedies and mixed in a dollop of Dr Who. Dirk comes across as a spoof of Sherlock Holmes and not the socially incompetent, skin of his teeth, cunning, phony, rapscallion he is everywhere else.

There’s an Egyptian mummy and some federal agents and that’s as much as I can remember. The writing is in desperate need of pruning, that being said Alan Titchmarsh armed with chainsaw couldn’t trim this back enough.

I get the feeling Ilias Kyriazis is wasted here. His art isn’t bad, expressive enough, good storytelling but there’s times when the writing clearly gets in the way.

A few pages in and there’s a woman with a knife flirting with a young man. He says something like ‘is this how older women flirt?’ but she looks as young as him, there’s no indication at all that she’s anything other than a fresh faced twenty something. From evidence later in the comic I know the artist is capable of a few crows feet and a couple of bags around the eyes, so it gives the impression that the line was added at the last minute.

The writing feels like Mr Ryall is so scared of angering the spirit of Douglas Adams he’s over compensating. Given any other character and this would have been a lot better, as it stands I’m starting to feel like I’m being punished for reading licenced comics.

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