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May 23rd, 2007

Scarlet Traces: The Great Game



A couple of years back now, Ian Edginton and D'Israeli put out a slim graphic novel called Scarlet Traces. If I remember correctly, it had originally been online, and as happens, the project had died before the end. At any rate, I picked it up purely by chance, without having heard a thing about it.

The story is a riff on HG Wells' The War of the Worlds, taking place in Britain ten years after the Martian invasion, and where Martian technology has been adapted by the local populace, altering the look of the city that is now traveled by vehicles that scuttle on crab legs, while green fumes hang beneath them. Outside the city, far, far outside, the ground is red. It was a visually interesting, a familiar-turned-strange world that allowed D'Israeli to show a nice range of his abilities, from sets to characters and action. In this setting, Scarlet Traces introduced the Holmes/Watson relationship of Captain Robert Autumn, retired soldier turned adventurer/detective, and his servant, Archie Currie, an ex soldier as well. The story itself is a bit slight, but the mystery ties nicely to larger events, and, while I'll not spoil the book, I will say that Scarlet Traces has one of those fine and wonderful endings that bring everything that has gone on before it into focus.

Scarlet Traces: The Great Game is the sequel to this first book, and it might be out now, but if not, then soon, and based off how much I liked that first book, it's getting this little post in approval and recognition.

Yes, indeed.