Ho ho ho! None of you can escape the four week madness of Lit Brick’s First Annual Office Christmas Party! Diverting from the Norton for the length of December, each week will bring with it a festive new tale. Why? ‘Cause I love Christmas. If you have a problem with that, you should probably get over it now.
First up on the docket is a tale I’ve read many times: Sherlock Holmes in the Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle. Holmes is my favorite fictional character of all time. I’ve read the canon several times and my bookshelf has a healthy lineup of additional stories from other authors. This particular time of year, I tend to reread a lot of the material in two relatively recent collections, “Holmes for the Holidays” and its sequel. I also, naturally, reread “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle,” the only Christmas-themed tale written by Doyle himself.
Technically the story takes place on December 27th, but that’s splitting hairs since the events of the tale revolve around things that occured a few days earlier. Plus, the 27th is still firmly in the Christmas season, and well-within the infamous Twelve Days.
We find Dr. John Watson visiting his friend, Sherlock Holmes, who is lounging about on his couch amid piles of newspaper. Several convenient pipes are at the ready. Holmes asks Watson to examine a hat he was given. Watson, naturally, makes nothing of the hat but the very obvious. Holmes then spends two pages telling Watson the theoretical life story of the hat’s owner, before the good Doctor points out what the reader has been thinking all along: nothing about this hat is related to a case, so all of Holmes’ brilliant deductions were a colossal waste of time. This comment actually manages to stop Holmes in his tracks, a rare and hilarious feat.
Before I go, here’s some useless trivia about the art in the comic: I’ve been wanting to draw 221b Baker Street for quite some time now. The version of it in the comic (that you really can’t see much of) is based upon a floor plan developed by Russell Stutler, who read the Holmes canon several times over before sketching out an incredibly detailed recreation of Holmes’ apartment which accounts for every last factoid mentioned in the stories. It’s pretty nifty, and gives me some seriously fun reference to draw from. Additionally, both Holmes and Watson are drawn more or less as they appeared in Sidney Paget’s original illustrations of this story. The second panel is actually pulled almost straight from Paget, with me only adding in the background.
Anyway, you probably shouldn’t expect me to be quite this nerdy with the other holiday stories. I just really love me some Holmes.