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Thursday, 8 March 2012

Classical Comics Living Up To Its Name: AN INSPECTOR CALLS

An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestley

Set in 1912, An Inspector Calls takes place during a dinner party held by the upper-class Birling family which is interrupted by Police Inspector Poole, investigating the suicide of a lower class girl Eva Smith whose death is linked to each family member. It was made (1954) into a classic  film directed by Guy Hamilton and written for the screen by Desmond Davis. The film starred the incredible Alastair Sim, who played the role of police Inspector Poole with all his charm and sinister angles.

Even now, after many years, the ending still hits me.

Although re-named “Poole” (?) for the film, in the original play, the Inspector’s name was “Goole” –perhaps British censorship thought that was too much like “Ghoul”! I am glad to say that in this adaption the name “Goole” stands.

And what an adaption by Jason Cobley this is! It goes to prove that, even with this being an adaption, the UK has the writing talent to rival some of our Franco-Belgian friends. It’s all here –the secrets hinted at, all the nuances and all it lacks is Alastair Sim, though the inspector here is still tainted with that touch of the sinister –look at the cover!

There is the incredible twist at the end of the story that I am not going to reveal because it would destroy the whole point of reading the book!  But in print, as in the film, Arthur Birling’s final words sent a shiver up my back!!!   In fact, I’m going to read the book again after I’ve finished this review.

But let’s not give Cobley a swollen head.

The art. It is just spot on.  Will Volley has conjured up panels that give us, not the effect of being from a stage play, but a movie. Some pages are just so good I couldn’t even think of how to describe them.  Seriously.  Add to this Alejandro  Sanchez’s at times mouth-watering colour work/toning and you have a true classic.

I certainly hope that this one gets noticed by European publishers because it is pure style and Europeans love style!

Jo Wheeler, Jenny Placentino and Carl Andrews have done a great job on design and layout with the usual Classical Comics back-up features.

Clive Bryant seems to be able to pick good creators to work on his books and certainly the bar seems to be set a little higher on each book.  And the printing and binding quality has not been cut back on.  Believe me –you’d be proud to have this book (if not the entire series) on your bookshelf.

Quality all the way!

Inspector Calls - Original Text Inspector Calls - Quick Text
British English Language Versions
British Editions (Cover price £9.99)
Click here for an explanation of the text versions
Original Text Version
ISBN: 978-1-906332-32-7Click here to buy from:
Quick Text Version
ISBN: 978-1-906332-33-4Click here to buy from:
American English Language Versions
US Editions (Cover price $16.95)
Click here for an explanation of the text versions
US Pub Date: October 2012
Original Text Version
ISBN: 978-1-907127-23-6
Quick Text Version
ISBN: 978-1-907127-24-3
An Inspector Calls
J.B. Priestley
“So – for God’s sake – don’t say anything to the inspector.”
A respectable household is shocked when a strange police inspector visits them shortly after dinner… and proceeds to unravel their prejudices and lies. Through this almost surreal murder-mystery, Priestley interweaves social comment with a gripping story that twists and turns every few pages.
Script Adaptation: Jason Cobley
Artwork: Will Volley
Colouring: Alejandro Sanchez
Lettering: Jim Campbell

Format: 144 pages
full colour
(click here for info)
Original Text (complete & unabridged)
Quick Text
Cover Price: £9.99
Check the Classical Comics link on the blog roll where you can see free previews of their books and how to buy copies!

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