We use to have a family friend who always liked to point out
the failings of our English heritage.
Often annoying my dad with his tales about how such-and-such
did this better during the war than England, or how so much better it was to do
something this way and not the English way.
He was a good friend of my brothers, so we took it all in
stride, and my dad, being a better person than I, usually just shrugged his
shoulders and moved on.
It was usually done mostly in jest, but after a while
it became pointless and grating.
If he really hated everything English and all that the English
stood for, why continue to make it the standard for his comparisons?
I find this to be much the same point with those who do not
find any redeeming qualities in ‘Elementary’.
If they find it so bad, and so un-Sherlockian, why do they
feel the need to keep using it as their basis for comparison to other shows and
Why must they use it in every argument they make for how Sherlockian
well something else is doing. If you hate ‘Elementary’, why compare ‘Sherlock’
to it. Surely a better argument would be made by comparing ‘Sherlock’ to the
Their use of ‘Elementary’, it would seem, would be akin to
comparing the USA basketball team to one from, say, Pitcairn Island. What would
be the point?
I like ‘Elementary’. Is it perfect? Heck no!
Is it how I would have done it? Again, heck no!
But I find it a truer attempt at making Sherlock Holmes than
the Robert Downey Junior one.
Jonny Lee Miller’s ‘Holmes’ is at least, I think, an
original attempt to come up with something new.
Where RDJ’s ‘Holmes’ is a cross between a bad attempt at
being English, too slap-stick and too un-kept and I believe it fails the character
of Holmes even more than 'Elementary'.
Did I like the movies? Yes.
Did I think he did a good Holmes? No.
Am I going to pick it apart in such a way that insults those
who liked it? I hope not.
But the point is, I will gladly discuss the movies as
Sherlockian, knowing my opinions are not the end all in the discussion. And
also knowing I want my argument to come off as sincere, yet still open to
others thoughts. I want people to want to discuss Sherlock Holmes with me.
If I really hated the movie, I hope I could still discuss it
in a civil way, knowing other people may like the portrayal. If I couldn’t at
least do that, I hope I could keep my mouth shut.
Isn’t the whole point of being a Sherlockian about wanting
to have discussions and debates about the world of Sherlock Holmes? Wanting
people actually to want your opinion?
I don’t know if it was my mother who said it, or Mrs.
Hudson, but it still holds true,. . . “If you can’t say anything nice. . . .”.
If you have followed this blog for any length of time you are aware that I like good illustrative art work. This for me also includes good animation, cartoons and comics, as well as fine art.
If that art work also involves some of my other interests, well, that's even better.
So after reading another bloggers review of
"The Lighter Side of Sherlock Holmes: The Sherlockian Artwork of Norman Schatell" ,
I thought I would check it out.
I have tried to curtail my Sherlockian book buying of late, but every once in a while I still pick one up for a new read.
This book seemed to be right up my alley.
The title pretty well explains the content and it is pretty well filled cover to cover with fun little cartoons by Norman Schatell.
Here is an example of one of the cartoons.
You can tell Mr. Schatell was a devoted Sherlockian, and his sense of humor was very sharp with much wit. He loved his subject, but not so much that he couldn't see the funny side of it also.
The book is put together mostly by his family with help from friends.
If I were to have any criticisms about the book in would be in the production/publication aspect, not content or art work.
While trying to maintain the original quality of the cartoons they have forfeited clarity of script. I had a little trouble reading some of the gag lines and dialog in the original format.
If they had produced the originals with updated type below the images I think it would have worked better.
It was indeed a treat to see Mr. Schatell's work done by his own hand with dialog and such in his own hand writing, which made it very personal, but, as produced, sometimes hard to read.
I am sure that many of these were done as personal notes to family and friends, so production for publication was never part of the finished plan. That is one of the things that makes this book fun.
It is available in an e-reader format if you wish to enlarge some of the text to make it easier to read.