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Jim Steranko

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Jim Steranko Comic Book

Jim Steranko Sherlock Holmes

This picture of the great detective was made by the famous Marvel illustrator, Jim Steranko. It appeared on the cover of Argosy – the all-fiction magazine in 1991, to accompany Ellery Queen’s ”Sherlock Holmes in a Study of Terror”. Undoubtedly this is one of the most wonderful depictions of the world famous sleuth. There’s no blood, no corpse, no ghosts appear and we don’t see any victims – yet, the night and the cemetery creates a frightening atmosphere. Sherlock Holmes is determined and alerted in this environment. His confident appearance shows that he’s observing the events, his mind and body is ready to battle the horror which awaits for him. He’s exactly the extraordinary person Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created: a hero without fantastic abilities, a special man, who uses the best human skills to master difficult situations and anything that fate has in store for him. The scene is creepy, but the detective’s figure radiates hope. Hope is his own, and hope is why we believe in Sherlock Holmes. Everybody is eager to know what mystery he investigates. These all are shown beautifully on this illustration. Only great artists are able to do that. Eternal gratitude to Jim Steranko.

“Any magazine-cover hack can splash paint around wildly and call it a nightmare, or a witches sabbath or a portrait of the devil; but only a great painter can make such a thing really scare or ring true. That's because only a real artist knows the actual anatomy of the terrible or the physiology of fear - the exact sort of lines and proportions that connect up with latent instincts or hereditary memories of fright, and the proper colour contrasts and lighting effects to stir the dormant sense of strangeness.”

Howard Phillips Lovecraft, american writer

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