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The Sign of the Four: A Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel

(Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novels Adaptation #3)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  590 ratings  ·  62 reviews
The great Sherlock Holmes returns in 'The Sign of the Four', the newest 'Illustrated Classics' adaptation of a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle work.

The drama begins when a woman arrives on Holmes's doorstep asking for his help finding an anonymous person who has been sending her mysterious gifts and letters. Holmes agrees to investigate-but soon he and Dr. Watson find themselves en
Paperback, Illustrated Classics, 124 pages
Published 2010 by Sterling
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  590 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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Sam Quixote
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
The more I read these comics adaptations of Arthur Conan Doyle’s original novels, the more I feel affirmed in the view that the enduring popularity of these books comes from the richness of the characters rather than the dreary stories they appear in.

In The Sign of the Four, we see Holmes’ drug habit addressed for the first time as he injects himself with cocaine for breakfast because he’s bored! His boxing past is also mentioned and Watson meets his future wife Mary.

The actual story is some l
((Silver O. Smith - I was born to be you.))
Nice take on the Sherlock stories but hard to follow, understand, and finish reading. Could be my fault and not the writer's but still difficult to follow along. ...more
Sep 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Hahaha. I have to laugh after reviewing the actual novel. That one got 1.5 stars from me. I enjoyed this a lot more than the real thing. Reading the novel and graphic together, I can say that the graphic novel is a very good representation of the actual novel and sticks to the story chapter by chapter, including the dialogue.
Judy Booe
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was ok

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson set out to solve a case brought to their attention by a young woman who has received a pearl each year on the same date. Now she has received a mysterious letter asking her to meet an “unknown friend”. She asks for Holmes and Watson to help her and the adventure begins. As the story evolves we come across mysterious notes with “the sign of the four”. Murder, treasure, and intrigue abound in The Sign of the Four. Holmes is his usual eccentric and insightful characte
The illustrations were nice and sometimes quite cute (the badger in the cage sticking its paw out at Watson was a particular favorite) and the smoggy darkness of late 19th century London was well captured. My major issue with this is that it was not narrated by Watson, making some depictions of characters far fetched as well as obscuring how Dr. Watson's relationship with Mary develops. Still, not a bad period adaptation of a classic Holmes plot. ...more
Feb 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Sherlock Holmes looks like Dick Van Dyke.
note to librarians, Holmes' cocain addiction is graphic in this adaptation. as a reader that's postiive but community standards might not agree
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a graphic novel adaptation of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes Classic, Sign of the Four. This is my third graphic novel on Sherlock Holmes that I read that was written and illustrated by this team and I found this specific work delightful.

I enjoyed the Foreword of the book by Alan Barnes who gave background behind Sign of the Four. Here readers learns that this is the second Sherlock Holmes story that Arthur Conan Doyle authored and that this second story was only written when the managing
May 10, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a graphic novel version of Conan Doyle's beloved "The Sign of the Four." I enjoyed it much more than I do many graphic novels. For one thing, the artwork was excellent, and somewhat more realistic than is often the case. I liked the depictions of the characters (except, perhaps that of Thaddeus Sholto), and actually found that they contributed to my enjoyment of the work. And the story itself is short enough that it lends itself well to this format. ...more
Angie Rhodes
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
This was a joy to read. being a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes, and having read all the stories so many times, to read a Graphic Novel was a little different.
Ian Edgerton has taken nothing away from the original book, just added his own artwork, which is beautiful, it is a book that every Sherlock fan. would love to have on his /her bookshelf/
Mar 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: library
Not all stories about Holmes are equally good. The artwork is fine, but the story doesn't hold up for me. ...more
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
A great story in the style of pulp fictions, with gunplay, thievery, and subterfuge aplenty!
Agnes Muscoreil
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hoopla
I enjoyed listening to this story and hearing how Sherlock's mind works. ...more
Siddharth Shyam sunder
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An interesting story as always, dealing with the master detective dealing with a case showcasing stolen treasure, the great Indian sepoy mutiny and of course a master chase 🥰
Sep 28, 2020 rated it liked it
This interpretation was a little hard to follow sometimes. It was different in graphic novel format and I enjoyed it for the story yourself, but I don't know that I would read anymore. ...more
esma aktas
Dec 06, 2020 rated it liked it
It was a book to see the insight of Sherlock Holmes, interesting? story and plot twist.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A very good graphic novel, this just shows how good and fast Sherlock can solve a case that everyone else just makes assumptions and puts the wrong person in jail.
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
I clearly don't understand graphic novels because while I appreciate the artwork, the format completely botches the story. It's like taking a story and stripping all the beautiful parts off of it and just offering the bones and basic plot points. I think a story created specifically for the graphic novel format then would be better than an adaptation like this because at least I wouldn't be longing for what I was missing. ...more
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
2nd book (I believe there are 4 currently). How greatly I admire the talent of Ian Edginton as well as the enduring legacy of the great Sherlock Holmes! These are fantastic and I am combing the area for the other two as my library only has two titles. Please keep up the good work.
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author of this book is Arthur Conan Doyle. The title of this book is the Sign of Four, it is a fiction or a historical nonfiction I can't decide. This book has action, adventure and mystery all combined into one. In some parts of the book the story gets hard to follow so you have to reread a couple of pages to finally get it. This book has 118 pages so it does not take that long to read. In the beginning of the story somebody rushes in and gives Holmes ( a main character) a mystery to solve ...more
Jul 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Andy by:
Shelves: comics
Many people here seem to be reviewing the story version rather than this comic version. I guess it aggregates everything.

I read all the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories many years ago with much relish and enjoyment and after reading a review of this comic version (or 'Graphic Novel' as it states on the cover) on Boing Boing I picked it up from Unity books in Wellington recently. I have a novel on the go at the moment and am putting off an essay I need to write so sometimes it's nice to p
Andy Hickman
Sep 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Sign of the Four” (Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novels Adaptation #2), (London: SelfMadeHero, 2010), Ian Edginton (Adapter), I.N.J. Culbard (Illustrator).

The second Sherlock Holmes story is set in 1888 and follows a similar pattern to the first Holmes story, 'A Study in Scarlet'. As with the others in this series this graphic novel is engrossing and exciting. Great work!

FOREWORD by Alan Barnes: “The story is every bit a intriguing, perplexing, and exciting as its three ma
May 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
- I like the assured lines of the art.
- And the jewel-like, some times even pastelly color scheme, that also managed to be dark.
- I can see how this could make a non-Holmes reader put off by its relative age be sucked into reading more Holmes mysteries
- The paper smelled really nice.

- I wish the sequencing would have been more playful. Many talking heads.
- Watson fell in love because it was in the original story. There was no other reason that I could discern.
- I was still kind of conf
Anna Kim
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm a really big fan of Ian Edginton's graphic adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels and stories. The Sign of the Four is no exception. I really like that the original text is pretty much left intact, with just a little necessary abridging. When I used to tutor middle school students, I did a short mystery unit and I used one of the graphic adaptations to teach the story since they had difficulty with the original text. Without exception, all of them said that Edginton's ...more
Shawn Bramanti
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a quick read. I think I have actually read this like three times. I like Sherlock Holmes and this was a very entertaining graphic novel adaptation of his adventure with the Sign of the Four. Nice simple artwork moves the story along without overdoing it. A slightly cartoony style to the artwork but not a distraction, instead it enriches the story. Reading this I think of it adding to the Sherlock Holmes mythos, not disturbing the history with a jarringly different version of the story.
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
The artwork in this is FANTASTIC, but the story is not all that interesting for a graphic narrative. The panels end up being mostly of dialogue between Holmes and Watson and others, which makes for a less than interesting read. An odd choice to adapt to graphic format --- Hound of the Baskervilles was awesome. This text - not so much.
Great story, I would recs this for a SH newbie. Not sure about the artwork, it didn't caught my attention as much as the plot. Maybe I am a graphic novel newbie, and I don't have much of an opinion. Sherlock and Dr. Watson looks like exactly the actors from the 1980s TV series though. It was perfect. ...more
Camille Dent
Jul 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sequential-art
It's been a while since I've read the original work by Conan Doyle, so I can't compare it to that. I thought this adaption was pretty solid, though. It was a bit unclear at times, but not enough to make me completely lost. I wasn't crazy about the art style. However, the dialogue is the most important aspect of Sherlock Holmes works, so I wasn't too worried about how attractive I found the art. ...more
Feb 13, 2016 rated it liked it

I really liked the story line, but I didn't particularly enjoy the art style. The only reason I picked this graphic novel up was to see how it would compare to the actual novel, and I am slightly disappointed. However, if I do get the chance to read more of these Sherlock Holmes graphic novels, I definitely will!
Nov 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Good way to introduce students to 'classics'! I definitely miss reading descriptions and visualizing them in my head, but I think the idea of taking older stories and making them into graphic novels is a great way to introduce teenagers to stories that they might not normally read. ...more
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Edginton sees part of the key to his success coming from good relationships with artists, especially D'Israeli and Steve Yeowell as well as Steve Pugh and Mike Collins. He is best known for his steampunk/alternative history work (often with the artist D'Israeli) and is the co-creator of Scarlet Traces, a sequel to their adaptation of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. With 2000 AD we has written L ...more

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