What do you remember most about reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe? The humor? The strangeness? The feeling that even though you knew it was a popular book it was still somehow adventurous to be reading it?
I loved Douglas Adam’s five book “trilogy”, posthumously to become six books, was a turning point in my life. I had devoured sci-fi for most of my young life. Since my first foray into the pages of Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea I had loved all things future, science-y, and strange. But until I came across Douglas Adams I really didn’t know what strange was. I read many works that had humor, many that were fantastic, but none that had his voice. His cadence. His inimitable style. I read those novels many times, loving them each and every time.
When a good friend, Heather, introduced me to Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency I was immediately brought back to that wonder. How did Adams weave these amazing tapestries of dialogue and plot. This was in some ways a distilled version of Hitchhiker’s Guide. Gone was the space-ness and other planet-y stuff but the ever winding, ever evolving, ever off on a tangent storytelling was there, with that same insane yet compelling dialogue! I was psyched to think there was a new series to follow. Instead there were only two novels in Dirk’s impossibly possible story.
Oh man what a loss. The character lent himself so perfectly to the imagination. His detective work based solely on his theory of the “fundamental interconnectedness of all things”, an idea that postulates that coincidences aren’t just that, all things happen to Dirk for a reason and most will resolve themselves into the answer to the problem he’s focused on. It takes the form of an odd mash up of probability, physics, blind luck, and a healthy dose of hubris. Seems absurd I know but is it any more absurd than Holmes knowing the intimate details of a client’s problem by what color mud is on his boot?
Take Dirk’s method and then interject a complicated, almost convoluted, plot but tie all the loose ends into the resolution, add hysterical pun filled dialogue, and pop-culture goodies and you have a recipe for a great piece of fiction. Chris Ryall has done this with Dirk Gently Interconnectedness of All Kings.
One of the highest compliments I can give when referring to this series is that it feels, like the books it’s spawned from, very much like a David Tennant episode of Doctor Who. The mania, the absurdity, the strength of purpose, both characters share those traits in abundance. But Dirk steers clear of the pathos, the heavy emotional baggage of our beloved 10th Doctor. And the art from Tony Atkins and Llias Kryiazis, with inks by John Livesay and colors by Leonard O’Grady give us a perfect depiction of a character we’ve only met in our own imagination until now. I’d equate the visuals to a slightly more realistic “Chew”, very appropriately odd but superbly rendered.
This time out Dirk has left his beloved England and is in San Diego, California and all things point to a case involving reincarnated Egyptians, serial killers, a tea shop, and a golden cellphone?
The Dirk Gently Interconnectedness of All Kings trade paperback is in shops Wednesday January 13th 2016 for $19.99 (124 pages, including a really cool cover gallery), the item code is NOV150458 in case your local comic shop needs to order one.
Of course you can also head over to amazon.com today and pre-order it, if you’re the type who avoids the comic shop (but why? why would you do that? support your local comic shop dangit!)
And then, in February of 2016…
“A Spoon Too Short is Dirk Gently’s most baffling and incomprehensible case. Inspired by the tantalizing alternative title for the Dirk adventure Douglas Adams was working on prior to his death, written by Arvind Ethan David and executive produced by Max Landis, A Spoon Too Short follows the continuing adventures of the world’s weirdest detective.”
(W) Arvind Ethan David (A/CA) Ilias Kyriazis
Item Code: DEC150435
In Shops: 2/17/2016