I am a poor judge of whether or not a bit of PR work will lead to press coverage or not. Take the Agatha Christie comic adaptations story that’s been doing the rounds – this looks like a non-starter to me but everywhere has covered it. I will make a second – possibly bad – prediction and say that all this publicity will not help these comics sell very many copies.

For one thing, I can’t believe comic adaptations of books sell very well. They must make some economic sense because publishers keep doing them, but is there really much of a market beyond a particular type of mentalist collector? Children barely read comics any more, and for the adult reader it’s hard to escape a sense of illegitimacy if you’re reading an adaptation – like, shouldn’t you really be giving the prose version a go?

(Of course, some adaptations boast top-drawer cartooning talent and look terrific – but these are rare.)

Anyway, Agatha Christie seems especially poorly suited to the comics form. Novels of the Christie type tend to involve something quite visual happening i.e. an murder, and then loads of talking about the murder afterwards, before a resolution where the detective tells everyone who did the murder. Very tense and dramatic in prose – but what is an artist to actually DRAW? Comics are a medium which relies on action and visual incident – talking heads in comics can work but it takes a very skilled cartoonist to make them sustain an entire graphic novel. And said cartoonists would usually try to avoid using the talking heads for exposition – but the classic murder mystery has exposition as its climax: thrilling in plot terms but visually? Surely not.

Judging from the art in the BBC site, talking heads and big blocks of dialogue – all in a peculiarly stiff and horrible font – are present and correct, though the art looks good on locale and mood, and the artist can draw faces well (pretty essential for this kind of work). But though it’s hard to judge just on little snippets of art, the figure work looks quite static and it doesn’t seem like there’s much storytelling energy there. I doubt anyone would buy one of these and not come away without some level of disappointment.