A Review By: Amelia
Who doesn’t know about Frankenstein? The classic horror story is the second most adapted piece of media (behind Dracula) ever! That’s quite an achievement if you ask me! But of course with all the work that’s flooded the media it’s often hard to know where to start. While I was looking for a graphic novel to read, I literally couldn’t decide between the dozens of options that were presented to me. I ended up randomly choosing one and, surprisingly, I’m pleased as punch at my random selection!
Victor Frankenstein becomes obsessed with creating life after he watches his beloved mother die. He scours graveyards and works by candlelight for months, but when his creature stirs, he realizes he was insane to think he could create a human: he’d created a monster. Abandoned by its maker and shunned by humanity, the monster turns on its creator and haunts Frankenstein to the ends of the earth.
Mary Shelley is the original author of Frankenstein and more or less the mother of the whole horror genre. The adaptors of her classic tale of horror are Gary Reed (for text) and Frazer Irving for the art. Reed is a prolific comic book writer and publisher. He was formerly the publisher of Caliber Comics and Vice President of McFarlane Toys. His other graphic novel titles include (but are not limited too) Dracula, Deadwood, and Sherlock Holmes. Irving is a British comic book artist known for the 2000 AD series Necronauts. Since breaking into the American market he has worked on a number of superhero titles, including Batman and X-Men.
The best part of this retelling of Frankenstein is by far the artwork. It’s very dark and shadowy. It’s presented in a very cinematic way that is completely striking: really quite memorizing. It’s not a very pretty style but that hardly matters since it works so well with the story and tone. It was very much the highlight of this particular graphic novel.
Frankenstein is such a distressing novel when it comes to its themes of rejection and hatred and the art of this graphic novel really conveys the themes brilliantly. The facial expressions of the monster captured his tortured life so well: it truly was heartbreaking–and I’m not just saying that because the empathy centre of my brain is a hundred times as large as everyone else’s on Earth!
With so many adaptations of Frankenstein out there (and there are a lot–it’s second only to Dracula when it comes to adaptations) it’s often hard to imagine any of them bringing anything new or fresh to the doctor and his creation, but Reed and Irving have done just that. The art is highly stylized and suit the themes and mood amazingly well, and just enough of the text is present to get the story across without confusion.
My final thoughts on Frankenstein The Graphic Novel are that it’s a great piece. If you’re a fan of the novel or a fan of graphic novels, it’ll appeal to you and you should definitely take an hour out of your day to sink into the first (and arguably the greatest) gothic horror ever created!