Monday, February 9, 2009

Frankenstein The Graphic Novel with Original Text of Mary Shelley

FrankensteinAs I mentioned before when my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I told him The Sandman Volume 10: The Wake. I received Hellboy Volume 1: Seed of Destruction. My birthday was at the end of January and when he asked what I wanted I said I was good with Hellboy Volume 2: Wake the Devil. I was once again surprised with Frankenstein The Graphic Novel. But it is the thought in asking that counts.

Since I was familiar with the story and had read another version of it in the graphic novel, Big Book of Horror by Steve Niles, Scott Morse, Ted McKeever and Richard Sala, I breezed through it even with the use of the original text. Despite the all black front cover, the graphics are very colorful and vivid. I thought they did a good job in the conversion to the graphic novel, though there were a few illustrations of the creature where I thought its expressions did not go along with the text.

For me the most fascinating part of the book was at the end where they gave a 6-page biography of Mary Shelly, including how she came up with the inspiration for Frankenstein. I had always heard it was from a dream, but according to this book it started with a challenge from her circle of friends to all write a supernatural tale. At first she struggled to come up with any ideas and it was after the challenge was over following another gathering and bad weather that sparked the vision for her Frankenstein. There are several passages from her journal through out the biography. Mary Shelly's short life was anything but typical for the times and unfortunately encompassed a great deal of grief. After the biography the book goes on with the history of Frankenstein and how the creature from the book evolved to the creature we know today including when we began to blur the name of the doctor with the name of the creature. It ends with a brief section on the steps involved of creating the graphic novel. I know this will sound bad, but I think I enjoyed the additional section at the end more than the story itself.

Still, I would recommend this book to those who are huge gothic horror fans, those curious on the transformation from classic novel to graphic novel, or those who like to get their history from other sources versus Wikapedia ;) .

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