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Gris Grimly's Frankenstein Hardcover – August 27, 2013


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Gris Grimly's Frankenstein + Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery and Madness + Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Death and Dementia
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Inside My Sketchbook: How Frankenstein Became Gris Grimly’s Frankenstein.

Frankenstein Manuscript page: The beginning . . . a mix of notes, page layouts, and character sketches, which I would create right on the manuscript page as I read. You can also see my notes on abridging the original text.

Frankenstein Sketches of Victor: Some of my earliest studies of the mad creator.

Frankenstein Character study of the monster: A series of early concept drawings, where I was figuring out not only the design of the monster, but the line style I would employ.

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-Shelley's Frankenstein can be considered a lot of things; easy reading is not one of them. Grimly's version carefully strips down the original text, keeping only the bare bones of the story, and accompanies it with his comically gothic illustrations. From the Neo-Victorian clothing and emo hairdos to the steampunk backdrop of Victor Frankenstein's lab, Grimly's unique and twisted style blends perfectly with the material and breathes new life into these characters and situations. This graphic-novel format works exceptionally well during moments of dialogue, as readers can really see a range of emotions that would otherwise be lost through Shelley's dense language. Scenes that especially stand out have little or none of the borrowed text at all, relying only on the art to masterfully tell the story. However, some scenes are better fleshed out than others; it can be frustrating when large, unbroken paragraphs of Shelley's prose are presented with only one or two large drawings, and hardly anything is done with the various letters throughout the book. This can throw off the overall flow, but scenes involving Frankenstein's monster are fast paced, well executed, and help to restore the balance. Even with the adapted text and illustrations, this may still be a difficult read for some readers, but Grimly's beautiful and trim version is a great way to immerse a new audience in this important work.-Peter Blenski, Greenfield Public Library, WIα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray (August 27, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061862975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061862977
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.8 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #328,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Skip Chalker on October 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Let me start by saying that Shelley's masterpiece is my favorite novel. As a high school English teacher, I know that few of my students feel the same way. As Mr Wrightson says in his introduction to Gris Grimly's take on the classic, "Frankenstein is not an easy read." Shelley's complex sentences and 19th century vocabulary make it a very tough read for modern readers who are used to taking their reading in 20-word-blurb doses. I have been looking for a version that keeps my students' attention and retains the message and spirit of the original. I think Grimly may have done it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GraphicNovelReporter.com on October 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The story is a familiar one by now. Victor Frankenstein creates a man-like being from parts of dead bodies pilfered from graveyards. In giving life to this "monster," Victor has stepped into the world of the unknown. He is, at first, impressed with himself and his creation, but over a short period of time, he begins to realize that he has gone too far. In his fevered mind, he cannot stop what has been started, and he is overcome with madness as he tries to understand what to do --- but it is too late.

Long fascinated by Mary Shelly's story, Gris Grimly has interpreted his own, awe-inspiring version in graphic novel form. Using text from Shelly's original novel and his own wildly creative artwork, Grimly's FRANKENSTEIN is a graphic novel masterpiece. Some chapters are represented by letters exchanged between Victor and his love. In other chapters, the monster is given a voice by introducing his own point of view. There are pages with no dialogue --- just marvelous pictures, silently telling the story. Ultimately, this is not just Victor's story. Gruesome, twisted, and totally original, the book flows with the author's outrageous illustrations. The book vibrates with the intensity of images and beautifully designed format.

At times the language seems stilted and archaic, but as you get into the story it all flows. The sense of Victorian life and the narrow structures of their morals are all beautifully captured between dialogue and illustration.

With his own flair and possible influences from other artists like Tim Burton, Grimly weaves his magic throughout. His characters and costuming are delightful --- from the sculls on Victor's jacket to the shock of wild hair that wisps in one crazy tangle about his head.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carole L. Eggum on September 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Where do you begin? This book is a classic written by Mary Shelley but Gris has put his macabre twist to the story with spectacular illustrations that are just gorgeous. Any one who loves the story of Frankenstein will love this illustrated version of the story.
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Format: Hardcover
This book has some of the best imagery associated with Frankenstein and if I didn't check out from the library, I would be sorely tempted not to rip out individual illustrations and frame them. There is some truly amazing story telling happening with the pictures. In fact, the best passages of the book are the passages where the creature leaves Frankenstein's laboratory and wanders the wilderness in small panels throughout. This should be the greatest Frankenstein adaptation of the past few decades.

Unfortunately, the artist seems to not trust his instincts in terms of telling a visual story. Instead of using dialogue, imagery and character traits to convey the story, the artist chose to include almost every single passage from the original book. The only worse experience I've had with Frankenstein was when I was on a science fiction panel and the other panelist chose to read the 15 page introduction to the book (the one written by Shelly about how the book was conceived) in its entirety.

So instead of a graphic novel adaptation, you get an illustrated book which sometimes breaks out of the illustration and goes into visual story telling. This Wall of Text approach is quite common in book adaptations as I've suffered through the graphic novels of I am Legend and The Hobbit. In all cases, I could read the books without being bored, but when the artist starts adapting to graphic novel form, the translation requires something more than just pure transcription. It's like that tedious 1970s Great Gatsby movie or the first Harry Potter books where the directors were so concerned with getting every aspect the same as the book that they lost all the spirit.

I hope to see more books by Gris Grimly, but I really hope that he trusts his visual story telling more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By hmaddox on September 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have yet to find anything I haven't like from MR. Grimly. Artwork is amazing what more is there to say!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've always loved Frankenstein, and I've loved Gris Grimly since reading his illustrated Poe stories. The two combined were magnificent! There were certain parts of the text that were illustrated, so it's actually a bit abridged, but the illustrations pretty much get the point across. My preference would have been to read the text in its entirety, but I don't think it will take away too much for most people.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gris Grimly's adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is fabulous. Richly drawn and inclusive of all the ephemera and curios that define Grimly's work, this was a blast to read. As is the case with many graphic novels, I read this whilst reading four or five other novels, but kept returning to this and picking up where I left off. A lot of fun. Doing Poe next,...
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