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Puffin Graphics: Frankenstein (Puffin Graphics (Graphic Novels)) Paperback – May 19, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5 Up–A comic-book version of the classic tale of Dr. Victor Frankenstein's ill-fated quest to create life. Adapting a large and complex work such as Shelley's gothic masterpiece into a graphic novel for young readers is certainly no easy task, and this hit-and-miss rendition is far from successful. A by-product of the editing is the weakening of Victor's relationships, reducing the impact of the murders of Frankenstein's friends and family. Most notably, the adaptation fails to introduce or explain the character of Justine, making her wrongful hanging the first and only time readers meet her. Irving's black-and-white computer-shaded illustrations vary between perfectly moody and downright murky. The level of detail also changes: in one panel, Elizabeth's hair looks like thick squiggles, yet in one of the book's most memorable images, thin strands of hair spill elegantly across a table as the doctor looks on in horror at the monster he has created. An additional purchase.–Douglas P. Davey, Halton Hills Public Libraries, Ontario, Canada
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 7-10. The unforeseen consequences of pride and progress come clear in this brooding graphic-novel adaptation of Shelley's much read and debated classic, the first in a new curriculum-connected series, Puffin Graphics. Reed concentrates on the emotional anguish of the story, ably capturing the rage, the hurt, and the guilt of both monster and creator. Irving, who has worked for DC and Dark Horse Comics, among others, creates a hazy, suitably murky black-and-white backdrop, never exploiting the violence inherent in the monster's quest for vengeance. At times, however, the facial expressions of his characters seem at odds with the mood; Victor's friend Henry sometimes looks more like a happy idiot than a concerned, steadfast ally. But there are also some stunning sequences, as when Victor, pictured in shadowy candlelight and surrounded by books, researches the secret to life. Back matter about Shelley is sketchy, and Irving's sample storyboards, though interesting, are less so than the cover samples. Those are small concerns, however, given the overall product, which will attract readers both younger and older than the target audience. Final art not seen. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Puffin Graphics (Graphic Novels)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Gph edition (May 19, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142404071
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142404072
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,366,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gary Reed balances his time between writing and teaching Biology courses at colleges in the Detroit/Ann Arbor area. As a writer, Gary is best known for his insightful and diverse stories in graphic novel format including such acclaimed titles as Baker Street, Renfield, Red Diaries, and Saint Germaine. Utilizing a sensibility structured around literary and historical figures, Gary is known for providing thought provoking stories that avoid the typical skim of sequential novels. His popular tale of a supernatural holocaust, Deadworld, is one of the longest running independent comics and is signed to be a major motion picture. In addition to graphic novels, Gary has also written screenplays, young adult novels, role playing and video games, and is currently working on two novels. In his early career, Gary was the founder and publisher of Caliber Press, one of the seminal publishers of the 1990's. Caliber helped to launch the careers of dozens on today's top creators. Gary's writing and publishing have been nominated and awarded numerous industry awards. Gary was also Vice President of McFarlane Toys, a company that revolutionized the industry. As an adjunct professor, Gary teaches a variety of Biology classes including General Biology, Evolution, Anatomy and Physiology, etc. Gary was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and still remains in the area with his wife, Jennifer. They have four daughters: Stephanie, Jessica, Alison, and Erica.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael W. Jaworski on December 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just to get this out of the way, I'm a huge fan of anything that has to do with Frankenstein. Whether it's the novel, memorbilia, the movies, hell, I even own some of the "Remco" & "Sideshow Toy" stuff. With that said, I enjoyed this despite the simplicity of the interpretation.

Granted, I'm very aware that the novel is difficult to adapt properly, as well as it is to make it so younger readers can enjoy, but Gary Reed did an admirable job here. However, what I really liked was Frazer Irving's interpretation of the monster. Outside of Berni Wrightson's version, I felt this was spot on.

I know nothing's perfect; this version left out some things (like the burning down of the DeLacey cottage) and some of the artwork is a tad too cartoonish (and in some cases just plain odd), but the cavils are minor. The thing that really impressed me was the cinematic framing of some of the panels. Some of the drawings had the compositional creativity of the storyboards of a Scorsese or a Peter Jackson picture.

Highly recommended for the Frankenstein buff or a younger reader who wants to tackle a dark Gothic operatic tragedy in a version that would be a little easier to understand. Well, that's my two cents. Cheers!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Liz W. on July 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
Reed and Irving deliver a clear, straightforward adaptation of Shelley's classic novel that older children will be able to both enjoy and understand. Soft, surreal, black and white illustrations set the stage for this gripping, elegant narrative. Facial expressions are never dull, and at times border on the melodramatic. The centerpiece of this work is the Monster himself - towering and lanky with long, disproportional limbs, this creature is dark and frightening, yet expressive and laden with undeniable human thoughts and emotions. Part of the Puffin Classic Graphics series, this graphic adaptation is one that can certainly stand apart from the original. Recommended for Ages 11-15.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By FreyaCRUE on July 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am not really into comics, but after picking this one up, I was impressed. Great graphics, especially after I found out it was done by Photoshop, and an easy to understand story. I think it was very well done and I look forward to seeing and reading more graphic novels in the future.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While the content of this book is good and in alignment with the traditional story, the pictures are so dark that it is difficult to interpret them.
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By Joel on September 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to read this book for English class, along with the original version of Frankenstein. It came quickly, and I read it in about 30 minutes.
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