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Puffin Graphics: Frankenstein (Puffin Graphics (Graphic Novels)) Paperback – May 19, 2005
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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.
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
Top customer reviews
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!