Frankenstein Alive, Alive! #1
Writer: Steve Niles
Artist: Bernie Wrightson (colors on cover by José Villarrubia)
B&W, 32 pages, $3.99
What happened to the monster after the end of the story? Ever wonder? Most people probably don’t that aren’t hardcore horror peeps, but Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson will make you want to know more if you read this issue, guaranteed. We see exactly what the monster was up to following the events at the end of the story. The book starts out with the monster at a freak show attraction. The crowd that has come to see him is quite disappointed with him, though, because he doesn’t resemble the textbook idea that everyone has when they think of him. They begin to throw food at him, but then he gives them what they want. He belts out a gigantic roar that scares the beejeezus out of them, and they run away. Backstage, the monster and the other carnies eat and talk about the night’s events. We then see a few flashbacks from the monster’s past. They usually involve seeing Dr. Frankenstein, his creator, taunting him. The monster is a lot more compassionate and intelligent than anyone thinks, and that coupled with the “appearances” of Dr. Frankenstein, makes for an interesting read.
Alright, well, first things first. Niles, Wrightson, and the title of this book alone make it worth checking out, so don’t hesitate. The way it’s presented, is that the story is told from the perspective of the monster. That is totally cool and something different, which is what you expect from Niles. The book doesn’t have very many pages of story, but that’s because of an interview and some of Mary Shelley’s book printed in the back. Not a bad touch mind you, but more of the book would have been even better.
If you don’t know by now, Bernie Wrightson has been doing great books like this for a long time. Sometimes black and white can be a bit of a hindrance to a book, but not in this case. Wrightson does a sensational job with this one. Every page looks like something original and exquisite, and that’s no exaggeration. All the scenes work well and flow together nicely, although it did take an expert (thanks Dan) to show me how the book wasn’t exactly linear. Once I understood that, things made more sense, and it also made the anticipation for the next issue even higher!
If you are a fan in any way of old school horror, then grab this book either in a store, or on the web somewhere, because it’s well worth the $3.99 cover price. The cover is quite good, too, and the slight touch of color actually is a good contrast to the black and white interiors. Rating 4.5/5