Gris Grimly’s Frankenstein, or, The modern Prometheus

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Although I am not a fan of graphic novels (nothing personal, I just never got into them but I respect the craft that goes into them), Gris Grimly’s Frankenstein was a book club selection for me, and I had no reason not to read it!

Grimly selects pivotal snippets of text from Shelley’s 1818 masterpiece and, while not making them his own, tailors their meaning through detailed, intricate, and ultimately hauntingly descript drawings.  Grimly’s version is split into three parts, not unlike Shelley’s, and gives the reader the “real story” of Shelley’s novelization through artwork rather than the generalized movie or cartoon Boris Karloff Frankenstein that has become the common image of the monster since Hollywood’s Golden Age.  While reading this novelization, I was struck by how both the monster and his creator were depicted – the Doctor looked like a modern day villain complete with leather jacket and a shock of black hair, and the monster, rather than being the tall, angular, brutish character, is drawn with circles instead of squares and an expressive face that could incite sympathy from readers.

After reading this book, I honestly did not want to pick up Shelley’s tome – as previously stated, Grimly does a solid enough job of telling the story in the graphic novel.  I felt like I had read Shelley’s book (which is different from the movie version!) in a digest form, but instead of a condensed version, mine had nice pictures.  I may not become a graphic novel fanatic after one read, but I will most definitely look to see what Grimly publishes next.

Gris Grimly’s Frankenstein, or, The modern Prometheus

“Grimly enlivens the prose while retaining its power to both frighten and engage sympathy for the monster-creator Victor Frankenstein. This is a richly morose nightmare of a book, a primer for young readers on the pleasures and dangers of decadent languidness.”–New York Times Book Review

Gris Grimly’s Frankenstein is a twisted, fresh, and utterly original full-length, full-color graphic-novel adaptation of Mary Shelley’s original text, brought to life by acclaimed illustrator Gris Grimly. The first fully illustrated version to use the original 1818 text, this handsome volume is destined to capture the imagination of those new to the story as well as those who know it well.

New York Times bestselling illustrator Gris Grimly has long considered Frankenstein to be one of his chief inspirations. From the bones and flesh of the original, he has cut and stitched Mary Shelley’s text to his own artwork, creating something entirely new: a stunningly original remix, both classic and contemporary, sinister and seductive, heart-stopping and heartbreaking