Review by Daniel Cassar
Story by Mary Shelley
Script adaptation by Jason Cobley
Artwork by Jon Howard, Jason Cardy & Kat Nicholson
Publisher: Classical Comics Ltd.
A classic novel brought to life in the full colour of comics, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a great piece of 19th century literature science fiction revolving around the grotesque unorthodox scientific experiment dubbed Frankenstein. The graphic novel is partially (if not all) written in 18th/19th century old English, meaning that sentence structure and certain phrases differ from modern day English. But I must say, it has been quite a ride following the protagonist’s journey in an on-and-off experience of joy and tragedy.
As previously stated, content is written on old English. However, this does not stop the reader from understanding the novel. Unlike other adaptations of this novel, the story does not converge immediately on the birth of the creature but also its creator’s background. Once a lover of philosophy and cherished by many, Victor Frankenstein descended into a deep darkness which blinded him and drove him mad creating an abomination unseen before by man. Reflecting on the terror he had unleashed into the world, he tries to redeem himself until his dying breath.
Regarding the illustration, the graphical novel was visually lit with different shades and warmth of colour, textures and necessary detail which were absolutely stunning and visually engaging. This obviously complemented the content and my mood whilst reading. Finding the right pigment and intensity to implement in a graphic novel is no easy task. Nonetheless, the artists pulled off a great combination of fluent colours giving the novel the brilliance it deserves.
As an additional note, the same publishers offer a variety of graphic novels based on other 18th/19th century famous pieces literatures namely Macbeth, Dracula, Romeo and Juliet and Wuthering Heights. These novels are published in both original text which conveys the story in old English and also quick text, delivering the story without too much detail and less old English. This helps readers to understand and enjoy the story through its visuals rather than the 19th century content without losing the gist of the novel. Taking a look at the modern perspective, it is a great initiative to promote the use of graphical novels as well as to teach literature to the younger generations. For more information about these comics visit http://www.classicalcomics.com/