|Springdale Branch||Graphic Novels||F Shelley|
"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.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was born in England on August 30, 1797. Her parents were two celebrated liberal thinkers, William Godwin, a social philosopher, and Mary Wollstonecraft, a women's rights advocate. Eleven days after Mary's birth, her mother died of puerperal fever. Four motherless years later, Godwin married Mary Jane Clairmont, bringing her and her two children into the same household with Mary and her half-sister, Fanny. Mary's idolization of her father, his detached and rational treatment of their bond, and her step-mother's preference for her own children created a tense and awkward home. Mary's education and free-thinking were encouraged, so it should not surprise us today that at the age of sixteen she ran off with the brilliant, nineteen-year old and unhappily married Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Shelley became her ideal, but their life together was a difficult one. Traumas plagued them: Shelley's wife and Mary's half-sister both committed suicide; Mary and Shelley wed shortly after he was widowed but social disapproval forced them from England; three of their children died in infancy or childhood; and while Shelley was an aristocrat and a genius, he was also moody and had little money.
Mary conceived of her magnum opus, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, when she was only nineteen when Lord Byron suggested they tell ghost stories at a house party. The resulting book took over two years to write and can be seen as the brilliant creation of a powerful but tormented mind. The story of Frankenstein has endured nearly two centuries and countless variations because of its timeless exploration of the tension between our quest for knowledge and our thirst for good.
Shelley drowned when Mary was only 24, leaving her with an infant and debts. She died from a brain tumor on February 1, 1851 at the age of 54. (Bowker Author Biography)
Publisher's Weekly Review
Grimly's fans have been awaiting this reworking of Shelley's 1818 classic for four years, and they will rejoice in the end result. Spidery ink lines and a palette of jaundiced yellows and faded sepias plumb the darkness of the writer's imaginings. Frankenstein's bone-embellished military jacket and pop-star shock of hair turn him into a sort of anachronistic punk scientist, but other elements of the work are more circumspect. Crabbed, tense portraits of Frankenstein's friends and family combine historical detail with theatrical emotion. The images of the dissections that lead to the monster's creation dwell on flesh and bone, yet show, for Grimly, a certain restraint. Even more notable is Grimly's refusal to capitalize on the horror of the iconic scenes for which the movie versions of the story are remembered. The monster's crimes are shown mostly in b&w thumbnails, as if Grimly were hastening through them to probe more carefully the monster's self-loathing and Frankenstein's ruin. Fans will return to these pages obsessively; readers encountering the story for the first time may find Grimly's images rise to view whenever they think of it. Ages 13-up. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Aug.)? (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 7 Up-Shelley's Frankenstein can be considered a lot of things; easy reading is not one of them. Grimly's version carefully strips down the original text, keeping only the bare bones of the story, and accompanies it with his comically gothic illustrations. From the Neo-Victorian clothing and emo hairdos to the steampunk backdrop of Victor Frankenstein's lab, Grimly's unique and twisted style blends perfectly with the material and breathes new life into these characters and situations. This graphic-novel format works exceptionally well during moments of dialogue, as readers can really see a range of emotions that would otherwise be lost through Shelley's dense language. Scenes that especially stand out have little or none of the borrowed text at all, relying only on the art to masterfully tell the story. However, some scenes are better fleshed out than others; it can be frustrating when large, unbroken paragraphs of Shelley's prose are presented with only one or two large drawings, and hardly anything is done with the various letters throughout the book. This can throw off the overall flow, but scenes involving Frankenstein's monster are fast paced, well executed, and help to restore the balance. Even with the adapted text and illustrations, this may still be a difficult read for some readers, but Grimly's beautiful and trim version is a great way to immerse a new audience in this important work.-Peter Blenski, Greenfield Public Library, WI (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.