Wherein We Muse Wonderingly About the Magical Synergy that Happens When Some Creators Partner Together, and We Miss Our Dear Departed Friend.
Frankenstein Alive, Alive! is one of those rare instances where a writer and an artist click together to make synergistic magic. Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson were a team that seemed to effortlessly get each other and every time they worked together, at their worst they were merely good. Then of course 2017 cut its devastating swath across all of us and Bernie was taken away from us all too soon.
Even worse, Bernie saw this coming. He was working through the thumbnails for the last book in the Frankenstein Alive, Alive! Mini-series while the brain cancer was ravaging him. When it became obvious that he wasn’t going to finish it he hand-picked Kelley Jones to complete the book. Bernie was a consummate professional to the end. His choice for his successor was one of the few working comics artists who could or even would follow him.
A Fitting Epitaph
Frankenstein Alive, Alive! is excellent. It’s a direct sequel to Mary Shelley’s novel. Both Niles and Wrightson had long histories with the monster and Niles unspools his narrative like the master storyteller he is. It’s an easy thing to do when your story is illustrated by one of the legendary comics artists. I suspect the effect was similar to writing a new Captain America story with Jack Kirby drawing for you.
Wrightson’s art on this project is perfect. He hits all the notes just right to make a Victorian Era gothic horror story that matches up perfectly with the source material. Frankenstein Alive, Alive! Was Bernie Wrightson’s last project and it’s a gem from beginning to end. How fitting that it was a project written by a writer he loved working with, about the classic monster he loved.
There is absolutely nothing bad to say here. Frankenstein Alive, Alive is a captivating story with breathtaking art by both Bernie Wrightson and Kelley Jones. IDW has done an amazing job with keeping this series fresh in readers minds during the necessary long hiatus between issue three and four, and they’ve given the entire mini-series a wonderful graphic novel package, complete with many extras. This new hardback is nicely priced at $25.00 when IDW could have easily charged more. Wrightson’s thumbnails for issue #4 alone are worth the price of admission.
Whether you’re a fan of masterfully rendered horror comics or just a connoisseur of great art and story, you should definitely consider giving this a try. Frankenstein Alive, Alive! is an excellent and important story. It’s the final bittersweet gift that Bernie Wrightson gave us before he passed on and it’s not to be missed.
- Amazing Story
- The Artwork
- Wonderful packaging
- None at all!