NOTE: This is going to be one of the comics that we go over in the forthcoming HHC Podcast, so you will probably get to hear all about this again at some point, but more in depth.
When I was a kid there were these trading cards called “Master of the Macabre,” that featured the art of Bernie Wrightson. In the collection there were all sorts of creepy ghouls and deadly monsters, but my favorites were the subset of cards that illustrated Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. These were beautiful black and white paintings that when printed on a card were to small to inspect in the kind of detail that I wanted to inspect them with. I feel like I would actually fight a pack of wolves to get my hands on a full size version of one of those paintings.
When I was told that this comic existed, I felt the same kind of excitement that I would feel every time I opened up a pack of the “Master of the Macabre” cards, that child like giddy excitement that made me almost hop up and down (almost, I’m a man now). The only issue that was out at the time at my local comic book shop was issue #2, so I started to hunt other stores and the eBay for a reasonably priced copy of issue #1. I didn’t even crack open issue #2, I was saving myself, I didn’t want to ruin any little bit of the excitement that I was feeling.
It was worth the weight, when I finally picked up a copy and it came to my house I was like a little kid opening a Christmas present. This comic was everything that I was hoping it would be, and unexpectedly not what I thought it would be at all. I had read nothing about it, I hadn’t even really talked with anyone about it to much, I had just been sold on Bernie Wrightson and Frankenstein. Those two names together had been more than enough to pique my interest. I had no idea that in effect it was a true sequel to the novel by Mary Shelly. Picking up in the frozen wasteland where that novel leaves off. It is a stroke of brilliance on the part of writer Steve Niles, a Frankenstein tale that picks up right where the novel left off.
The star of this is Bernie Wrightson’s art though. It is the kind of immaculate detailed black and white that I have come to love from this man. He is truly a master of his craft, bringing to life everything from carnivals to frozen wastes in this issue in the kind of detail that you tend to only expect from real life. I want to live in the world that Wrightson creates. This is brilliant and I could honestly care less about how slowly the issues are coming out, as long as it 1) gets finished and 2) looks as good as this all the way through till the end of the series.
Added bonus, the first few pages of the novel Frankenstein are in the back of this issue, along with Niles interviewing Wrightson on the impact that Frankenstein has had in both their lives. Just a bunch of gravy on top of an awesome sandwich.