Jon’s new graphic novel, Frankenstein’s Dog available here
The main theme of the story is that Frankenstein should have made a dog first, as a pilot scheme before embarking upon a man, more or less as in the space race – a dog was sent into orbit before the first cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin.
In Shelley’s novel the main reason why Frankenstein falls out with his Creature is because he refuses to make him a mate, being worried that they breed a race of monsters. In the case of a dog, he could be persuaded to fabricate a bitch, and then all hell could break out. In fact the Monster grows fond of the Dog and his mate after his clear failure to form relationships with other humans. The story reprises Shelley’s introductory narrative device of an exhausted Frankenstein being picked up by a merchant ship captain off Archangel whilst wandering the frozen wastes in pursuit of his ‘creature’.
In the original novel, the Monster is never seen to die.
Some of the visual language, especially in the laboratory sequences are derived from James Whale’s 1930’s horror films, ‘Frankenstein & in particular ‘The Bride of Frankenstein’.
The text refers to the fact that Frankenstein’s Monster was a metaphor for many things, eg the prevailing fear of revolution at the beginning of the 19th century triggered by the French Revolution, the Reform Bill, the Luddites and the Anatomy Bill meant that the Monster represented the ugly violent/out of control mob. He is also a symbol and a warning about uncontrolled science – Luigi Galvani’s experiments with electricity causing dead frog’s legs to twitch made Galvanism a hugely significant scientific theory in the 1790’s. Finally perhaps the Creature is a reflection upon the abandoned child that Mary Shelley herself felt that she herself had been.
The denouement is that whilst the Monster is comfortable and even happy with the Dog[s] as his companions, Frankenstein has actually made a female, but for his own use.
TEXT Any resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely intentional
Jon Wealleans 2015