Here’s a real treat, courtesy of the excellent Golden Age Comic Book Stories blog: A full reprint of the legendary comic book adaptation of Son of Frankenstein, then currently in release, from Movie Comics No. 1, April 1939.
The so-called "fumetti" (actually the Italian word for “comics”, but used in America to denote photo-based comics) compresses the feature film into eight brisk pages.
The layout uses a mix of film stills and publicity shots that were chopped up, retouched and rearranged without too much concern for perspective or scale. The image reproduced here at the top uses several elements, including with a crude, out of scale cutout of The Monster — originally standing but tilted into recline — and a shot of Basil Rathbone repurposed and retouched, painting out the flaming torch he was holding. The background is suggested with a few drawn-in lines. The whole comic is given a flat four-color treatment, and the final panels of The Monster knocked into the sulfur pit are illustrated with small drawings.
Published by National Periodicals (today’s DC Comics), Movie Comics was a novelty title that promised “a full movie show for 10 cents”, including shorts, serials and newsreels, all in “natural colors”. Though the cover was given over to Gunga Din, this first ever comic book adaptation of a Frankenstein film is what made this issue a highly sought collectable.
See the entire story on Golden Age Comic Book Stories, and stay and have a look around while you’re there. It’s a fabulous picture blog.