June 3, 2011

Frankenstein Reassembled

Published in the fall of 2010, Frankenstein Réassemblé is a Québécois comics anthology that picks up where Mary Shelley left off, following her characters beyond the novel’s arctic finale. A long time coming, the project was originally conceived by artist Éric Thériault some ten years ago and, as it evolved, it was placed with various publishers until it finally landed with Les 400 Coups under the Rotor banner, directed by Michel Viau.

The eight stories collected here are complete, stand-alone tales, unrelated to each other, allowing for individual and widely different interpretations of The Monster. Editor Thériault’s only directive was that there be no contradictions between the stories. Thériault peppers the book with fabricated documentation — letters, newspaper and magazine clippings — of The Monster’s progress across two centuries, bringing the stories together in a plausible timeline.

The Monster by Robert Rivard and François Caillé.

The scripts and art are excellent throughout. Standouts include writer Jean Lacombe and artist Robert Rivard’s Les enfants de Prométhée (Children of Prometheus), a bittersweet story of The Monster’s strained relationship with his “normal” child, and Un monstre à Londres (A Monster in London) by Shane Simmons, with robust art by Gabriel Morrissette, that proves a refreshingly original treatment of The Monster's encounter with Jack The Ripper. Éric Thériault’s Fluide Froid (Cold Fluid) is a rousing pop culture celebration, a pastiche of superhero comics that establishes the intimate link between Captain America — here called Major Valor — and a classic Universal Pictures Frankenstein’s Monster, both lab creations. Style-wise, Thériault combines an elegant ligne claire rendering with the vivid colors and tempo of American comic books.

The Monster, scratchboard-style, by Denis Rodier.
Gabriel Morrisette channels Dick Briefer,
and Éric Thériault's classic pop culture version.

Frankenstein Réassemblé is an immensely satisfying read and a truly original contribution to the ever growing collection of alternate histories of Frankenstein.

You can order Frankenstein réassembléthrough Amazon Canada.

Éric Thériault's bilingual blog.

Les 400 coups publisher's page.

1 comment:

David Lee said...

Sounds like I'm going to have to brush up on my French.