Friday, March 22, 2013

Number 1336: Frankenstein’s last smile

Governor Foggy, who is subject to a plea for mercy to keep Frankenstein from being executed (our monster has been wrongly imprisoned) is a caricature of Thomas E. Dewey, then governor of New York. Dew...fog. Okay, I get it.

(Dewey also ran for President of the U.S. in 1948 and lost to Truman.)

Before the injustice is cleared up Frankenstein’s pate is shaved in anticipation of his time in the electric chair, a fate of which everyone else but him is aware. The story, written and drawn by Dick Briefer, is from Prize Comics’ Frankenstein #6 (1947).


BlUsKrEEm said...

Frankenstein has to be my favorite comedy comic.

Pappy said...

Thanks, BIUsKrEEm; you have very discriminating other words, very much like mine!

vollsticks said...

Is it true that Dick Briefer drew most of the Frankenstein pages with little-to-no pencilling, that he basically went straight to ink?

Daniel [] said...

Like a number of fans, I find all of the Briefer variations on the Monster to be quite interesting. I'm not sure that there's anything to be gained in arguing that one or the other was somehow objectively the best, but I personally find the earliest version to be more disturbing than the later grim version.

However, that later grim version has a peculiar resonance for me. At some point in the '60s, I was exposed to one or more of those stories; I guess that someone had squirreled them away. In any event, it was or they were like no comic-book stories that I'd seen previously — with a genuinely murderous monster, unlike the code-conformant stuff to which I was used. I wasn't one of those kids who thought “Gee! This is great!” but I definitely took notice.

Dewey was also the Republican nominee in 1944. He was defeated in '48 largely because he said a whole lot of nothing; his defeat in '44 was more interesting, and involved him sacrificing the interests of his campaign so as not to tip the Japanese that the Purple Code had long previously been broken.

Pappy said...

vollsticks, so I've heard. I've also heard that Briefer was known to sometimes turn in his jobs on the backs of unused wallpaper. In those days that was probably strange or at best, cheap. Today we'd call it recycling.

Pappy said...

Daniel, I had seen, but didn't really like the Briefer funny Frankenstein until the mid-'70s, when I was offered the first two issues, which I bought. I came to appreciate the uniqueness of the strip, and found more issues to add to my collection.

A few years ago I saw in one of the comics history 'zines (Alter Ego?) that Briefer went back to the funny Frankenstein in the mid-'50s, doing up a sample package of daily comic strips to sell to a newspaper syndicate. The samples weren't as loose as the comic book pages, but I recall they were pretty good. Too bad the strip didn't sell, or we'd have had four incarnations of Frankenstein from Briefer.