Friday, September 15, 2006

Number 23

Frankenstein Friday: Frankenstein And The Ghouls And Vampires.

"I want a ghoul, just like the ghoul, that buried dear old dad!" Ah, excuse me…just warbling a tune, Sinatra-style, in honor of this edition of Frankenstein Friday.

As promised, here is the second story from Frankenstein Comics #1, from 1945, written and drawn by Dick Briefer. As listed in The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, Frankenstein Comics #1 is noted for two things: The origin story and for the Sinatra parody, which appears in this story.

It isn't much of a parody, and the jokes surrounding the parody are pretty lame. As a matter of fact, the whole story is fairly lame, but Briefer's cartooning and bizarre sense of humor save it. Horror comics as we know them were still a couple of years away when Briefer drew this story, but his depictions of the ghouls and vampires could be slightly less cartoony and fit right in a horror story of the 1950s. In that way Briefer was ahead of his time.

In other news, Frankenstein's weight changes drastically in this story, thanks to a potion he creates, which I don't believe was ever seen again in any other Frankenstein story. The color of his coat on one page switches from blue to red from panel to panel. That wasn't Briefer's fault, since coloring for Golden Age comics was usually handled by an outside company and coloring inconsistencies abound in many titles. There were thousands of pages of comics published every month, hard for anyone not to make some mistakes.

Finally, I don't know if there was ever any other comic book story in which the bad guys were conquered by a belch.

NEXT WEEK: Frankenstein's Wife!

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