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Monday, January 05, 2015

Number 1679: Frankenstein and the housing shortage

There was a serious shortage of housing in America at the end of World War II. GIs were returning by the millions and finding there was nowhere to live. That was to be expected from a country which had turned over all its industries to the war effort. It took a while to catch up on producing consumer goods. But that is the reality in the otherwise unreal world of the funky Frankenstein of Dick Briefer, as published in Prize Comics #51 (1945).

The story also gives a satiric nod to Briefer’s friend, Bruce Elliott, a magician and pulp writer who gets credit at times for helping Briefer write his stories.









Going back to the very early days of this blog...just click on the thumbnail for another Frankenstein story that uses the end of the war as a plot device.




7 comments:

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Briefer is a mistery to me...
How could this guy work on such different paths (comedy and grim horror) using the same character? And in such a great way, too.
How did this come to his mind, was he bipolar or something?
Also: when I look at his "serious" Frankie, I think of great 19 th century's illustrations, dime novels etc., while the "silly" one looks so... "modern"...
Thanks Pappy, always glad to see Briefer's big guy..

Daniel [oeconomist.com] said...

I will now commit what some regard as blasphemy. In general, I don't care for opening splash panels, because they consume most or all of a page, and almost never advance the story. The splash panel for this story is a really markèd example of such a panel.

On the other hand, I did appreciate the story itself. The (real) protagonist was quick-thinking, and had a bit of fun with the villain.

7f7f3e2a-4856-11e4-900a-bb8e57f8828f said...

Both these Briefer Frankenstein stories are whimsical as you could want in a comic. And I do like the art as I have mentioned for his Frankenstein, before. Thanks for getting us to look at these, Pappy. I had never seen them before looking at this blog.

Pappy said...

Daniel, no, I don't consider what you say is blasphemy. It's just the way the medium developed, having one large panel at the beginning of most comic book stories. I assume it was to draw the reader in with a teaser. Like a lot of things about comic books (all caps for the lettering, for instance), or putting blue highlights on black hair (Superman) splash panels just became part of the overall language of comic books.

Pappy said...

J D, I see Briefer not only as a funny cartoonist, but a true comic book man, who could draw in various styles as needed for the material he was illustrating. He came from the very early days of comics, and drew all kinds of strips.

Pappy said...

7f7, thanks for the comments.

I found all the Frankenstein books in my collection, with the exception of issue #1, from one guy who sold them to me reluctantly. He had owned them since he bought them off the stands in the forties and he told me they were among his favorite comics. Alas, he needed money in the early '70s and I was there, rubbing my hands with glee and trying to get him down to as low a price as I thought I could afford. We compromised but in retrospect I believe I got a good deal. I am a bit ashamed now of my tactics then, but I believe other collectors have used the same techniques for getting what they want.

Pappy said...

Daniel, here's a P.S.: I would love to own the original art for the splash panel of this story. I see it as being inspired by movie posters of the era.