Friday, November 09, 2018

Number 2257: The Frankenstein puppet

Writer/artist Dick Briefer breaks the fourth wall, and appears to us in his Frankenstein story from Prize Comics #30 (1943). He claims he hasn’t heard from the monster in some time, and does not know what he is up to, so what we get is a story of a Frankenstein puppet.

Briefer identifies himself in the splash panel as “the guy that does this strip,” and includes some apparent co-workers at Prize Comics. I don’t know whether they are actual caricatures, but Briefer’s version of himself is of a handsome young man. Of all the other characters and many pages he drew for comic books, the Frankenstein character is what he is known for. His Frankenstein went through different versions until his comic book, The Monster of Frankenstein, was finally canceled in 1954: the first an evil villain, the second the funny Frankenstein, and the third the wandering Frankenstein monster who roams the countryside, having encounters with humans.


Daniel [] said...

The only reason that one might claim that this story does not use the killing of innocent people as part of a gag is that its most plausible reading is that killings were only in the dream of the character Briefer. But, even if that reading is utterly accepted, the story is still very close to treating such murder as a joke.

It's worth noting that the Monster in Briefer's original Frankenstein arc was reformed, then brainwashed by Nazis, and then reformed again. And this puppet Monster, though plainly modelled on the Monster during his initial, villainous phase, isn't really the primary Frankenstein Monster of that arc.

Even back in 1943, American elevator cars could not be made by their controls to plunge at perilous speed. And, in fact, if their cables were actually cut, the cars would simply stop.

Daniel [] said...

An image of Briefer, later in life, at an entry at Comic Vine conforms to the way that he drew himself in this story, if one allows for the growth of facial hair, and for greying and hair-loss.

BillyWitchDoctor said...

Heh! Whether the whimsical comedy version or the slaughter-happy horror version, Briefer's Frankenstein is always a treasure...and this story manages to combine the two!