Frankenstein as a young adult graphic novel

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

Gris Grimly Frankenstein
Mary Shelley’s classic gets a hauntingly beautiful makeover! Dive into the gothic world recreated with Gris Grimly’s unique artistic vision.

In 1818, a story called Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus was published anonymously. The mysterious author was later revealed to be Mary Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein when she was just 19 years old!

Now, not only is her monster one of the most well-known mythical creatures ever created, her novel is still considered by many to be the first work of science-fiction. After all, unlike many of the magical fantasies told for centuries before, her book explored the futuristic edges of science.

First of all, did you know that nowhere in the original book is the monster ever actually called Frankenstein? That’s because it’s actually the name of the creator, Victor Frankenstein. In fact, the novel goes to great lengths to avoid giving the creature a name, referring to it as “devil,” “fiend,” “it,” and “monster.”

Over the years, the name was mistakenly attached to the undead man, and the rest is history. To blow your mind even more, the original monster was actually quite well-spoken and capable of sophisticated thinking!

Now, to bridge the past and present, illustrator Gris Grimly has created a graphic novel version of Mary Shelley’s original story, called Gris Grimly’s Frankenstein.  I mean, it literally uses the text from the 1818 version, while adding a touch of modern rock n’ roll to the artwork. In a recent interview with NPR, Grimly explains his motivations for taking the old novel and giving it a unique twist. He says, “The first time I tried to read Frankenstein, I didn’t get through it. Frankenstein is not the easiest read when you’re young.” With the aid of his mesmerizing illustrations, Grimly hopes to change that difficulty curve for younger readers, and “give them a way to read the words and interpret the words… and not have to rely on the movies.”

Images courtesy of Gris Grimly.