Writer Mark Bertolini and artist Vernon Smith put their smarts together to create a very witty and fun ride with Bigfoot Frankenstein #1. At first, it may seem like another tired and overused adaptation of the famous prose by Mary Shelley. But it actually offers a fresh new take on the gothic classic. It stars Jude Frankenstein, the descendent of Victor Frankenstein. Jude takes a page out of his great ancestor’s book and brings a sasquatch to life. He uses the dead body parts of the once completely extinct species to achieve this feat. Once alive, the creature known as Bigfoot Frankenstein vows to avenge himself and his dead brothers.
At first, the narration may seem a little generic and typical. But as #1 progresses, you’ll realize that there’s a very meta and satirical touch to it. This in turn elicits comedy, as well as creates multiple voices. Because Jude is often by himself, having the narration interact with him is a very fresh way to add conversation. With the introduction of Bigfoot Frankenstein, the comic further adds a different kind of stability and nuance to this dynamic. Mostly because the sasquatch isn’t unintelligible nor does he speak incoherently. Which is unlike how so many other characters of his calibre are portrayed in the media. This helps to smooth out the creases of the graphic novel’s satire and add another dimension to its comedy.
In general, Bigfoot Frankenstein itself has a very interesting concept. It meshes together many typical tropes and clichés from common fiction. But it makes something completely new and different; kind of like how Bigfoot Frankenstein – the character – is made. The characters in particular are quite enjoyable. Jude and his obnoxious ingenuity and incredulity; Bigfoot Frankenstein teetering between awkward and intense dramatics. These two pair so well with each other, and bounce off of each other so naturally. Their dynamic even extends past just themselves to other characters. The events, simple as they come, are very enjoyable because of these interactions.
As for the visuals of this comic, the best parts are definitely the character designs. The regular sasquatch already looks so good. Again, very unique to how the likes of its kind are drawn in media. But there is a juxtaposition to Bigfoot Frankenstein’s lethal appearance and his awkward and inept personality. This really lends itself to the figure of a gentle giant. Jude himself, while simple in design, has very well-fitted clothes. These just embody the character and his journey. Kai Teng uses high contrast colors and shading to create fantastic visuals in the stars and strike of lightning. The sharp darkness in particular cuts through the pages, adding just a little hint of something more ominous.
Overall, Bigfoot Frankenstein is very refreshing. It still has those very gothic elements to it, especially with the art, character and set designs. It has satire and meta qualities that don’t step over the boundaries to dark comedy. What it does have is plenty of contrast; in the characters and their personalities and interaction, and in the filter of the colors. This strikes a fantastic visual and reading balance, giving Bigfoot Frankenstein an edgy sort of storytelling.
Do you like high contrast colors and vibrant pages of art? Are you into meta and satire? A big fan of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein? If you fit into all these boxes, then Bigfoot Frankenstein #1 might just be the one for you. Check it out over at Forbidden Planet. If you enjoy it, let us know all about everything you thought of it on Twitter!