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SECRET ORIGINS OF FRANKENSTEIN - CHAPTER 8 of 18
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COMICAL CREATURES

It seems counter-intuitive, and it is. Never the less, the Frankenstein Monster has become so familiar to us, he's like a friend! They say familiarity breeds contempt. It also breeds humor. This issue, we take a look at comic interpretations of the Monster, starting with the work of DICK BRIEFER.

Briefer's first Frankenstein tale came in Prize Comics #7 (Dec. 1940), an eight-page story that basically adapted the original XShelley story. The only cover-mention of the new feature was a small head shot of the Monster, seen on the left.

Below, the splash page from Prize Comics #9 by "Frank N. Stein" (Briefer's occasional pen name).
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Prize was an anthology title, and Briefer's Monster was rarely given the cover. Below are two of Briefer-Steins rare co ver appearances, from Prize Comics #65 and #66 (two in a row!).
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The character continued in Prize Comics until he graduated to his own book, one of the first comics to ever bear the title Frankenstein! Below, the splash page from Frankenstein #1's "Creation" story.
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XBelow, a rejected "infinity" cover done by Briefer for Frankenstein #5 (1948). We reworked this image to create this issue's Dial B for Blog cover, seen on the very top of this page.

Why was this beautiful and inventive rejected? Who knows. Maybe it was deemed too confusing for kids. The published cover, featuring a bunch of spooky spooks, is pictured on the RIGHT. Sorry it's so small. It's actually easy to see, though, if you have a magnifying glass handy.
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Frankenstein #12 featured a typical gag cover...
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In Frankenstein #13, Briefer-Stein met Sam Pyre, Vampire.
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Briefer's Frankenstein ("The Merry Monster") is such a nice guy, he gives his coat to a statue of himself so it won't get cold.
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This page shows Briefer's zany sense of humor...
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Frankenstein suspended publication with issue #17 in 1949, then resumed printing in 1953 with a more realistic take on the Monster, also drawn by Briefer, but in a grittier, far less comical style. The Monster's nose was no longer on his forehead.

Below, Frankenstein #17 (last comical issue), plus #18, and #19, where the Monster suddenly got a lot more monstrous. The title ceased publication with issue #33, October-November 1954. Dick Briefer passed away in 1980.
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ANIMATED REANIMATIONS

One of the earliest animated parodies of Frankenstein's creation premiered in 1942. Below, a few scenes from a Mighty Mouse cartoon where MM meets...
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Another animated parody from the 1940s, "Sniffles and the Bookworm," was about an inchworm encountering characters that rose out of books, including you know who...
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Bugs Bunny encountered an evil scientist building a robotic Frankie, as well as a very innnnteresting Monster, in "Water Water Every Hare" (1950).
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DC comics introduced their own Frankenstein-like character in 1958.
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Here's the cover of the issue that introduced BIZARRO to the world, Superboy #68, October 1958. Initially he was treated as a serious character, a misunderstood outsider -- much like his inspiration, the Frankenstein Monster, complete with angry villagers throwing rocks at him!
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But when Bizarro got his own feature, and his own cube-shaped planet, the Bizarros became comical. The ad below ad hailed his new series as "Weirder than Frankenstein, More Chills than Dracula, as funny as Jerry Lewis!" Wow, that is weird, chilling and funny.
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BELOW: DC in-house ad promoting a story where Bizarro meets Frankenstein face to face ... sort of, in Superman #143, February 1961.
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Two panels from the story...
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The big meeting was reprinted in Superman #202, January 1967, giving cover artists Curt Swan and Neal Adams a chance to depict the two monsters as pals (lower left)...
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Then there was the time the Superfriends met Dr. Frankenstein, who captured them and transferred their super-friendly powers into the Monster (Amazo-Frankenstein?). In the end, Robin saved the team!
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Of course, the MARVEL super heroes also met the Monster. Below are two John Buscema covers for Silver Surfer #7 -- the one on the left was rejected, the one one the right was printed.
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Even Archie and his pals got into the monster act...
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CARTOON CREATURES

The
Groovie Goolies animated cartoon, starring Drac, Frankie, Wolfie, and a whole bunch of other creature-inspired critters, was like a monster version of the Archie gang...
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In 1960, a famous near-sighted bumbler stumbles across the path of a monster created by "Doctor Sam Frankenstein" when...
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BELOW: Hal Seeger's Milton the Monster cartoon ran from 1965-1968. Lovable Milton shared his show with Fearless Fly (below, right) aka Hiram, a mild-mannered fly who turns into a superhero when he puts on his glasses (like Clark Kent and you know who).
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This ad for a giant Frankenstein cut-out "in authentic colors with glow in the dark eyes" ran in countless comic books of the era...
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A spin-off of "Famous Monsters of Filmland," Monster World debuted in 1965. The second issue, pictured below, cover-featured The Munsters (painted by Vic Prezio), a Universal Studios sitcom starring Fred Gwynn as Herman Munster, average American dad. Because Universal produced the show, they let Herman use the classic Jack Pierce make-up style!
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Hanna-Barbera introduced Frankenstein, Jr. in 1966. He shared a cartoon show with The Impossibles. Like senior, junior was also assembled -- out of ROBOT parts -- by a Dr. Conroy. A cross between Gigantor and Frankenstein, junior was summoned by a ring worn by Dr. Conroys' son Buzz, seen below cooking up a crazy chemical concoction...
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A page from the story inside...
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Bela version! Featuring Teen Frankie...
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BELOW: A 30-second cartoon bumper showing Buzz "building" junior. Click it!
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Attention all Puzzle Masters!
Place CURSOR over image below to solve the puzzle!
puzzle
For some reason, the last few issues of DC's Bob Hope comic book featured a biker gang and the Universal monsters, as depicted by Neal Adams. Below, a Henry Boltinoff cartoon advertising The Adventures of Bob Hope #108 (Dec-Jan 1967)...
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This panel from The Adventures of Bob Hope #109 shows Adams' cartoony version of Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, The Wolf Man, and some generic vampire chick...
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The Frankenstein Monster once met Michael T. Gilbert's Mr. Monster -- head on! As is usually the case when MM meets a monster, things didn't go so well -- for the monster...
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Rankin-Bass produced the movie Mad Monster Party in 1967, and the TV special Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters in 1972. Harvey Kurtzman was one of the writers of this special, and Boris Karloff voiced Baron Von Frankenstein!
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One of many imitators of "Famous Monsters of Filmland," Cracked's For Monsters Only, debuted in November 1969...
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The greatest of ALL Frankenstein parodies, Mel Brooks' brilliantly funny Young Frankenstein, premiered in 1974! The film was developed from an idea by Gene Wilder, and the story has since become a hit broadway musical (see inset).

Pictured below: Mel, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Gene Wilder, and Teri Garr.
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