So: some years back I got a call from a dude called Byron Preiss regarding working on an adaptation of Frankenstein into comic format, aimed at the younger readers market and published via Puffin. The money was lame, but the project was sweetened when dear Byron said “yes” to my demands that I adapt the book myself, dealing with all the pacing and visual storytelling. He said he would get someone to deal with fitting words to the pictures later, and I agreed.
I read the book in a day (and I don’t read books at all, so that was a major deal) and broke the whole thing down into the 144 pages I was allowed. I chopped out the whole history lesson bit in the middle and focussed quite simply on telling the story as I had read it: using Mary’s book as the comic script if u will. Shortly after this had begun, I was informed that the writer had prepared a treatment, with his own pacing and interpretation of the narrative. Clearly noone had told him what my agreement had been, so I pulled a strop and acted like a spoilt little brat throwing his toys around until they relented and went back to the plan. After all, the money was so lame it felt like utter stupidity to give up the only sweet part of this deal, and I would rather just not do it.
Back on track, I started making pages. I also had other work on the go, so time began to melt like honey around me, and soon I found myself with 10 days to finish the last 75 pages of the book. Byron begged me to hit the deadline, and even offered me some more money (a tiny amount, but it was the thought that counted). So I spent the next 10 days bashing those pages out like a madman. Some pages were very weak, some were very strong. The speed and intensity at which I worked was both exhausting and exhilarating. And I hit that deadline, then went to the pub where I told all my comics mates what I had just been doing (noone gave a shit really).
Sadly, soon after the book was published (and after I got my 12 comp copies) Byron was killed in a road accident, leaving his company to dissolve in a mist of litigation and other stuff I neither understood nor cared about. During many hearings at some court in New York the ownership of this book was sold to someone or something, and all I got were the masses of paperwork in inpenetrable legalese telling me that if I want anything, I gotta hire a lawyer to sit in on this shit until the end of time. That didn’t happen. I never got the royalty I was promised in the contract, I have no idea how many copies sold, I don’t know who owns it, and I have one solitary copy left in my possession.
But I still got the files, mwah hah hahh….
So what I might do is post photosets of the entire thing, start to finish in nice chunks of six pages or so over a period of weeks, all virgin art with no lettering (hey kids, adapt it yourself!) and not printed on that crappy newsprint that soaked up the ink like a sponge.
It’s an old work, and as I mentioned much of it was done hastily, so there’s some very rough edges…there’s also some quite haunting moments (IMHO) and some nice little storytelling aspects, so it should balance out.
If the current owner of the book decides this is not fair, then maybe they can contact me like they should have done when they got the rights. And we can chat about the Beatles, swimming, tea, and Fine Art Pornography, before agreeing that I will do this anyway and have a nice day. Somehow I doubt that’ll happen tho.
So, enough of this TL:DR, I’ll start by posting the sample page I drew to get the gig. It looks positively primitive to me now, but someone out there may like it.
Disney Horror. Thanks to the AV Club for the nightmares.
look i know these pages aren’t gonna write themselves but, pages, c’mon, fuck you, just once, for me, do it yourself