Image is seeking to creep out comics readers (in a good way): through classic horror with Madame Frankenstein and through a chilling crime serial with Nailbiter. Both will be in comics shops on 7 May and both are priced 299 cents. Read on to see what these stories are all about.
Madame Frankenstein (Jamie S. Rich, Megan Levens)
We should be familiar with the story of Victor Frankenstein suffering the consequences of playing God. In Madame, Rich and Levens explores reanimator Vincent Krall’s “bigger mistake.” What Rich suggests brings up the phrase “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
“I have always been fascinated by the Frankenstein legend and the deeper mythological meanings in Shelley’s original novel, so when Megan came to me with her concept for a My Fair Lady-style appropriation of the concept, it took me all of two seconds to say yes,” said Rich.
“There seemed to be so much potential there, both in terms of exploring the thematic depths of the story and playing around with the look and feel of classic horror. The downfall of Victor Frankenstein was that he played God and tried to build his own version of man. His hubris was in thinking too highly of his own capacity for creation. Our mad doctor’s bigger mistake is underestimating the power of women.”
In addition to blending My Fair Lady with Mary Shelley, artist Levens will stylize Madame’s look like the classic Universal creature features.
“The time period and setting also helped to inspire the artwork in MADAME FRANKENSTEIN. “I’ve always been strongly drawn to the moody, old-Hollywood glamour of the classic Universal monster films, and I felt that aesthetic would be a perfect match for the elements of horror and romance in this story,” said Levens.
“The period of the early 1930s gave me so much to work with visually, as the architecture, costumes, and even minute details like glassware and wallpaper helped ground the fantastic elements of the story in a reality that still feels a bit removed from the world of the reader. But the aspect of those films that appealed most to me was that they derived their sense of horror from the emotions of the characters. Even the monsters were shown feeling fear, love, and loneliness… and a monster you can empathize with is perhaps the most terrifying of all.”
Nailbiter (Joshua Williamson, Mike Henderson)
Buckaroo, Oregon is an odd name for a town, but what’s odder is that it’s where 16 serial killers were born. Charles Kohl of the FBI was trying to find out how Buckaroo became a felonious factory since 1969, but he goes missing. Our hero taking up the cause? NSA agent Nicholas Finch. Make up your own jokes on Finch’s preferred investigation and surveillance methods.
Writer Williamson has “always wanted to explore” the families of serial killers. He shares an anecdote:
“Many years ago when I was an art director I was talking to one of my co-workers when she told me that she had broken up with her boyfriend. In the past she had said things were going really well so I was surprised by the news. She explained to me that her ex-boyfriend’s uncle had been arrested for killing five women. He was a serial killer.
I asked ‘But your ex didn’t know, right? He wasn’t a part of it, so why dump him?’ She explained to me, ‘I just can’t be with someone who is that close to something so evil,'” said Williamson. “That always stuck with me. We talk a lot about the families of the victims but never the families of the serial killers. The world they left behind. The family that has to find out that someone they loved was killing people. The harsh truth is that it destroys those families. And I always wanted to explore that.”