Smithsonian Snapshot

October 24, 2019

It's Alive! It's Alive!

Frankenstein comic book cover.
Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

This issue of Classic Comics contained an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein. Ruth Roche adapted the novel for the comic’s publication by the Gilberton Co. Inc. in December 1945. Robert Webb and Ann Brewster illustrated the issue’s cover art that depicts an oversized Frankenstein’s monster holding a tree and towering over a small town. Shelley originally published the novel anonymously in 1818, before publishing a revised edition under her own name in 1823.

Classic Comics was a series of comic book adaptations of literary classics published from 1941 until 1971. The series aimed to expose young people to classic literature through the more popular medium of a comic book. Classic Comics was first published by Elliott Publishing in 1941, but founder Albert Kanter spun off publishing to the Gilberton Co. in 1942. In 1947, Classic Comics became Classics Illustrated. Kanter sold the company to the Frawley Corporation in 1967, who published the series until 1971.

This comic book is in the collection of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. It is not currently on view.

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