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Paul McComas and Greg Starrett
Fit for a Frankenstein
Walkabout Publishing
US Trade Paperback First Edition
ISBN 978-1-482-62233-1
Publication Date: 04-02-2013
88 Pages; $8.99

Date Reviewed: 04-09-2013
Reviewed by: Rick Kleffel © 2013

Index:  Horror  Fantasy  General Fiction  

It doesn't all have to be about the meaning of life. As readers, it's nice to have a breather between the more substantial titles in our queues. Surprisingly though, silliness is pretty hard to find, probably because it's hard to write. Life is not silly, unfortunately, and offers few examples from which to draw inspiration. But movies, with or without intention, are full of nonsense, even when they're based on seriously good books.

Paul McComas and Greg Starrett have happily mined their childhoods and many of ours to stitch together 'Fit for a Frankenstein,' a short snappy joyride that reconciles a seemingly minor inconsistency in the movie The Ghost of Frankenstein and in the course of doing so manages to find some serious comedy. You might not learn anything about the core reasons for existence, but in the moments you spend reading this you may blow a fuse or two at the non-stop jokes, puns and in-the-know shadowboxing that makes up the story.

The premise is simple. In the movie, The Ghost of Frankenstein, we see a disheveled Ygor and a sulfur-streaked monster leave the village of Frankenstein only to show up in Vasaria much better dressed. 'Fit for a Frankenstein' details the journey from one stop to the other and explains how they obtained their clothing. In the process, the authors use just about every form of humor you can imagine with a shockingly high hit rate with regards to making the reader laugh.

McComas and Starrett are smart enough to know that the key to comedy is character and give readers a nice gallery of goofy ghouls. Ygor is impatient but ambitious, the monster dim but powerful, Gretl, more voluptuous than virtuous, and Klaus, her father, innovative with a needle and thread. We know who they are and we know who we're with, and the clockwork just keeps ticking.

The fun here is to be found everywhere, on and off the page. From "Chapter Vun" to the authors' campy photos, the humor comes not just from the jokes and puns and groaners that grace every page and paragraph, but as well from the in-jokes and the intense references to just about every film incarnation of the story, good and bad. The book is not just about the story within, but the many efforts to tell it on film, which gives it a fun dimension that is actually pretty unique.

The authors are happy to fill readers in where all this came from and why in an enjoyable afterward. It's fun to read about both the details and the authors' memories of the movies. Anyone who spent childhood TV time in front of a small black and white television watching Chiller or any the hosted TV horror movie shows will find companion souls here. There's a three page extra story, to complete the emulation of a movie with a stinger after the credits. 'Fit for a Frankenstein' is actually a great fit for readers who think books are better than movies; a fun book based on bad movies we nonetheless loved because they were clearly the products of people who loved what they were doing.

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