Daughter of Frankenstein

Originally published on January 30th, 2016, at SharondaWoodfin.net.
Republished at Sharonda.net on March 6th, 2017.

One of two comic book shops that the wife and I visit on a regular basis is closing down. There’s an up side to this, in that the one that’s closing is actually moving — complete with a poppin’1 rebranding — from two or three miles away to what Google maps expects should be a seven-minute walk. The other up side is that there’s currently a big sale at the shop that’s closing (Corner Store Comics, y’all, 980 E. Orangethorpe in Anaheim), with some deep discounts on lots of cool merchandise like the Diamond Select Toys Universal Monsters Select Son of Frankenstein figure I’m about to show you, below:

Son of Frankenstein figure with base, lab equipment, and severed artificial arm.
Son of Frankenstein figure with base, lab equipment, and severed artificial arm.

I’ve never seen Son of Frankenstein2, but I know a cool Karloff when I see one, and this guy is ice cold. This marvelous movie monster was too much to pass up with half his retail price slashed off and thrown away like so many spare parts.

According to the packaging, the film involves the discovery and resuscitation of the monster by Dr. Frankenstein’s son, Wolf, and an evil-intentioned, post-execution graverobber named Ygor. Having not seen the film, I didn’t know where the superfluous arm included in the package came from, but according to Michael Crawford’s 2014 review of the figure at Captain Toy, it’s a legitimate reference to the movie:

Frankie comes with the severed arm of poor Inspector Krogh’s right arm. Of course, what he ripped off in the Son of Frankenstein movie was already an artificial arm – Krogh had his original arm tore off by the monster when he was a child – so this one doesn’t exhibit any blood or gore.

So, poor Inspector Krogh is Corner Store Comics, in this scenario, and the monster is the new place, Pop Comics (203 W. Center Street, Anaheim), carrying a leftover piece of the poor, old inspector along with him.

Son of Frankenstein figure face detail
The detail on this piece, sculpted by Jean St. Jean, just blew me away. Especially as I saw it through my iPhone’s lens.

Sort of like how I’m carrying my first ever memory of Frankenstein and his monster from oh, so long ago!

It was 1974 or ’75. I was four or five years old, depending on which month it was (a detail I can’t recall, given that I was four or five years old), and we were at the drive-in, my mom and me. Gene Wilder was on the big screen, in glorious black and white, along with Madeline Kahn and Marty Feldman!

It was dark outside.

It was dark outside, and we wanted popcorn.

We left the safety of the car and went to the concession stand. We got our popcorn. We headed back to the car.

On the way back, Mom got ahead of me. Pretty far ahead of me, from my perspective, and monsters – even this one played by Peter Boyle – suddenly seemed a helluva lot less funny! For several minutes, Young Frankenstein3 was the scariest movie ever…  at least until I saw Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell4 at the tender age of eight5.

Good, bad, or both, the doctor and his monster(s) left an impression on my developing brain, and I’ve always had a soft spot for Mary Shelley’s patchwork fellow6 who – really – isn’t a monster, at all, but is literally the best pieces of humanity stitched together and brought (back) to glorious life, at least in the eyes of his maker.

Son of Frankenstein figure headshot
And another head shot, this time closer, because here, the monster seems to me softer and even more human.

And that’s what’s happening with the new Pop Comics, too! The best pieces of the now-defunct Beach Ball Comics (2034 W. Ball Rd., Anaheim), and the soon-to-be-so Corner Store Comics, are being stitched together to form this new comics and collectibles monster in the heart of downtown Anaheim!

But like any good beastie, carefully crafted from bits and bobs, lots of good pieces get left behind. And the deep discounts that I mentioned way up at the top of this post means that Corner Store Comics would like to leave a few of those bits in your greedy little hands.

You have a little less than two weeks in which to take advantage.

The final clearance at Corner Store Comics runs through February 11th.


Locations:


1. Pop Comics’ Facebook page

2. Dir. Rowland V. Lee. Perf. Boris Karloff, Basil Rathbone, Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill, Josephine Hutchinson, and Donnie Dunagan. Universal, 1939. Film. (See IMDB.) 

3. Dir. Mel Brooks. Perf. Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman, Terri Garr, Kenneth Mars, and Madeline Kahn. 20th Century Fox, 1974. (See IMDB.)

4. Dir. Curtis Harrington. Perf. Richard Crenna, Yvette Mimieux, Kim Richards, and Ike Eisenmann. CBS, 1978. (See Wikipedia.) 

5. Thanks, Mom, for making me like this stuff! (And books! And art! And Mel Brooks!)

6. Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. London: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, 1818. Print. (See Wikipedia.)