Jazz Age Glamour and Gothic Horror in MADAME FRANKENSTEIN

December 29, 2014

Graphic novel by Jamie S. Rich and Megan Levens re-imagines classic story

Frankenstein meets Pygmalion in MADAME FRANKENSTEIN by Jamie S. Rich (12 Reasons Why I Love Her, You Have Killed Me) and Megan Levens, a graphic novel set in the dying days of the Jazz Age, coming in February from Image Comics.

In 1932, Vincent Krall, an impoverished medical student, sets out to create his perfect woman by reanimating the corpse of the woman he loved but could not possess. But in this dark tale of obsession, Vincent finds that a man cannot master life and death, and a woman is not so easily controlled.

MADAME FRANKENSTEIN began as a drawing in artist Levens’ sketchbook. After she met Rich, the two began trading ideas, and the idea became a fully-fleshed story. Rich is known for his romantic graphic novels, but MADAME FRANKENSTEIN is far from a love story, as the creators explained in an interview with Newsarama.

“Though we certainly are hoping readers will root for Gail to get her freedom, the story is more of a tragedy,” Rich said. “There are no heroes in a traditional sense. Rather, it's a tale of several people whose lives are hopelessly entangled, and the bad things this relationship causes.”

“Vincent believes he has a chance to create a woman who is completely within his control, reprogrammed and taught to think and behave how he thinks she should,” added Levens, whose evocative art captures the emotional subtleties of her and Rich’s characters and the story’s mounting dread in striking black-and-white. “As an artist I was very conscious and deliberate about showing, through the characters' expressions and body language when they interact, that their relationship is based on her fear and his desire for control.”

A graphic novel combining the horror of classic gothic fiction with the glittering tragedy of The Great Gatsby, MADAME FRANKENSTEIN will be in comic book stores on February 25 and in bookstores on March 10. It is available now for pre-order.

MADAME FRANKENSTEIN by Jamie S. Rich and Megan Levens (cover art by Joelle Jones)

  • ISBN 978-1-63215-197-1
  • Diamond Comic order code DEC140674
  • 192 pages, paperback, black and white
  • $16.99
  • In comic book stores February 25, bookstores March 10
  • Retailers, librarians, and reviewers may request a PDF galley from Jennifer de Guzman, Director of Trade Book Sales, jenniferdeguzman@imagecomics.com


“The heart of this tale is the complex relationship between the creator and his creation…. Looming, expressionistic shadows ramp up the horror; and all the while, Levens’ bold lines and feel for scene-setting flourishes evoke the romance comics of the ’40s, all without feeling too derivative. ...This is a re-interpretation of an old story that lives and breathes.” –Michelle White, Multiversity Comics

Madame Frankenstein sees Rich twist the old tale into something even creepier, set against Levens’ cinematic, wide, black and white panels. For horror and sci-fi fans, Madame Frankenstein is a must read.” –Tim Midura, The Outhousers

Madame Frankenstein is a fitting tribute to old-school Universal monster movies and Mary Shelley's classic novel. It's a comic that shows how human beings can be the real monsters, even in a world where the dead can return to life.” –James Ferguson, Horror Talk

“The craft is outstanding, with Jamie S. Rich’s dialogue revealing so much in just a few sentences, and Megan Levens’ art delineating the cast wonderfully.” –Johanna Draper Carlson, Comics Worth Reading

MADAME FRANKENSTEIN “breathes new life into the tale of Frankenstein’s monster.” –Sara Westrop, Geek Syndicate