I was lucky to read the New York Public Library Special Illustrated Edition of Frankenstein. It successfully ruined my mental image of Frankenstien’s monster as Boris Karlof or, I think, Robert Deniro (?—I never saw the movie but I did watch a surprising amount of Entertainment Tonight for a few years). It’s full of pictures. Pictures of Frankenstein over the years, from the original illustrations, to stage actor T.P. Cooke, to a fifties Pulp version. Not surprisingly, there’s no Karlof. Why bother?
But, surprisingly, there was Lynd Ward. In my mind now, the creator of the definitive Frankenstein image. I think it’s the grotesque classical proportions in tortured pose that does it.
There’s not a lot of information around on the first Ward edition (you can buy it here for $350 USD) but there is a handsome a frightening edition of it available at Schocklines. The cover is blood red. That means it’s extra scary.
If you’re looking for illustrations of Frankenstein, by the way, you really have only one destination, Artwork of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It’s pages like that one that make me remember why we love the internet.