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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Monster Mash Novella

A comic riff on Frankenstein and friends

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Many of us grew up watching old horror films, those classic black-and-white pictures set in a foggy recreation of Eastern Europe where vampires prowl by night, werewolves roam in the light of a full moon and monsters are made by scientists careless in their pursuit of the secrets of life. And if your imagination was sufficiently stimulated by those late night classics, you probably sketched out your own scenarios for Ygor, Dr. Frankenstein and company.

That’s exactly what a pair of Milwaukee-linked authors did—years after first encountering those old movies. Fit for a Frankenstein by Paul McComas and Greg Starrett is an entertaining novella inspired by an apparent gap in 1942’s The Ghost of Frankenstein: Frankenstein’s monster, thoroughly disheveled and caked in dried sulfur, reemerges in the next scene cleaned up and in a new suit. Fit is a cheeky tale of how Ygor helped the monster spruce up, replete with Ygor’s Balkan enunciation: “You valk into ze vater. It vill vash you clean.”

Paul McComas will present from Fit for a Frankenstein as part of “Forties Film Night at Boswell Books,” 7 p.m., May 7. Full disclosure: I am the opening act, reading (in my best Balkan intonations?) from by latest book, Mamoulian: Life on Stage and Screen.