Word & Image. Apr-Jun2012, Vol. 28 Issue 2, p206-232. 27p.
20th century book illustration, Gay male erotic art, Woodcutting (Printmaking), Art & literature, and Gothic influences on art
American graphic artist Lynd Ward's detailed wood engravings for Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, allotted scant attention by critics, depart radically from other book illustrations of the novel. While these renderings borrow heavily from the cinema, Ward's woodcuts are Gothic in atmosphere and psychology and build on the nineteenth-century stage history of Frankenstein. In addition, Ward's illustrations constitute the earliest attempt in the medium to offer a sustained queer reading of the novel, anticipating like-minded critical investigations of Frankenstein by about sixty-five years. While Ward's interpretation lays the foundation for such theoretical readings, it also mediates Victor's homoeroticism through the illustrator's own socialist politics of the early 1930s and the visual narratives that constitute his two earlier graphic novels, Wild Pilgrimage (1932) and Prelude to a Million Years (1933). [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]