ANDY FISH

ANDY FISH is a comic book artist


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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

BUILDING THE FRANKENSTEIN MONSTER

It all started with an ad in the back of a comic book, sometime in the late 1970s.  My little brain stared at that ad for hours on end-- and it looked something like this:

Even then, a Dollar seemed like a bargain.
A life sized Frankenstein "BIG as life, hanging around your room!  So lifelike, you'll find yourself talking to him!  Money back if not HORRIFIED!"

More than one kid sent in their hard earned sheckle-- and they were certainly horrified when the mailman delivered their package-- rather than coming in a life sized wooden crate as all of us certainly imagined-- the Monster of Frankenstein arrived in a tube.  A TUBE.  Surely some horrible mistake had happened, but sure enough when you opened the tube you realized you had bought a six foot tall (more like five feet by the way) POSTER of Frankenstein.

Worse yet-- the monster had a dopey look on his face which is depicted accurately in the ad but looks much more noticeable in person.

I'm happy to report that the ad still works today-- fooling the young and faithful.  Sitting around with my good bud Keenan Cassidy flipping through some old comic books Kay-Dog spotted this ad and held it up to me:

"Zoinks" He said, or something equally hip-- Keenan is a hipster-- "Man-- this is great-- I wonder if you can still find these anywhere?"

I let him down easy and explained that the offer was a con.  But I vowed that Summer day back in the days when Sonny and Cher were starring in a TV show together but living separately that I would someday have a life size Frankenstein that I would indeed talk to.


Colin Clive is my hero
Easter weekend began our building of the Frankenstein Monster-- or more accurately-- the re-building-- we had one before but he was completely scratch made and didn't have the support to keep it together-- this time will be different-- this time we'll make a man who can stand up to all manner of elements...

Easter is, after all, a celebration of the resurrection of the dead-- so maybe it's appropriate.

Our original plan was to build him out of plastic plumbing rods and then bulk him up with Bubble wrap-- creating a faux musculature.  I drew up detailed plans for the figure and took it over to Home Depot in Shrewsbury where I encountered one of the most obnoxious clerks I've ever run into.

Maybe he meant well-- I don't know-- it started out badly when he cheerfully intoned "I bet this is for a science project!"  I was polite because Veronica was with me, but I've decided the next time this happens I'm going with my gut reaction which is to tell the guy to leave me alone.

He talked incessantly as I tried to check off the parts I needed, then proceeded to grab the items for me even though I could read and honestly didn't need/want/desire his help.  In fact-- he was making this project much more complex.

We bought the parts needed and when we got home I started to assemble the frame to see how it would work out-- we wanted this one to be lighter than the other one (made out of wood) so we could move it around.  This is my THIRD Frankenstein Monster-- the first one was on a large wooden table and he rose up thanks to an electric eye anytime someone walked in.  He was donated to a local branch of the Boy Scouts for their Haunted House attraction.

Looking at the parts I'm concerned that this won't be strong enough-- and I think I would have figured that out if laughing boy hadn't insisted on asking me 2000 questions about the project at Home Depot--

So on to Plan B-- use a Mannequin.

TOMORROW: DRACULA
Thursday: Part II of The Frankenstein Monster