Illustration, adaptation, and the development of Frankenstein’s visual lexicon
in Adapting Frankenstein
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Looking to a range of illustrated editions, including those illustrated by Nino Carbe (1932), Lynd Ward (1934), Everett Henry (1934), Bernie Wrightson (1983) and Barry Moser (1984), this chapter considers the method by which illustrations impact on our reading of Frankenstein, and how they expand the visual lexicon of Frankenstein established by stage and film adaptations. This chapter argues that visual and narrative similarities across successive illustrated editions foster cultural consensus as to what ‘counts’ as Frankenstein, even as variations in illustrators’ style and emphasis result in editions with very different visual and ideological messages. This chapter posits that the consistencies and variations evident across successive illustrated editions matter less than their cumulative contribution to the Frankenstein adaptation network.

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