Advance Review – Frankenstein PhD #1

Writer: Greg Watt
Artwork: Craig Munro
Release Date: 26th May 2018 (Granite City Comic Con)

Students are disappearing from the campus of Hammer University, and the higher-ups are starting to get a little worried.  However, rather than simply reporting these incidents to the authorities, the faculty have put the safety of the younger student population in the hands of the seniors – seniors who include our titular wannabe Doctor and his two rather unusual roommates.

Frankenstein PhD serves as the writing debut of Greg Watt, and features artwork from Craig Munro.  It blends all the familiar relationship and roommate baggage that frequently comes hand-in-hand with these types of John Hughes-esque young adult stories with a little dash of the supernatural, resulting in a fun, light-hearted read.

The characters all fall into familiar tropes for the most part; Victor the geeky protagonist; Jess, the sassy friend; Jon, the weird, hairy roommate; but Watt pairs these up with familiar movie monster types – vampires, werewolves and the like – to create a quirky style that manages to feel a lot fresher than it perhaps has any right to.

There aren’t necessarily any major laugh-out-loud moments here, but there’s certainly more than enough humour to keep a smile on your face throughout the majority of the book.  Watt’s love of horror and geeky puns can be felt on almost every page, and there definitely seems to be something more than a little autobiographical about his unlucky-in-love leading man.

On the visual side of the book, Munro’s artwork looks the business, and does a lot of the heavy lifting here with a slick, cartoony style and some brilliant character designs.  Everything is suitably bright, colourful and expressive, and there are some neat visual gags – such as Jon’s t-shirt or the strangely familiar University Principal – to be picked up on along the way.

As an opening issue, it does everything it needs to, introducing us to what is a fairly likeable cast of characters, throwing in a head-scratching mystery, and rounding things out with a shocking cliff-hanger that could take the series in a variety of different directions.  It’s a remarkably efficient offering for a first time writer, and the collaboration between Watt and Munro seems to be firing on all cylinders, resulting in a remarkably polished self-published comic.

Blending the ups and down university life with the finest traditions of Hammer Horror, Frankenstein PhD delivers a promising start to what looks set to be a lively new all-ages series.

Frankenstein PhD #1 is set to launch at Granite City Comic Con in Aberdeen on the 26th and 27th of May. 

Make sure to follow the Official Frankenstein PhD Facebook Page for all the latest news between now and then.

ceejThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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