cover image The Prometheite

The Prometheite

Ari Mulch. Uncivilized, $19.95 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-941250-50-1

In her debut graphic novella, Mulch takes on Mary Shelley’s immortal Frankenstein, giving it a clever queer romance twist by reversing the gender of two of the main characters. The story opens in the early 19th century, with heroine Violet breaking gender norms of the day by studying anatomy in Ingolstadt, Germany. There she meets Aveline, the sister of her classmate Henry. Violet is instantly “smitten” with the buxom, sassy Aveline, noting that “her quick wit and bold personality contrasted with my own contemplative nature.” As they grow closer, Aveline reads Sappho’s poetry aloud to Violet, and shows her an experiment in which she uses electricity to reanimate a dead frog. But their budding romance is shattered when Aveline falls ill and dies. Soon after, Violet unwisely revives Aveline’s corpse, before learning that tampering with life and death can have gruesome, tragic consequences. Mulch’s drawings are not particularly stylish, though her judicious use of bloody hues of red against an otherwise black and white palette is effective, particularly when delineating viscera and other scenes of queasy horror. It’s a bit too brief in narrative as a full book release, but will appeal as a quick and cute-creepy divergence for queer romance readers. (Sept.)