Now the easy answer to the question I'm using as today's blog title is: Yes.
Without a doubt, the book by Mary Shelley (no relation btw) is indeed in public domain, even by European standards. So, you can publish your version of the classic story again in any manner you want. Like both Bernie Wrightson and Neal Adams have done in the past.
However, what is NOT in public domain are certain specific VERSIONS of the Frankenstein monster - most notably, the Universal Pictures version.
What seems to be the distinguishing feature is the neck bolts, as all comic representations of the monster either remove them or move them. (Though I'd be interested to read the legal precedent where this distinction was determined.) Here are some examples of how comics have avoided infringing on Universal's rights over the years..
And as wonky as the Dell version is, I gotta give the prize for WORST rendition of the monster to the Dean R. Koontz version(which I understand is a complete reinterpetation, but c'mon - isn't the whole point of the story that he's somewhat monsterous looking?)
In honor of the upcoming Halloween, I thought I'd use today's Free Comics Monday to present two issues of the Prize Comics version of Frankenstein!
Drawn by Dick Briefer, this comic was sort of stuck in that awkward stage for comics during the 50's when it seems publishers weren't quite sure what to do with horror comics as they grappled with the new realities of the comics code. Unlike Vampires, Werewolves and Zombies, the Frankenstein monster wasn't explicitly prohibited by the comics code but without the liberty to cause his usual violence, you get stories with the Frankestein Monster fighting Dinosaurs...
Note: if you like this sample of Golden Age craziness, feel free to check out Trey Causey's: One Panel Adventure Seeds.
Enjoy today's Free Comics!
[ Frankestein 21 ]
[ Frankenstein 22 ]
Update: Unbeknownst to me, Trey posted about Frankenstein this morning too, so check out his post on From The Sorcerer's Skull for more on Mary's Monster