The cover to How to Make a Monster by Casanova Frankenstein and Glenn Pearce, featuring the title and creator names on cut-out sheets of paper. Behind the text is a scribbly, dark image of a young boy styled like Frankenstein's monster with a stapled gash over his forehead and bolts sticking out of his neck.
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Casanova Frankenstein, Glenn Pearce

How to Make a Monster: Ugly Memories of Chicago from a South Side Escapee

On sale date: September 6, 2022

How to Make a Monster is Casanova Frankenstein's unflinching memoir of growing up as a Black INTJ 13-year-old in 1980.

Conveyed as a bleak first-person narrative with darkly humorous overtones, Casanova Frankenstein reveals how real life experience shaped his hard-bitten, survivalist view of life. His was a world of fear and isolation punctuated by bullying thugs, the stifling atmosphere of the Lutheran school on the South Side of Chicago, racial segregation, unapproachable girls, and a home life consisting of an emotionally distant and unsupportive mother and an violent, alcoholic cop father who was not above giving his son a good thrashing now and again while preaching Christian family values. It is a searing portrait of an unbearably painful upbringing.

How to Make a Monster is illustrated by Australian outsider artist Glenn Pearce in a rare creative symbiosis in which Pearce captures Frankenstein's inner turmoil using a variety of stunningly realized artistic approaches from naturalistic portraiture to outrageously inventive phantasmagoric imagery. A seamlessly contrapuntal balancing act between Frankenstein's raw, unadorned writing and Pearce's stunningly detailed drawing.


"In this sublime collaboration, Frankenstein and Pearce manifest into comics an excoriating, bleakly poetic memoir of Frankenstein's hard-knock life in early 1980s South Side Chicago. ... Pearce's wonderfully fluid, ever-morphing underground comics art captures the nuance of Frankenstein's plight." — Publishers Weekly, starred review


Paperback / Softback
8" × 11.3"