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

How to Make a Monster: Ugly Memories of Chicago from a South Side Escapee By Casanova Frankenstein, Glenn Pearce Cover Image

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

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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.



Casanova Frankenstein was a Gen-X latchkey-kid, raised on the incongruous influences of ‘70s-era Chicago UHF TV-programming and American-hypocrisy. He earned degrees in Fine Art and Metaphysics and produced art, poetry, and comics (In The Wilderness, which he wrote and drew, was published by Fantagraphics in 2019). He worked a 25-year string of Kafkaesque day jobs while maintaining a strict personal code. Retiring early in 2016 due to health issues, he remains a combination of James Baldwin, Charles Bukowski, and Mad Max — but 20-years ahead of his time.

Born in 1975 Glenn Pearce, INFJ and animal and human rights activist, has been an Australian underground comic artist since 1990.
Product Details ISBN: 9781683965718
ISBN-10: 168396571X
Publisher: Fantagraphics
Publication Date: September 6th, 2022
Pages: 224
Language: English
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