About the Frankenlaw Image

Comic book artist Gary Welsh reflects on the thinking behind his construction of the poster image that he created for the conference.

The brief was to represent law as a sort of ‘Frankenstein’s monster’ made up of constituent elements stitched together in an illustration that encompasses the whole. The chaotic mess surrounding the table with the ‘monster’ represents law as its separate parts and combined in the form of man having been created by man.

In support of the theme, the linework style I employed is one that is built up in layers creating a whole image from individual marks. What on its own looks merely like some lines becomes the texture on the floor. A series of vertical lines become reflections on a jar. Cross-hatching in different intensity creates tones dark and light. The focal points of the image are simpler, with more white or black to draw the eye in contrast with the heavily layered hatching in the background.

Symbolic aspects of law are included throughout the image, such as the torches on the wall and sword beneath the window—the tools of lady justice. Beakers of solution, powders and high-tech machinery represent science and technology. Dismembered organs and body parts support the theme of different parts combining to create the whole, and through the window we see signs of civilisation and community: and a mob demanding justice and the village over the hill.

All of this, ultimately, is framed in the silhouette of Mary Shelley representing the human mind from where it all originated.

Gary is an independent comic book artist. His work for Frankenlaw was sponsored by the Scottish Centre for Comics Studies.

See more of Gary’s work here