Tuesday, October 23, 2007

dc comics house of mystery

Today's horror comic selection is what could probably be called DC Comics' flagship horror title, "The House of Mystery." It ran from the early 1950s until about 1983, but only became a horror comic in the late 1960s (originally, it featured Martian Manhunter). It was revived briefly in the mid-1980s as "Elvira's House of Mystery" featuring the curvaceous (and in my opinion, very funny) horror hostess.
"House of Mystery," in the E.C. tradition, was "hosted" by Cain. His brother (Abel, natch) was the host of DC's companion publication, "House of Secrets." Together with the Witch from DC's "Witching Hour," they were all the hosts of "Plop!" Like "Plop," "House of Mystery" also often featured gag panels, you'll see a page below by Sergio Aragones (whose work, of course, is all over "Plop!" and "Mad"). You'll also notice that even as horror comics were going out of vogue, DC seemed committed to "House of Mystery," hiring some top artists to do the covers of later issues (below you'll see covers by Mike Kaluta, Jim Starlin and Joe Kubert). Click the pics for fullsize images...








Here's a funny first page announcing, somewhat cutely, the addition of the great Len Wein (co-creator of Swamp Thing) as editor of House of Mystery...


Here's a relative late (early 1980s, i think) advertisement for DC's horror comics...


I'm starting to gain a real appreciation for DC's in-house advertising, especially on their superhero comics. They always seem to load the ads with some of their coolest obscure characters. This is the second ad I've found prominently advertising Jack Kirby's OMAC character. It also features, if you'll notice, the Wonder Twins from the "Superfriends" cartoon...


It's also interesting, looking at some of the ads, extras and announcements in these comics, to see various ways in which DC has used Superman over the years. Here, for example, in a public service announcement from the mid-1970s...


Or, a few years later, to promote the second Superman movie (wonder who won this contest)...


And a year or so after that to shill computers for Radio Shack in a full length bonus comic included with the regular comic...


Check back later for our daily film review, 1956's "The Werewolf," and check back tomorrow for more comics (next time- DC's companion publication "House of Secrets")...

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