Friday, May 9, 2008

House of Mystery #175

House of Mystery #175 (On Sale: May 9, 1968) has the first of many wonderful Neal Adams HOM covers featuring a group of children. Neal's covers, more any other single factor, set the tone for the highly successful run of DC mystery books.

Inside we begin with a one-page introduction of Cain the caretaker of the House of Mystery written and drawn by Joe Orlando. Next is "The Gift of -- Doom" drawn by George Roussos and reprinted from House of Mystery #137. That is followed by "All Alone" a two-page text story illustrated by Joe Orlando and a one-page "Page 13" gag-panel written by Joe Orlando and drawn by Sergio Aragones.

We finally come to the meet of the issue, "The House of Gargoyles" by Bob Haney and Jack Sparling, the first original DC "mystery" story in years and the start of a long and successful run of mystery/horror stories at DC. It features a couple of interesting things that will become staples of the DC horror books. First, the first page is an introduction to the story by the host, Cain, who also appears at the end of the story to wrap things up.

Second, there is a panel in the story that the cover by Neal Adams mimicks. This story is about three children who discover the secret of these living gargoyles. Apparently the cover with the children was so effective that the three tykes would return to the cover month after month under the technical expertise of Adams. This first story was reprinted in DC Special #11, Limited Collectors' Edition C-23 and Showcase Presents: The House of Mystery Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

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