Wednesday, November 12, 2008

House of Mystery #178

House of Mystery #178 (On Sale: November 12, 1968) has a gorgeous cover by Neal Adams.

We begin with a one-page intro by Joe Orlando. This is followed by the gem of the book, "The Game" written and drawn by Neal Adams. This is one of the most amazing Neal Adams stories ever. The artwork is just wonderful, employing a grease pencil on Bristol board technique that permeates the pages with this grainy feel. Young Jamie Markus is walking home from a birthday party where he won the door prize, a board game, when it begins to rain. A light sprinkle turns into a raging storm and Jaime frantically looks for shelter, finding it in the old Unger House. The house is empty except for a large four-poster bed, with curtained valance. When Jamie hears someone coming he hides under the bed. Feeling silly he comes out of hiding to find a young boy in the bed who looks exactly like Jamie.

Jamie's doppelganger tries to get him to leave but changes his mind when he sees the game. Enclosed in the curtained bed the two boys spend hours playing the game until finally Jamie wins. Just then the other boy dives under the covers as a hand comes through the curtains and grabs Jamie. And then...well, why spoil a great ending. This was Adams at his very best. Reprinted in DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #17 and Deadman #1.

Next is "The Man Who Haunted a Ghost" from House of Mystery #35 and drawn by Jim Mooney. In the middle of this story is a Page 13 humor piece. Following it is a Cain's game Room page by Sergio Aragones. Lastly is "What's the Youth?" by E. Nelson Bridwell, Winslow Mortimer and George Roussos.

This entire book was reprinted in Showcase Presents: The House of Mystery Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Joe Orlando.

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