Wednesday, December 2, 2009

House of Secrets #84

House of Secrets #84 (On Sale: December 2, 1969) has a cover by Neal Adams.

The book begins and ends with a nice framing sequence drawn by Bill Draut. The first tale is "If I Had But World Enough and Time" by Len Wein, Dick Dillin and Mike Peppe, a tale of suburbia and the perils and ultimate escape that can be found in watching a lot of television.

That is followed by "Double or Nothing" by Marv Wolfman and Sid Greene. This is a tale about Clifford King who runs a crooked gambling room and learns that even crooked games are no match for a man with the right "system."

Next is "The Unbelievable! The Unexplained" by Steve Skeates, Jack Sparling and Jack Abel. Ruth has a plan to steal her uncle's estate by having him committed and placed into a nursing home. Who can blame her, the old guy was catatonic, staring off into space as if he had seen something too horrible to accept. Shortly after moving in to her uncle's home and shortly after he dies in the nursing home, Ruth is busy looking for the deed to the home when she finds a mysterious key. Once in her had the key begins to throb and Ruth is forced to go where the key demands, in this case to an old house in the fog. There she opens a door and sees something, something beyond description that drives her mad. Somehow she makes it back to the estate, but she is in a catatonic state much like her uncle. Well, ,she coveted everything he had, and she got what she coveted. I liked the way that Skeates was able to immerse Abel into the story on this one.

The last story in the book is our cover-story, "If I Should Die Before I Wake..." by Len Wein and Jack Sparling, the story of Alan Fry, a man who dares not sleep for when he does he is attacked by Morlon in the land of Somnia. Fry tries to find refuge at a psychiatrist's office, but Morlon finds him even there. The entire contents were reprinted in Showcase Presents: The House of Secrets Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

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