Thursday, 30 October 2014

Frank Thorne In The House Of Mystery

Frank Thorne isn't the first name that springs to mind when it comes to horror, but wait. On his occasional visits to The House Of Mystery, he contributed some pretty wild stuff. Here's a couple of prime examples:
Fireman, Burn My Child! is a fun little EC style revenge caper you'll get a chuckle out of, but today it's just the appetizer...

Here's the main course. Pingo! is, well, it's just about the nastiest comics code approved tale I've ever seen in a DC mystery mag, like some grimy grindhouse flick from the '70's. It wouldn't surprise me if Rob Zombie was doing a remake even as we speak.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Jerry Grandenetti In The House Of Mystery

Yet another magnificent artist I missed at the time, but have since discovered is the completely unique Jerry Grandenetti, a man absolutely born to do queasy horror.
I'll admit, when I first saw Jerry's work, I absolutely loathed it, and it was only after checking out his even more outre art for Warren that I got it. It was my problem, not his.
Grandanetti's art is disturbing, unsettling, even ugly. Which is entirely the point.
These three stories today aren't, in and of themselves scary, but the art makes them creepy and worrying, because every panel, and everything that happens, somehow just feels...wrong.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Bill Draut In The House Of Secrets

Another one of those great artists I somehow never noticed at the time, but have become a huge fan of in reprints, Bill Draut defines The House Of Secrets for me.
One of the reasons DC's mystery titles trampled over everybody else's, and why I like them so much, is the time given to the hosts of each spooky book. I'm much more interested in the framing stories around each issue than the headline scary tales, and was always disappointed when Cain in The House Of Mystery or the three witches from The Witching Hour were reduced into just one paltry head shot at the start of each story.
Happily, in the early years of this book Abel, the chubby cowardly caretaker at The House Of Secrets, always got his own chance to shine, alongside imaginary friend Goldie ( or was it imaginary? )
Each issue is more or less the same, with Abel weaving stories to get through the night, while The House repeatedly tries to scare him to death. Plus there's time for guest stars, as here where both Cain and Cynthia, the sexy sorceress from The Witching Hour, pop in to spin a yarn or two.
Draut's work here is wonderful, so I'm gonna be cheeky and only show you his framing stories for these two issues, plus a full Wild Bill story for each. Hey, you can always buy the Showcase Presents...