My first pick is Secrets of the Haunted House #9. In the late 70s, DC was cranking out a ton of horror books. Often, the covers were absolutely wonderful, but the stories within were uninspired. For the most part, I've found Secrets of the Haunted House to be a pretty tepid series, but this issue is a lot of fun. It features a dull Luis Dominguez cover that belies the contents. Open up this baby and the first pleasant surprise is a Steve Ditko 5 pager. It's an ok Arnold Drake story about a ghost seeking revenge, but it's always fun to find Ditko where you least expect him. The final two stories didn't do much for me art wise, but they are both written by Jack Oleck. Several years ago, I noticed that most of my favourite DC horror stories were written by Oleck. They just seemed a bit darker, a bit creepier and a lot more fund. I guess I wasn't surprised when I discovered that Oleck had cut his teeth at EC in the 50s. These two stories both feature those great EC-style 'shocking twist' endings. If you see this book on the cheap, grab it and thank me later.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Hidden Gems: Secrets of the Haunted House #9
Here's a new category I'm adding to the blog. Hidden Gems are not books you've got to rush out and grab, nor spend hours on Ebay tracking down. They are books that are worth picking up if you stumble upon them at the right price.