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Showcase Presents The Secrets of Sinister…
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Showcase Presents The Secrets of Sinister House

by Scott Nybakken (Editor (collected ed.)), Alfredo Alcala (Illustrator), Murray Boltinoff (Editor (original series)), Mike Fleisher (Author), Joe Orlando (Editor (original series))1 more, Dorothy Woolfolk (Editor (original series))

Other authors: Neal Adams (Illustrator), John Albano (Contributor), Vicente Alcazar (Illustrator), Mar Amongo (Illustrator), Murphy Anderson (Illustrator)53 more, Sergio Aragonés (Contributor; Illustrator), Sy Barry (Illustrator), Ambrose Bierce (Contributor), E. Nelson Bridwell (Contributor), Rick Buckler (Illustrator), John Calnan (Illustrator), Ernie Chan (Illustrator), Howard Chaykin (Illustrator), Mary Dezuniga (Contributor), Tony Dezuniga (Contributor), Leo Dorfman (Contributor), Bill Draut (Illustrator), Maxene Fabe (Contributor), Ramona Fradon (Illustrator), Romy Gamboa (Illustrator), Frank Giacoia (Illustrator), Dick Giordano (Illustrator), Sam Glanzman (Illustrator), Jerry Grandenetti (Illustrator), Larry Hama (Illustrator), W. F. Harvey (Contributor), Don Heck (Illustrator), John Jacobson (Contributor), Jess Jodloman (Illustrator), Michael Wm. Kaluta (Illustrator), Gil Kane (Illustrator), Robert Kanigher (Contributor), George Kashdan (Contributor), June Lofamia (Illustrator), Angel B. Luna (Illustrator), Lynn Marron (Contributor), Sheldon Mayer (Contributor), Win Mortimer (Illustrator), Alex Niño (Illustrator), Abe Ocampo (Illustrator), Jack Oleck (Contributor), Joe Orlando (Contributor), Don Perlin (Illustrator), Ed Ramos (Illustrator), Nestor Redondo (Illustrator), Rico Rival (Illustrator), Frank Robbins (Contributor), Bernard Sachs (Illustrator), Mike Sekowsky (Illustrator), Lore Shoberg (Contributor; Illustrator), Steve Skeates (Contributor), Jack Sparling (Illustrator), Gerry Talaoc (Illustrator), Alex Toth (Illustrator), Len Wein (Contributor), Fred Wolfe (Contributor), Dave Wood (Contributor), Ruben Yandoc (Illustrator)

Series: DC Showcase Presents

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Secrets of Sinister House has a more distinct identity than some of DC's other horror titles; it actually starts off as The Secret House of Sinister Love and features issue-length stories, as opposed to The House of Mystery, The House of Secrets, and The Witching Hour!, which crammed three or so stories into each issue. In addition, the stories have a unique theme: gothic romance. Which seems to mean young ladies being lured into strange houses on strange pretenses to be manipulated into marriages. So kinda weird, but strangely enjoyable-- how many variations on that theme can be devised?

Not a ton, as with issue #6, the series switches to the more traditional collections of stories, but in the interim there's some strangely enjoyable stuff; the full-length stories mean these stories have much more of an impact than some of their contemporaries. Particularly there's some lavish artwork from some of DC's best, like Alex Toth in "Bride of the Falcon" (a young woman in Venice), or Tony Dezuniga in "Kiss of the Serpent" (a young woman in India).

The later issues lose this gimmick, but it still seems more cohesive than in some series. I did enjoy the creativity of "The Hag's Curse" and "The Hamptons' Revenge" (written by Sheldon Mayer, art by Sam Glanzman), two stories of different time periods that literally run in parallel to each other-- take that indie comics innovators of the 2000s. We even get a story that seems rooted in DC's "Great Disaster," with "When Is Tomorrow Yesterday?" (written by Sheldon Mayer, art by Alfredo Alcala). The book does begin to get kinda dumb with its own theme by the end, though, such as issue #16, where each story is about a literal "sinister house"! Lame.

I picked this volume up because, as with its contemporaries, its host was reclaimed by Neil Gaiman as a resident of the Dreaming in The Sandman. But Eve is a virtual non-entity in these pages. The Secret House of Sinister Love actually begins as hosted by Cain, pulling out a file from the House of Mystery. Finally, with issue #6, Eve gets an amazing introduction, where Cain and Abel run away from the Sinister House because they don't want to be there when "that thousand-year-old female horror arrives!" (she's apparently been sleeping), but after that, she's just a recycled Alfredo Alcala headshot at the beginning of each story, with no personality. She does have a raven with her, though-- Matthew's predecessor? There's even an appearance in one story of three witches living in an apartment together-- Mildred, Mordred, and Cynthia of The Witching Hour! perhaps?

The Houses of Mystery and Secrets: « Previous in sequence | Next in sequence »
  Stevil2001 | Dec 20, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nybakken, ScottEditor (collected ed.)primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alcala, AlfredoIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Boltinoff, MurrayEditor (original series)main authorall editionsconfirmed
Fleisher, MikeAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Orlando, JoeEditor (original series)main authorall editionsconfirmed
Woolfolk, DorothyEditor (original series)main authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, NealIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Albano, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alcazar, VicenteIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amongo, MarIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, MurphyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aragonés, SergioContributor; Illustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barry, SyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bierce, AmbroseContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bridwell, E. NelsonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Buckler, RickIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Calnan, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chan, ErnieIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chaykin, HowardIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dezuniga, MaryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dezuniga, TonyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dorfman, LeoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Draut, BillIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fabe, MaxeneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fradon, RamonaIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gamboa, RomyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Giacoia, FrankIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Giordano, DickIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Glanzman, SamIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grandenetti, JerryIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hama, LarryIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harvey, W. F.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Heck, DonIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jacobson, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jodloman, JessIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kaluta, Michael Wm.Illustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kane, GilIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kanigher, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kashdan, GeorgeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lofamia, JuneIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Luna, Angel B.Illustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marron, LynnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mayer, SheldonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mortimer, WinIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Niño, AlexIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ocampo, AbeIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Oleck, JackContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Orlando, JoeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Perlin, DonIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ramos, EdIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Redondo, NestorIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rival, RicoIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Robbins, FrankContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sachs, BernardIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sekowsky, MikeIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shoberg, LoreContributor; Illustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Skeates, SteveContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sparling, JackIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Talaoc, GerryIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Toth, AlexIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wein, LenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wolfe, FredContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wood, DaveContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yandoc, RubenIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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