Sunday, October 23, 2016

31 Days of Gothic Romance | The House of Secrets

DC's House of Secrets comic was never officially a gothic romance series, but it did sport a nice run of gothic romance covers in the early '70s by Neal Adams, Gray Morrow, Bernie Wrightson, and Nick Cardy.

The series was conceived as a mystery/horror/fantasy anthology title in the late '50s, but it was cancelled 10 years later and then revived again a few years after that. During this revival, the comic got its horror host Abel (brother to Cain, the host of DC's House of Mystery) and focused mostly on spooky, EC-style horror tales.

Even though the stories in the comic weren't gothic romance, starting with issue #88 and lasting for about eight issues there were a lot of young women running from spooky, old houses (even though "There's No Escape from... The House of Secrets") or otherwise being menaced by sinister figures (including Swamp Thing, who debuted during this period). It's interesting that even if DC wasn't willing to turn The House of Secrets into a gothic romance series, it was willing to publish misleading covers to attract fans of the genre. It just goes to show how popular gothic romance had become.

And it's not like DC was opposed to publishing gothic romance, because it was also during this time that they went ahead and started an actual, proper gothic romance comic. But we'll talk about that tomorrow.

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