Tuesday, 23 July 2013

There's no escape from - the House of Secrets.

As I roam the multi-layered splendour of Tinsley Viaduct, Sheffield's finest tunesmiths the Arctic Monkeys often lean out of their Rolls Royce to ask me, "Steve, how many secrets can you keep?"

Then they ask me, "Don't you know that you're in deep?"

Then they ask, "Stop making the eyes at me. I'll stop making the eyes at you."

And I say, "Why are you speaking in your own song lyrics?"

They say, "Your name isn't Rio but I don't care for sand."

And I say, "What the hell are you on about?"

And they say, "Dancing to electro-pop like a robot from 1984."

Then they wind up the window and drive silently on while affecting to have the accents of ageing northern working men's club Elvis Presley impersonators.

But, in answer to their question, I of course keep no secrets.

However, there is one place not so blessed with the quality Quincy used to pronounce as, "Nigh-eev-tay," and that's the comic that each month brought us terror in doses we'd be lucky to survive.

That can only mean one thing...

It's time to revive that ever-popular feature where I vainly try to remember what was in an issue of a DC horror mag I've not read in nearly forty years.

House of Secrets #123, ice cream

Mr Whippy turns Mr Drippy, as ice cream becomes you scream.

From what I can remember of this, we get a re-telling of Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court but starring an ice cream van driver.
House of Secrets #123, geek

Is this the one with the rather pathetic sideshow freak who eats live chickens?

If it is, this was the mag that first introduced me to the word, "Geek."
House of Secrets #114, ice skating

I remember this one containing the tale of an ageing ice dancer who gets her revenge on a man who can only be labelled a cad and a bounder.

Sadly, there was not a Zamboni in sight.
House of Secrets #119

Another of those stories about a man who imitates a monster and gets his comeuppance, in what turns out to be a tale of unlikely romance and love at first sight.
House of Secrets #124

Is this the one with the boy who disappears off into a fantasy land filled with unicorns and satyrs?

If so, it's another of those Blackpool-bought issues - and one of my faves.
House of Secrets #126, haunted house

I had a copy of this a couple of years ago but all I recall of it is that the cover story features a boy who takes up a dare to spend a night in a haunted house - with disastrous consequences.
House of Secrets #127, skeleton pool

I wrote a review of this very issue, right here.
House of Secrets #129, graveyard

I have a feeling this one contains a traumatic tale of a terrible tontine.

If it does, it's the mag that first introduced me to the word, "Tontine."

This means that, in its time, the House of Secrets introduced me to two new words. Who says comics aren't educational?


Anonymous said...

Yep your spot on re HoS number 123, it does indeed feature a re-telling of "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" via the medium of an an ice cream van driver!!!?? its a really nice issue with that strip drawn by the great Alex Toth and a nice Frank Robbins cover (2 of my favourite artist). If I recall HoS had a really good run around issues 118 - 130 with a few Toth, Alcala, Adams etc art pages - McScotty

Ted Ignacio said...

DC's bronze age horror titles were always a treasure trove of good stories and eclectic art.