Thursday, 30 October 2014

The most forgettable comics I have ever owned. Part 14: Forbidden Tales of Dark Mansion #13.

Forbidden Tales of Dark Mansion #13, melty man
I owe a debt of gratitude to The Groovy Agent at Diversions of Groovy Kind because, the other day, he produced a post about the comic whose cover resides to the left of these very words.

And I have to admit that, until he did so, I had no memory at all of ever having owned it - or of it even having existed.

Even now, my memories of it are vague. I know the main story is about a man who learns never to mess with a woman who likes to mutilate wax figurines but I don't have a clue what the, "Second mind-chiller," is that's contained within.

According to the Grand Comics Database, the other tale is called The Eavesdropper, a title that rings no bells with me at all.

Exactly why I forgot about having owned the comic, I don't know. It does, after all, feature a striking Mike Kaluta cover - and the main story's resolution bears strong similarities to that of Phantom Stranger #32, which is one of the most strongly remembered tales from my childhood.

Forbidden Tales of Dark Mansion seems to have been a strange comic, as it started out as The Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love, which all sounds very exciting and luridly delirious. But it seems that Luridly Delirious was not what the comic-buying public of 1972 wanted, as it changed title and concept after just four issues.

Sadly, after issue #15, the re-branded title also disappeared from the shelves. Perhaps DC were just producing too many horror comics by that point and Forbidden Mansion was one title too many?

Or perhaps there was some other reason?

But, sadly, like the onlookers on the above cover, I fear I may forever be in ignorance of the reasons for the dread demise I have blundered across.


Anonymous said...

Steve, you're not missing much forgetting The Eavesdropper; even Gil Kane's art seemed a bit slack.

Thinking about it, I'm pretty sure I read it at Diversions of the Groovy Kind too, so unless its been taken down you don't have to take my word for it.


Paul McScotty -Muir said...

Your right Sean this strip was indeed in Diversions of the Groovy Kind - You can see some strips from this comic in the link below, including the cover story from issue 13 (some nice Alcala artwork)

I think DC overdone their mystery / horror titles based I assume on both Houses of Mystery & Secrets selling well - some real turkey as I recall including Ghost Castle (still they were better that some of Charlton's later attempts)

Anonymous said...

My guess would be that "Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love" was intended to appeal to fans who read Gothic Romance/Suspense paperback novels (and who probably also watched "Dark Shadows" on TV). Unfortunately, most of those fans were teenage girls and young women who did not read comics. And when DC realized that girls weren't buying it, they changed the title to emphasize horror instead of romance. By then, though, it was perceived as a girls' romance mag, so boys shunned it.

That is, too much romance for the horror fans, and vice versa.

Maybe DC will try a revival, to appeal to the "Twilight" fans. But I expect they would have the same problem as before: the fans of that genre don't read comics.

Steve W. said...

Anon, you're right. Judging by the covers, its earlier incarnation must have been aimed at girls.

Paul, Thanks for the link. I took a look at The Eavesdropper on Diversions last night. Interesting to see that GCD tentatively credits the inks on it to either Ralph Reese or Wally Wood but it looks like Wayne Howard to me.

Colin Jones said...

Steve, do you still watch TOTP on BBC 4 ? I was looking forward to seeing the Buggles at No.1 but the episode wasn't shown - I assume Jimmy Savile or Dave Lee Travis was the presenter that week so the episode was quietly dropped ? Oh well, I had to make do with Lena Martell singing live and changing the words of the song for some reason :)

Steve W. said...

Colin, I do still watch TOTP on BBC4 and I occasionally give my thoughts about it on Twitter.

I hadn't noticed the missing Buggles edition but I would have preferred to hear it instead of that Lena Martell record.

Colin Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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