Here’s another masterful Neal Adams cover from an issue of HOUSE OF SECRETS, one of DC’s mystery/supernatural anthology titles. It has to be said that, especially in the early part of the 1970s, these books carried uniformly great covers much of the time–it was a real showpiece for the artists involved. Here, Adams uses Crafttint paper to achieve a soft and smoldering effect on this foggy illustration. It’s in the vein of the gothic romance covers that were then in vogue–apart from those gargoyles, there’s nothing truly otherworldly about the piece, and it very well could have been produced for one of DC’s experiments into that genre instead. The color is wonderfully subdued also–I might argue that it would have benefitted from toning down the harsh primary yellow on the logo a little bit, but I can certainly understand the impulse there–the logo was considered the most crucial part of the magazine, and publishers strived to make their logos readable from halfway across a store, the better to attract a customer.
3 thoughts on “Great Covers: HOUSE OF SECRETS #88”
You’re right about the great quality of the covers on DC’s mystery and ghost books. Up until the end (when it seemed like Mike Kaluta drew every other one), they always looked great on the newsstand. In fact, it was from newsstands, rather than comics shops, that I usually saw those books, as my dad would often pick up one or two when he was running errands in those days.
I think the yellow of the logo calls out the woman’s hair and the gothic one-light-in-window bit, making the art all the stronger for it.
To my mind, what this cover needs is a short gothic-paperback type blurb in that largely-empty upper left area, to provide a little visual “stickiness” and lead the casual browser’s eye into the art. Just something like “Who is…the MORNING GHOST?” would do.
But it’s gorgeous art.
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I just happened across this cover recently when a buddy who doesn’t collect comics gave me a box of comics he found left by a previous tenant in a building he owns. I was immediately taken aback by how different it looked. The issue itself is pretty amazing as well. And the comic was in decent shape!
Was this a one off cover style for House of Secrets or were there a series of them?