Let's talk about horror anthology comics for a moment. These little jewels have become something of a lost art in recent years, but I'm very happy to see that they are starting to make a comeback. A comeback that I intend to help contribute to.
Back in the 1950s horror anthology comics like Tales From The Crypt actually became so popular the FBI was called in to investigate. But Tales From The Crypt, while the most popular, was not the only horror comic on the news stand. There were a number of other horror comics spanning from the early 1950s to the early 1980s. EC Comics, who published Tales From The Crypt also Published such titles as The Haunt Of Fear, The Vault Of Horror, and The Crypt Of Terror.
But EC wasn't the only one pumping out the thrills and chills. Well known companies who are still around today, such as Marvel and DC had there share of horror comics on the market. Marvel produced a now little known comic called Monsters On The Prowl while DC started the "House Of" craze.
With their famous hosts Kane and Able DC ran the titles House Of Mystery and House Of Secrets from 1951 to 1987. Although Kane and Able themselves didn't come in until about half way through the series they were really what made it in my own opinion.
But House Of Mystery and House Of Secrets weren't the only comics out there to bare the "House Of" title. There was Elvira's House Of Mystery, House Of Horror, House Of Hammer, Hammer's House Of Horror, House Of Terror, Secrets Of Haunted House, Secrets Of Sinister House, even Sinister House Of Secret Love. And those are just the ones I know about. There very well may have been more then that...
These comics weren't just popular because that's what was in at the time... I mean... that IS what was in at the time... but there was more to it then that. These comics were actually GOOD. There's a reason House Of Mystery #1 sells for $676.00 on the collectors market today. Sinister House Of Secret Love #1 for $190.00 Even later issues of Tales From The Crypt, such as Tales From The Crypt #36 sell for $242.00 I own other comics that are just as old and didn't have to pay that much for them. These comics were really well done and are still fun to read even today.
Every time I walk into a comic shop or antique store and find an old horror comic I squeal like a little girl and run up to the checkout with it right away before anyone can see what I've found.
But then, in the late 1980s, these kind of comics just stopped. There may have one new title here and there, never lasting more then a few issues, and naturally the reprints of just about every single comic EC Comics had ever made... Bu t you just didn't see them in the numbers, or even quality, that we had in that wonderful stretch of time from 1950 to 1987.
But now, I am happy to say, that the horror comics are making a come back. In 1996 DC launched a new House Of Secrets series. It only lasted 25 issues, ending in 1998, but it paved the way for the release of a new House Of Mystery series in 2008. One which is still going strong to this day and actually really good.
I have only just started reading the new House Of Mystery, buying the first year of issues and reading them all in one sitting, and so far I LOVE this comic. It's like being taken back to the day when these kinds of comics were at the top of the game. But this comic takes it one step further then that. It brings back the horror anthology genera while at the same time adding an ongoing story with a set group of characters. And let me tell you that this is a story worthy of the name "House Of Mystery". It keeps you twisting and turning every which way so every time you think you have it figured out, you... don't.
After only the first issue I was hooked.
And that brings me to where I am now. I have always loved these kind of comics, as this post should have made clear, and have always wanted to do one myself. So I figure now that DC is doing it's best to bring the old horror comics back (and doing a very nice job of it) it's the perfect time for me to do one myself.
The Black Marker Detective is about to end, but I want to keep telling stories about it's characters. So what I'm going to do, I've decided, is start my own horror/mystery anthology comic to pick up where The Black Marker Detective leaves off. That way the story doesn't really end and I'm able to do my dream comic without adding on a lot of extra work.
I figure if I'm going to do this kind of comic I may as well go all out and pick a "House Of" title. So I'm happy to announce officially that this year I will be ending The Black Marker Detective and launching The House Of Conundrum.
I am a Tennessee born writer who couldn't spell his way out of a paper bag and cartoonist with no real art skills to speak of. Yet for some reason people still read my stuff. I can't understand it... (At the moment I am involved in a relationship with an AI program)