Monday, June 4, 2012


House of Mystery #2 [February-March 1952] was one of DC’s earliest
attempts to do something like a horror comic.  Though I have never
read this issue, other issues from this era are tepid compared to
the more interesting shivers coming from EC, Marvel, ACG and other
publishers.  However, the tepid approach to terror served DC well.
When the crackdown on horror comics landed hard, DC continued with
this title without drawing much fire.

The Grand Comics Database credits Curt Swan as the pencil artist of
this cover with Ed Smalle as a possible inker.  I’m not real good
at art identification, but, if this is Swan’s work, he just didn’t
bring the scary to the piece.  In the late 1960s, Swan would draw
some stories for The Unexpected - edited by Murray Boltinoff - and
those jobs were very effective.

The GCD does not have writer credits for any of the stories in this
issue.  Writers known to have written for the title in these early
years include Don Cameron, Jack Miller, and Dick Wood.

Here are the stories/artists listed in the GCD:

“The Mark of X” (8 pages; Swan pencils, George Klein inks)

“The Secret of Salzo the Great” (3.66 pages; Mort Meskin pencils)

“Tree of Doom” (7.66 pages; Jim Mooney pencils and inks)

“I Was A Dead Man” (8 pages; Swan pencils, Sy Barry inks)

“The Strange Experiment of Dr. Grimm” (6 pages; Sheldon Moldoff
pencils and inks).

In case you’re new to my bloggy things - we’re getting real close
to a thousand views per day - these openings usually feature comic
books published in the month of my birth [December 1951] or comics
from the month [July 1963] when I decided I wanted to work in the
comics industry.


My chances of living to a ripe old age are probably somewhat lower
than I would like because I keep doing stuff like this:

I’m in a parking lot.  I see a guy - early/late 30s - wearing what
looks like a sports team jersey at first glance.  On closer look,
his number if “2" and his team name is “AMENDMENT.”  That strikes
me as a clever shirt/statement.

He catches me looking at his shirt and his truck, which is covered
with various bumper stickers nowhere near as clever as his shirt.
He gives me an intense stare and asks me “What are you looking at?”
There’s only a slight growl in his voice.

I tell I think his shirt is clever.  He actually grins.  He asks me
if I know why the right to bear arms is the second amendment.  The
quip comes out of my mouth before I can stop it:

“Because gun nuts can’t count any higher than two?”

It takes him a beat, but then he laughs.  He tells me I’m a funny
guy and we part without any animosity.  Of course, when I get home
and tell her about, Sainted Wife Barb reads me the riot act.  She
was not amused.


This next few weeks are going to be busy/crazy/hectic for me.  My
son Eddie is graduating from The Ohio State University this weekend
and I’ll be spending two days in Columbus.  Before I go there, I’ve
got to write my monthly Comics Buyer’s Guide column and take care
of some other household/personal matters.

Later today, I’ll be posting the list of items still available for
purchase from my Vast Accumulation of Stuff.  However, I won’t be
posting new items for sale this week.  Hopefully, that will resume
next Tuesday.

Also this month, I have Barb and my 28th wedding anniversary, the
wedding of my nephew Lou and his bride Erica back in Columbus, and
Eddie’s 24th birthday.  There’s also the possibility Eddie will be
starting a new job at the end of the month.  Exciting times.  Busy
but exciting.

In between all of the above, I will be getting ready for the start
of my summer-long garage sale.  The official start is planned for
June 29 and 30...with the further expectation that I’ll be holding
such garage sales at least every other Friday and Saturday.  I’ll
keep you posted.

The garage will be kept in garage sale mode all summer long.  You
will be able to come and shop at days and times more convenient to long as you make a prior appointment to do so.  My aim is
to restock my sale boxes continually throughout the summer, which
means there will almost always be new stuff for you to buy.  More
details will follow.

Come July, I hope to have some other Isabella plans to share with
you.  Events I’m not yet able to write about have slowed me down,
but I’m determined to move forward on multiple fronts.  It will be
more fun if you’re moving with me.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2012 Tony Isabella


  1. I'll look for you at OSU graduation, Tony. My niece is graduating from OSU Medical School and we'll be there!

  2. That House of Mystery cover is definitely a Curt Swan drawing, Tony! Look closely and you'll see the woman is Lois, the ghostly figure is Clark (even with a Superman curl) and the guy lying down is Jimmy Olsen!