House of Mystery tabloid, Limited Collectors' Edition C-23

A beautiful ad for a beautiful book. This was one of the first DC tabloids I ever bought, and it convinced to me to go search out the others. Behind the lovely, oh so creepy cover by Nick Cardy is a nice bundle of fairly recent reprints from the eponymous monthly comic. They feature the cream of the crop as far as early 1970s creative talent goes, with contributions from Neal Adams, Bernie Wrightson, Gil Kane, Wally Wood, Sergio Aragones, Bob Haney, Robert Kanigher, and, er… Jack Sparling. Okay, Sparling is something of an acquired taste, but, hey, I quite like his stuff in small doses—and the story reprinted here (“House of Gargoyles” from House of Mystery #175) is suitably eerie and unsettling.

In addition to the reprinted tales you get some humorous one-pagers by Sergio Aragones, a board game—now that’s a very 1970s notion!—based around a monstrous theme, a Wrightson pin-up, and a behind-the-scenes featurette. What a great package, and a real bargain at just a dollar! I wonder, though, if the post office actually took any notice of the “crush-proof mailer”?

The code for this was C-23, which made it just the third of DC’s regular tabloids, right behind outings for Captain Marvel (SHAZAM!) and Tarzan—although there was an unnumbered tabloid starring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer that kicked off the whole tabloid boom of the 1970s.

Image ©2011 DC Comics