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Saturday, November 15, 2014

The House of Secrets #131 - May 1975


Okay, some of you might be wondering, what was the point of posting this brief (if delightful) vintage horror story on the Shrine? Well, let's take a look at the first panel:


Arthur Curry? Well, that's an unusual name for a protagonist in a DC horror comic, since of course these stories generally didn't take place the mainstream DC universe. Who wrote this?

Steve Skeates, explain yourself!

"This is one of the numerous times I wrote this particular story--the initial one being for Charlton, entitled The Girl in the Dream, and making the scene in The Many Ghosts of Dr. Graves! I also used the same basic plot for a Kid Flash tale, a mystery piece for Marvel that was nicely illustrated by Jim Starlin, and even a Tweety and Sylvester story for Gold Key, not to mention variations for Warren and Gold Key's Twilight Zone, and others!

Things got out of control when I wrote it the third time, the aforementioned version for Marvel, due to Tony Isabella taking me to task for having sold the same story three times; my reaction: 'Oh yeh? I'll show him! I'll write and sell it seven more times, make it an even ten!' which I then proceeded to do! None of which admittedly speaks to my tossing Aquaman in there; guess I was still smarting about the Aquaman book being cancelled, especially since having learned that sales of that book were up, yet Carmine decided to do in the book anyway thanks to various disagreements he had had with Dick G."

We should have known! Steve has always shown to have an impish disregard for some of the "sacred" rules of self-serious superhero comics, so having "Arthur Curry" get it so unceremoniously in a completely unrelated DC book makes total sense. It also speaks to Aquaman's civilian ID being generally unknown, even to DC editors. After all, you couldn't name a random character Clark Kent or Bruce Wayner and get away with it. Nice job, Steve!

I had never known of this story's existence until newest F.O.A.M. member Ned Sanyour pointed to me a blogpost over on Slay, Monstrobot of the Deep!, who brought it this little gem to light. Thanks fellas, and welcome to F.O.A.M. Ned!


For Further Reading: You can read another delightful three-pager written by Steve, this time starring Aqualad, by clicking here. I miss the days when comics could feature such things!


Steve said...

Great find!

Earth 2 Chris said...

Wow, great story. Selling the same story to different venues is nothing new. A good (but by no means unprecedented) example is Robert Bloch (of "Pyscho" fame) selling the same Jack the Ripper story to both The Outer Limits AND Star Trek. So Skeates is in good company.


Unknown said...

What kind of idiot cancels one of the few books that has name recognition from a recent television series? And then within a few years of that cancellation, that character is one of the few DC properties BACK on television. I'm surprised Infantino wasn't shown the door earlier.

James Chatterton