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Showcase Presents The Secrets of Sinister House [Paperback]

Various
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Feb. 9 2010 Showcase Presents
From the early 1970s comes this collection of gothic horror/romance tales in the style of TV's DARK SHADOWS.

The titles of these stories say it all:
"The Curse of the Macintyres"
"To Wed the Devil"
"The Bride of the Falcon"
"Kiss of the Serpent"
"Death at Castle Dunbar"
"The House that Death Built"


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4.0 out of 5 stars I Looked For The Secrets In Sinister House April 23 2012
Format:Paperback
Having read the reviews of this book on amazon.com I decided to start reading this book with issue #6, the first proper horror anthology comic. The narrator of this book is Eve, the mother of Cain and Able from the, House Of Mystery, and the, House Of Secrets. Theres no great surprises in what you will find here, horror stories. Originally the, Secrets Of Sinister House, was called, Sinister House Of Secret Love, House, and it was a more of a love story kind of book for the first 4 issues, issue #5 is the official start of the horror series but issue #6 is the real start. Also originally this book had a companion book called, Dark Mansion Of Forbidden Love, but it also changed to fit to the horror genre and was renamed, Dark Mansion. Hopefully Dark Mansion will get the DC Showcase treatment as it had a run of 15 issues.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's totally nuts.... April 10 2010
By Red Eyes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had slight reservations about "Secrets of Sinister House " since I'd heard of its over reliance on 'romance themes', supposedly pitched at a half hearted attempt to attract a teenage female audience to the DC Horror titles.

Well, not to worry pulp horror fans -- it's all totally nuts out there psychedelic horror freakery of the highest order ! The first few stories are vaguely related to 'romantic themes' it's true, but after that, it sems that DC forgot about their 'commitment' to getting teenage girls interested, and went back to their same old deranged formula. ( There's no knowing of course, what these far out comics actually did to the newly initiated teenage female fans though.... One shudders to think...)

All the best Filipino talent is here ( Alcala, Nino, Ruben, Yandoc ) , along with some very heavy psychedelic pop art woodcut style contributions from the American artists. The scripts are totally deranged and psychotropic too. One wonders exactly what substances these humble scribes were ingesting whilst dreaming up these far out freak tales....

It just misses a five star review because some of the stories are over long in my opinion -- the opening "romantic" stories are worthwhile,sure -- but they drag on a bit, and seem a little half hearted and unconvincing at points.

Over all though, it's hard to fault these fantastic reissues -- As soon as I got my mitts on its glossy cover,perused the titles, and saw all my favourite Filipino artists listed, I knew it was going to be a great evening's read, and I wasn't disappointed.

So -- save the book for a rainy evening on your own : brew a pot of the best English tea, or better still, top up a glass of the finest, dim the bed side lamp, draw the bed covers tighter, get comfortable -- and enjoy the "Secrets of Sinister House" trip !

I really hope we get "Witching Hour" and "Ghosts" reissue volumes as soon as possible
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ARE YOU CURSED MY DARLING? Jan. 21 2012
By Sesho - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I don't know why, but I've had a hankering for 1970s DC these days. I recently bought 2 other Showcase Presents, Batman volume 5 and Ghosts. I didn't experience these comics when they came out, so I've always been a little fascinated with them, mainly because they always had such cool covers.

Secrets of Sinister House was originally called The Sinister House of Secret Love for its first 4 issues. Issues 1-4 were also double-sized comic books with one main story, and one brief back up comic, making them essentially graphic novels. These early issues had a definite horror/romance slant to them, usually involving a woman marrying an enigmatic or super attractive dude only to find out he was cursed or was in league with the devil. It was all in good fun.

From issue #5 to the end of its run at #18, the title of the book changed to Secrets of Sinister House. #5 was the last issue in the romantic horror graphic novel style, with #6 introducing its new format of 4-5 shorter tales in a normal length comic book. Eve, the mom of DC horror commentators Cain and Abel, also showed up to introduce each story Cryptkeeper-style, sometimes even becoming a character in the action. After issue #5, the stories shifted away from romance to standard scary stories involving werewolves, ghosts, and monsters. But here and there, some pretty good yarns unwind themselves that rely more on suspense, mystery, and clever endings.

Funnily enough, I actually liked the initial horror romance format of this book better. It just seemed like the writers could develop the stories better and and the climaxes had more power because of it. With #6 on, the stories became so short that the plots became ridiculous. It would go something like this. Guy is in woods, gets bit by werewolf, becomes werewolf, gets shot, the end. It's almost like watching teaser trailers of a full-length horror movie. Or they seem like story ideas, not stories themselves. It's a real shame because a lot of those issues contain some gorgeous art from some I have heard of like Don Heck, Larry Hama, Alfredo Alcala, Howard Chaykin, and Gil Kane, and some I haven't heard of like Rubeny, Alex Nino, and Jess Jodloman.

Definitely worth a read even though you will probably be disappointed with the writing of the greater half of the book. Appreciate it more for the art and the unintentional rushed humor.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars mixed bag March 17 2010
By Larry Sanders - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love these Showcase reprints. This collection is a kind of a mixed bag, with the first part being a kind of romantic suspense/horror. However the last part really picks up and is more along the lines of House of Mystery. The book is of course in black and white, but the artwork is clean and the book as a whole is very enjoyable and recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Romance Comic until around Page 200... Jan. 9 2012
By Robin Leary - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As others have stated the first part of this Showcase collection started reading like a True Romance Comic. While the artwork was fantastic, the first several very long multi Part stories were basically about Women yearning to find true romance and marry a nice handsome guy. Not my cup of tea. I have around 30 Showcase books and move back and forth but I'd put this one away and forgotten about it. I picked it up the other night for lack of a comic book (ahem: graphic Novel..) and found that around page 200 this book goes into much better Horror stuff bringing us Werewolves, Satan, and much better stories in the Creepy Eerie DC Horrow vein. The stories completely shifted from 'romantic Schmaltz to Good Ol' Horror) I didn't put it down and finished it. Since you can pick these up at a very reasonable price I'll give the book a 3 1/2 If you don't mind the first half you might give it a five.
5.0 out of 5 stars Pulse-Pounding Gothic Shocks Dec 23 2013
By The Barbarian - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fun book. I'd prefer these be printed in color but black and white works fine, especially for horror mags. Stories are lots of fun, artwork is excellent, price is fabulous. The title was an experiment mixing romance and horror to create a unique gothic experience with extra long stories but it changed to standard anthology in later issues. Don't think there's ever been another series quite like this. Don't pass this one up.
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