Hallowe’en Countdown III, Day 2

« In June, 1913, the family moved out in terror! … they simply abandoned the house in the Midlands. There is no record of successors. If you are looking to rent a house, cheap… it may still be there! »

On this second day of our Hallowe’en countdown, let’s peer through the mists of time at 1976, when Will Eisner was still experimenting with marketing formats for comics-type material. This was still a couple of years before his A Contract With God and Other Tenement Stories (1978) appeared. During that period and beyond, Eisner was throwing a lot of material at the wall, in the finest exploitation tradition, hard on the heels of every bankable trend: Will Eisner’s Gleeful Guide to the Quality of Life, 101 Outerspace Jokes, Will Eisner’s Gleeful Guide to Communicating With Plants, Will Eisner’s Gleeful Guide to Living With Astrology, 300 Horrible Monster Jokes… and it wasn’t all good, as you can imagine.

This 160-page paperback from 1976 is arguably the cream of that crop; an easy choice for those of us who value Eisner’s expert hand at setting a shadowy mood.


Mr. Eisner’s original back cover.

Publisher Tempo Books seems to have had limited faith in the sales appeal (too gruesome?) of the original cover, as a variant edition was issued in short order, bearing a fine, but non-Eisner cover. Can anyone identify the artist?



2 thoughts on “Hallowe’en Countdown III, Day 2

  1. Matt Brunson October 2, 2019 / 00:02

    This is such a cool and unique site. It’s especially fun spotting comics I owned in my distant youth (and still have boxed up), such as THE SHADOW #11 and a HOUSE OF MYSTERY issue featuring DIAL H FOR HERO (which I always thought was a neat concept).

    Liked by 1 person

    • gasp65 October 3, 2019 / 18:52

      Thanks for the feedback, Matt — it means a whole lot! We didn’t really set out to be particularly singular, but I suppose we ended up carving out our own niche. From what I’ve seen, most comics blogs seem to have either a different focus, or a narrower one: more contemporary, more mainstream, more US-centric…

      And yeah, Dial H for Hero’s a terrific, catchy premise, which is probably why it keeps being revived, I presume. Thanks for reading, and feel free to chime in anytime!


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