Tentacle Tuesday: Secrets, Both Sinister and Domestic

Random fact of the day: in Mandarin Chinese, secret is “mimi”, whereas in French “mimi” means something like “cute”. Today’s post is not cute, but it is very much about secrets – DC secrets, to be more precise.

Secrets of Haunted House no. 14 (Oct-Nov 1978). Cover by Mike Kaluta.

The original art for this cover feels a little less cluttered:


Taking a peek at the insides, we will find that they have little to do with the cover, but tentacles are still present. The Discovery is scripted by Jay L. Zilber, pencilled by Juan Ortiz, and inked by Vince Colletta:


Tentacles also rudely intrude in Selina, a story scripted by Nicola Cuti and elegantly illustrated by Ramona Fradon and Bob Smith


The thing about masks was too topical to not include.
Secrets of Haunted House no. 29 (October 1980), cover by Mike Kaluta.
Secrets of Haunted House no. 36 (May 1981), cover pencilled by Rich Buckler and inked by Dick Giordano.

Beware the Sea Hag, the cover story,  is scripted by Carl Wessler and drawn by Wade Hampton:SecretsofHauntedHouse36-bewareoftheseahag


But, wait, this is not what the Sea Hag normally looks like! This is more like it:

Popeye the Sailor no. 73 (August 1964), cover by Bud Sagendorf. I wonder if the Sea Hag realises how much spinach reduces under heat.

Shifting to another sort of secrets (these are sinister rather than haunted), we have another tentacle apparition —

The Monster of Death Island is scripted by Maxene Fabe and drawn by Ruben Yandoc (i.e. Rubeny). It was published in Secrets of Sinister House no. 11 (April 1973).

This story, a sort of take on Bluebeard, is well worth reading, for the plot as well as the stunning art. I don’t want to reveal spoilers – you can read it here.


Since we’re discussing secrets, I might as well throw in The House of Secrets… I will willingly admit that I have the hardest time keeping track of which is which.

House of Secrets no. 101 (October 1972), cover by Mike Kaluta. This could have been a Mike Kaluta Tentacle Tuesday!
From House of Secrets no. 100 (September 1972). This page of Abel’s Fables is by Lore Shoberg.
house of secrets 103
Cain & Abel by Sergio Aragonés, printed in House of Secrets no. 103 (December 1972).

∼ ds

Hallowe’en Countdown II, Day 24

« Greetings, friends. Did we catch any of those horrible ghosts in my famous ghost traps? » – J. Wellington Wimpy, up to no good as usual

I absolutely adore how, in Popeye the sailor’s salty vernacular, revenants are referred to as « ghosks ». Aww… Let’s meet a few of these spooks, who most often, to this reader’s regret, turn out to be mere goons in sheets. Oh well.

This is Popeye no.3 (Aug.-Oct. 1948, Dell). As the cover states, story and art by Bud Sagendorf, Thimble Theatre creator Elzie Segar‘s assistant and eventual successor.
Here, then, a few highlights from Popeye 3’s cover story.


Crude but effective.
The facts speak for themselves.


Dell published 65 issues of Popeye, then Gold Key took over… long story. This is Gold Key’s second issue, Popeye the Sailor no. 67 (Jan. 1963). Say, is that Patcheye’s Ghosk? Well, blow me down, it is! Story and art presumably by Forrest Cowles “Bud” Sagendorf.
In a rather more modern, yet still topical… vein, here’s Len Danovich‘s striking variant cover to the most recent issue of IDW’s Classic Popeye (no. 65, Dec. 2017), quite a rarity and now commanding some rather formidable prices, from what I’ve observed. Is this to be the final issue of Classic Popeye, now that the end of the Dell run has been reached? Nearly a year on, the question still remains. Mr. Yoe?

– RG

Tentacle Tuesday: Popeye, the Sailor Man

Since Popeye’s a sailor, one would expect him to run into a lot of octopuses during his adventures. It doesn’t happen nearly as often as one would think, actually, but there’s still enough encounters for a decent-sized tentacle journey. Here we go!

Popeye: Danger, Ahoy! Big Little Book no. 5768 (Whitman, 1969). Does anybody know who painted this cover?


« Zombie Popeye » (and, more importantly for our current topic of discussion, Chtulhu-Olive!) by the talented Roger Langridge. He posted this so-called sketch (how detailed can a drawing be before it stops being a sketch?) on his website on September 2014… and the original is still for sale, I believe! Go here. This isn’t the first time Langridge tentacles slither into a blog post – for instance, go visit « Tentacle Tuesday: pirates and treasure, oh my».


A variant cover for Popeye Classics no. 48, July 2016. These Craig Yoe reprints of Bud Sagendorf’s Popeye are great fun, by the way, and I highly recommend them for the proverbial children-at-heart.


Original art for a Popeye Sunday, published on July 9th, 1958. The art is by Bela (Bill) Zaboly, who worked on Thimble Theater starting from 1939 and until Bud Sagendorf took over in 1959.


A chunk of story in which an octopus makes a very minor appearance… from a strip by Bug Sagendorf published on October 7th, 1960.


A panel from “Hitchhikers!” by Bug Sagendorf, published in Popeye Comics no. 19 (January-March 1952). Read the full zany story here. (Technically, this is a Sherm story, but let’s not split hairs.) I’m not surprised the octopus looks like a spy, wearing a hairpiece like that. Or is it just a nest for the birdies?

– ds