Book of the Day - 2/2/04

Witching Hour #13 Feb-Mar 1971

- Overstreet 2006 (9.2) NM- Price: $55 -

 Another Book of the Day and another Neal Adams cover.  Adams is probably best known for being the definitive Batman artist for his work on the character in the 60s and 70s.  Some of his best covers though were in the DC mystery line: House of Mystery, House of Secrets, Unexpected and those he did for this series, The Witching Hour.  

There were many companies producing horror comics in the early 1970s.  Warren, Skywald, and Marvel even produced them in magazine format.  As far as 70s standard sized comics produced by the "Big Two" were concerned, DC held a distinct advantage over Marvel's horror offerings.  While Marvel went away from offering new horror anthology stories in favor of character driven horror (i.e Tomb of Dracula, Werewolf by Night, Frankenstein, Ghost Rider), DC continued with the format until the early 80s.  The reason for the advantage was clear.  DC had better "horror" capable artists.  Sure the case could be made that Marvel had Brunner, Ploog, and Colan at their disposal, but the fact is most Marvel's artists were more suited to illustrating "comic" scenes than horror, and only Colan was used exclusively for the horror genre (Tomb of Dracula).

In addition to the great cover, Adams also provided art on two set-up pages for the three stories contained in the issue.  The first story concerned a man caught in a maze was written by Al Gold and Marv Wolfman and very nicely illustrated by Gray Morrow.  The second story, written by Jack Miller with art by Jack Sparling and Frank Giacoia, detailed a down on his luck sculptor who discovered with magic clay he could create masterpieces.  And finally in a story written by Len Wein and illustrated by Jose Delbo, a man in the Revolutionary War sent to warn of the coming British invasion, as part of Paul Revere's riders, falls asleep and awakens in the 1970s.  All stories end in Twilight Zone type cliffhangers.  Like most anthology titles, some stories are better than others but as a rule you couldn't help but be entertained by these comics.