Alcazar Artwork - Haunted House 1978 Comic Book Page

Vicente Alcazar 1978 Secrets of Haunted House 1978 - Page 8

Spring 1978 issue, DC Comics

From the story "The Castaways" by Bob Toomey

Dynamic page design and rendering makes this page stand out from the usual DC Mystery comics work of the late 1970s which were often still mired in earlier styles, while magazine-sized comic books had advanced with a new visual style.

Alcazar uses strong black spotting to maintain a moody, shadowy world throughout the entire 8-page tale. Almost expressionistic line rendering makes for effective, softening grey-tones. The story by Toomey is a bit of grimness about a hapless couple stranded when their coach breaks down. They end up in the company of a household of very well-dressed, and very dangerous, vampires.

Reflecting a side of contemporary 1970's cynicism in the pop arts,and a pastiche from too many Hammer horror films fromt he UK, the innocent "castaways" become victims to the vampiric "Castaways" of the stories title.

I find that the story ending with the victim "happy" about his demise is both a retread of a familiar clichè and a fundamentally dishonest stroke of irony. The only good undead vampire is a dead undead vampire.

"He felt a brief pang...!"

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