Wednesday, August 05, 2009

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- House of Secrets #82

House of Secrets #82 (On Sale: August 5, 1969) has a cover by Neal Adams.

We begin with "Realler Than Real" drawn by Werner Roth and Vince Colletta. Most sources list this as Werner Roth's first work for DC since his first pencil job in Secret Hearts #42 in 1957, but Jerry Bails' Who's Who of American Comic Books contains a long list of Roth work for DC romance books covering most of the 60s. This includes long runs on Falling In Love, Girls' Romances, Secret Hearts, Young Love and Young Romance.

Roth spent most of his early career at Atlas/Marvel, beginning in 1951 when he started drawing the Apache Kid. Roth was so good at drawing women that Atlas publisher Martin Goodman had a comic created just for him: Lorna, the Jungle Girl. His last work at Atlas was in Strange Tales in 1958 and he didn't return till 1965 when now Marvel needed an artist to replace Jack Kirby on the Uncanny X-Men. At Marvel, Roth sometimes used the pseudonym Jay Gavin. He would remain the X-Men penciler till 1969, when he would return to DC starting with this story. However, in the later half of the 60s and the early 70s Roth also worked on a number of Marvel's other book, including The Avengers, Sub-Mariner, GunHawk, Kid Colt, The Rawhide Kid and Werewolf By Night.

Werner Roth also worked at Dell Comics and drew Mandrake the Magician for King Comics and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. for Western Publishing. He also worked for a time as an assistant on the On Stage newspaper strip.

In 1970 Roth became the penciler of Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane, a book he would work on til his death in 1973 at the age of 52.

Next is "The Little Old Winemaker" drawn by Jack Sparling. We end with "The One and Only, Fully Guaranteed Super-Permanent, 100%?" by Marv Wolfman, Dick Dillin and Neal Adams. This last story was reprinted in House of Mystery #224 and Showcase Presents: The House of Mystery Vol. 3 TPB, The entire book was reprinted in Showcase Presents: The House of Secrets Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

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