Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Friday, September 4, 2020


 One of the holy grails for collectors of paperback books is Mansion of Evil by Joseph Millard (Gold Medal #129, 1950). one of the first (if not the first) full color graphic novels issued by a paperback publisher.  A quick check shows that four copies are currently available on Abebooks, ranging in price from $100 to $350.

Six days ago, this rare book was made available on that wonderful site Comic Book Plus, having been uploaded by "Cimmerian32."

The artist is not identified, but comparisons have been made to the old EC Comics.

Bill Crider posted about this book on May 22, 1977:  "Maxwell Haimes, a famous artist, happens to see Beth, who's a double for the wife her recently murdered.  Haimes believes that if Beth has an 'accident,' he can cover up the murder.  So he kidnaps her and takes her to the Mansion of Evil.  After that it's a race against time for Beth's fiance and the cops.  Can they save her?  sure.

"Along the way we're treated to a portrait of Laura (the dead wife), which of course shows the dead woman's startling resemblance to Beth.  (Where do these writers get these ideas?)  We see the secret room in the basement where Laura is buried.  We get car wrecks and near escapes.  It's not V for Vendetta, that's for sure, but it's kind of fun in a dated way.  I even like the art.

"After looking this one up on, I can't recommend that you check it out.  Way too pricey."

Well, it's not pricey here, so check it out.

Joseph Millard (1908-1989) wrote in a number of fields, mainly westerns, although he also published pulp mystery, science fiction, aviation, and men's adventure stories.  He wrote books 2-8 in the tie-in series featuring Clint Eastwood's character from A Fistful of Dollars, as well as tie-ins to the movies Cahill:  U.S. Marshall and Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, as well as one tie-in from the Hec Ramsey television series.  His rather mundane science fiction novel The Gods Hate Kansas was filmed as They Came from Beyond Space; the movie was actually worse than the book.  He also wrote as Ray Lunt, Aaron Peabody, and N. J. Westwood.

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