A Tribute to the of

Halloween is just around the corner, so it seems fitting to pay a visit to the House of Mystery.

I've selected issue #205 from August of 1972. Cover art is courtesy of Jack Sparling and long-time editor Joe Orlando is on the job with an assist from E. Nelson Bridwell. The chosen story is called, "Over the High Side!", written by Lore Shoberg with Alan Weiss on pencils and Ralph Reese providing inking.

Cain, our host, introduces us to one rough and tumble hombre who goes by "Dave the Buck" among his fellow biking enthusiasts and the nickname refers to the notion that he tends to behave more like a renegade stag in his dealings with women and rivals.

"The Buck" is quick to enforce respect toward anyone particularly showing any interest in his current woman. She asks if he meant he'd tackle anyone for her and he reassures her that he'd take on the devil himself. To further prove his adoration he and his biker babe mount up to take in a wake for a friend who went over the high side, riding his bike right over a cliff on Demon's Road.

Before they can make their destination, however, Dave and his woman encounter another biker with a horned helmet, who flies up on them, kicks the side of the Buck's steel steed and takes off, leaving an enraged Dave with a shaken but unharmed rider and a dumped bike.

The Buck is persuaded by his lady to go on to the wake and once there they celebrate the death of their comrade, putting away the brew and busting a few heads when Dave spots a familiar horned helmet in the parking lot. The biker rides up and literally throws down the gauntlet.

Dave and his companion leap onto the motorcycle and give chase, but once he follows his quarry around a bend, the other biker vanishes, only to reappear behind him. More determined than ever to put this stranger in his place, Dave puts his motorcycle through some death-defying acrobatics, leaping fences and canyons and being matched on each feat.

Finally, the helmeted biker catches up to the speeding Dave and when "The Buck" sees the face of his adversary it causes him to panic and to crash through the highway railing and over the steep embankment into the water. In the next panel, Dave's girlfriend is on the back of the other bike, the horned helmet on her head. "Oh wow! This guy must really dig me!" The other biker still has horns and some pointy ears as features and Cain closes out the story suggesting that mortals brag at the wrong time and the wrong people sometimes overhear them.

This was kind of a fun little 7-pager and I got a kick out of one panel where we see the back of Dave's vest adorned with "Alan's Angels". A little tip of the hat to our penciler, I imagine.

Some of you may recall several month ago when I reviewed House of Secrets #100 and posed the question if anyone knew anything about the writer of the story, Lore Shoberg. Well, thanks to Darci of the Yahoo SA_GA group and particularly Sharon Karibian, who did the detective work, I was able to locate Lore and persuade him to give me an interview.

Then an interesting series of events led me to pitch it to Michael Eury for his splendid Back Issue magazine and he thought it would fit in well with the Halloween issue. Unfortunately, last year's Halloween issue was already in the can, so this one has been a while in coming to fruition, but you can read it in issue #52, which hits the distribution channels on the 26th. For a mere $2.95 the digital edition is available where the hard copy is not and of course its chock full of stuff besides my humble effort.

The preview can be found HERE.

Ordering information is at the end and if you like what you see, by all means, order yourself a copy and let me know what you think.

Sorry for the teaser, but with any luck you'll find it worth your while.

Thanks for spending time with us here at the Silver Lantern and a Happy Halloween to one and all!

As a quick reminder, I can always be reached at: professor_the@hotmail.com

Long live the Silver Age!

2000-2011 by B.D.S.

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