A short while back I was the recipient of a minor revelation - that the pictures on the covers of gothic romance novels almost invariably feature women running from houses. This gem of information has lurked in my consciousness since that day that I read Spectergirl's blog about gothic romances, aptly named Women Running From Houses. Now although there are not too many actual gothic romance comic books, it is nevertheless a recognized sub-genre, so I took a look to see if this same phenomenon held true for our beloved medium. Lo and behold, both of DC's gothic love titles (Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love and Sinister House of Secret Love) sport women running from houses on some but not all of their covers, although I failed to find similar conformity amongst the issues of Charlton's Haunted Love. I've chosen one example from each series to post, starting with this Alex Toth penciled treat, nicely inked by Frank Giacoia, from the March 1972 issue of Sinister House of Secret Love. Written by Golden Age artist Frank Robbins, it's 32 pages long, so I'm going to use small thumbnails.
This is a tale of a young woman looking for the love of her life. It's about Venice, a gondolier, the mysterious Isola Tranquillo, love letters and negligees, a castle, an insane facially disfigured dark-haired count with flashes of white above his ears, very long stone staircases, passionate embraces, house servants, a silent paralyzed woman apparently the count's mother, birds of prey, towers, the young woman's pet dog, medicine, completely inappropriate clothing for walking through dense woodland... but no, don't let me give it all away. Read this "Gothic mystery love story" for yourself. So as a "thank you" to Spectergirl for alerting me to this fascinating phenomenon, here's the story - enjoy!