Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Women Running From Houses on Comic Book Covers: Haunted Love 6 - "Sleep, My Love..."

Written by Joe Gill and drawn by Tom Sutton, from the October 1974 issue of Haunted Love, this Gothic romance tale set in Paris in 1906 is one of Charlton's best. A newly qualified doctor, Henri Duval, begins attending a bed-ridden elderly woman by the name of Madame Maleure at her huge, stately home where she lives with her young companion, Madeleine Beauvois. Madeleine takes care of the Madame, and it's a full time occupation, leaving her no time for herself. The doctor fixes that by getting a local nurse in to help part of the time. And now that Madeleine has a little time off, she can go out to dinner with the doctor! Strangely enough, this is exactly what Madame Maleure wanted to happen, for Madeleine and the doctor to fall in love. What sinister plot has she hatched? And where will it all end? The story has to be read to find out! Joe Gill must have been allowed a bit of extra time to work on this one, and Tom Sutton's artwork is really very nice. Sad that both of them have passed beyond the veil.
So there it is. A Charlton Gothic romance to challenge the quality of those few DC Gothic romances. Actually Charlton published more Gothic romance comics than DC, as Haunted Love ran for more issues than the combined run of those two DC titles, Sinister House of Secret Love and Dark House of Forbidden Love. These are scans from my own copy of this book, but the printing, as is often the case with Charlton comics, is a little rough, and it shows in the scans. It would be really cool if the best Charlton work was reprinted on good quality paper and in a way that preserved the details and colors of Sutton's art in these kinds of stories, and the work of others like Mike Zeck, Joe Staton, John Byrne, Steve Ditko, etc. I saw that there's a 'Best of Ditko's Charlton' set of reprints out that includes his older stuff from the 50s:


I guess it will take people like Blake Bell with enough drive to get stuff like that done.


  1. Ah~ LOVE~! The most sinister plot of them all~! I would call my Doctor tomorrow to have HER prescribe me a tonic, but she's only a fig-newton of my imagination. Dang Broken Health-Care System~!

    You've been on fire with yer posts KB~!

    Great stuff~!

  2. KB: I love it! I am only missing 2 issues of Haunted Love. In fact, I have this very issue BUT I had NEVER noticed the house on the cover. Great post!

  3. Spectergirl: I'm missing numbers 2, 5, & 9. I really like this series - a bit above your average Charlton standard. The cover of #6 strikes me as either a dream scene or symbolic of the way the old woman is trying to take the young doctor away from the girl, with the young couple running from the house wherein lies the source of the threat, not just to their love but the girl's life also.

    Lysdexicuss: I have been posting regularly recently it's true - trying to get prepared for that conference presentation at the end of the month. To be honest, without the feedback and suggestions I've received through comments from fellow bloggers, I would be going into that presentation with less than half the important material that simply cannot be ignored given the topic I'm presenting on. The experience has really driven home for me the importance of community in scholarship - and with comics, despite what some intellectuals might like to think - the real experts on the medium are the artists, writers, and fans - people who live and breathe comics.