Midnight 23: The Perfect Host from House of Mystery #265 and Swamp Thing #4

Monstrous beasts abound on the new Midnight...The Podcasting Hour! First, PJ Frightful retells "Beat the Devil" from House of Secrets #99. Then Ryan Daly tries to be "The Perfect Host" to Clinton Robison by sharing a story from House of Mystery #265 that's sure to give you arachnophobia if you don't already have it. Finally, Herman Louw joins Ryan to fend off a monster that stalks by moonlight in Swamp Thing #4.

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Share a cup of coffee with Clinton at Coffee and Comics Podcast at: http://coffeeandcomicspodcast.blogspot.com

Check out what Herman's unearthing from the Longbox of Darkness at: https://longboxofdarkness.com

Let us know what you think! Leave a comment or send an email to: RDalyPodcast@gmail.com.

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Music produced by Neil Daly.

Thanks for listening!

10 responses to “Midnight 23: The Perfect Host from House of Mystery #265 and Swamp Thing #4

  1. Great episode! The spider story was genuinely creepy! The idea of a cocoon full of baby spiders being attached to your back adds body horror onto arachnophobia. UGH. I’m not overly scared of spiders, unlike Angela and Clinton, but that cover is still pure nightmare fuel.

    I can’t agree with you and Herman more about that Wrightson werewolf design. Just human enough to be chilling. As much as I love An American Werwolf in London, when you go full “giant wolf” you kind of lose me. The pathos becomes muddled, because well, you just got a scary version of the Shaggy D.A. Wrightson keeps just enough humanity in the design to remind you that this once was a man…and that’s horrifying.

    I can’t agree at all with you and Siskoid about Crisis or New Teen Titans however. I think we’re going to have to lump that subject in with BvS for non-discussion amongst the network.


  2. Yay, another episode so soon!

    The spider story seems way gorier than DC ususally got in their horror comics, maybe by using Bill Draut they thought it toned down some of the awfulness (trying to imagine this story drawn by, say, Kaluta or Wrightson) and therefore could get it by the CCA. It reminds me of that one Gilligan’s Island episode where they meet a giant spider in a cave; it terrified me as a kid even though it was all so silly.

    And of course these Swamp Things are as good as it gets, that full page reveal of the werewolf feels like the kind of thing Wrightson probably saved until last, so he could really, uh, sink his teeth into it. BTW, do we know who did the lettering on this book? It fits in so well with Wrightson’s work that I don’t think the series would be as effective without it. There’s no credit on MAW, it would be a shame not to know, the balloons are so moody and literally dripping with atmosphere.

      1. Rob, I can agree with the Gillian’s Island episode sentiment. In retrospect it is a horrible effect and ridiculous to look at, but as a kid it would be kinda creepy. After all, I was always kinda freaked out by the Sleestak in Land of the Lost and they are just big rubber lizard suits. Then again, maybe I was an easily frightened child.

  3. Ryan, this was indeed an excellent episode. Herman’s segment talking Swamp Thing was exceptionally enjoyable. I’d never considered that the early issues of Swamp Thing were a journey through the history of horror films. Maybe I need to reread all these again with a new perspective in mind.

    I’m not too certain about that jackass babbling with you about spiders and such, though. I mean, sure he’s extremely handsome and suave, and I hear he’s got the coolest podcast that includes a caffeinated beverage in the title, but maybe he needs to work on his bravery a bit, at least where comics covers are concerned.

    I think I’m in the Chris Franklin camp on Siskoid’s comments about Crisis and New Teen Titans. We’ll probably just chalk it all up to “agree to disagree.”

  4. Impressive Pod cast, most impressive. It was cool hearing it. Er…. I think I’ll just skip comenting on the first story.. shutter. The Second story reminds me of that bit of the last fight with Doctor Robertson and Spider form of Mr. Smith in the Lost in Space movie. Though this doesn’t fit how Spiders normal react with Humans, but what ever. Cool story. The guy got what was coming to him. I like Arachnids. They eat bugs. Their useful and make cool webs. Only some kill humans. Most get rid of bugs and what not. The Third story was pretty cool. Though my first few issues were after their run. Some weird story ware Swamy Thing was teamed with to humans. Blond guy and gal. They were in a hospital . They give Swampy something to heal him he uses it on corpses and makes them Zombies some how. They end up burning it down guy is mad at Swamp thing as they run away in a truck. Was weird seeing him with out Alec’s intellect.

    He was more man thing that Swamp thing. Granted both were inspired by the Heep. I just always liked Swamp Thing as more of a thinker like in the movies. I liked the comic well enough to see both movies. Any way this comic wasn’t bad. seemed fun. Never got why War Wolves went mad. Doesn’t fit how wolves act or Humans. But, fits the lore I guess. Mostly started from staving Dogs eating corpses. Or so I’ve heard. This War wolf was pretty cool. And does look a bit like Neil Gamin. Though I’d think of him more a Wizard. From the few interviews I’ve seen of him. And he was probly what 12 most 15 when this was written?

    Though it is fun to think of him inspiring this Ware Wolf. Kind of like how Alan Moore was thought to be what Branac of the Bryne run was to look like, but one had nothing to do with the other. It’s a fun story and a cool new weapon to use against a Ware wolf. I can see Why Janet Koan started Vertigo. With stuff like this. Seeing how far they could take it and tell a good story. Can’t wait to hear the next pod cast. Bringing this once again from the warped mind of Liz Anne Lucy Oswalt.

  5. I’ve read the Swamp Thing story a time or two, but not recently. It wasn’t until I heard the name MacCobb spoken aloud by Ryan that I twigged it sounds like macabre. Glad to hear PJ Frightful is back.

  6. Tremendous show, thanks chaps. I’m especially glad to have a mystery short included. That opener, Beat the Devil, surprised me because I thought Old Nick was going to point out that repentance doesn’t work if it’s actually ‘repentance’ – there has to be genuine sorrow and a desire for forgiveness. This comic ain’t Catholic enough.

    I remember that spider story – I was buying all the DC horror books back then – and it’s a real winner. ‘The perfect host’ indeed! I do like Bill Draut, he drew Marv Wolfman’s first Teen Titans Story (with Len Wein), y’know.

    There’s nothing much to add as regards the Swamp Thing story, it’s a true treat. And it’s great to hear some love from Herman for the Pasko/Yeates run, it’s been horribly overshadowed by what came afterwards. I love that punning name of the dodgy family, MacCobb… macabre!

    I loved New Teen Titans too, and Crisis on Infinite Earths. The first three years of NTT were fantastic, they felt so innovative and modern compared to the rest of the DC line, excepting Legion: every couple of issues we got a different genre – straightforward superheroics, sci-fi, horror, myths, social issues… and all the time, the characters and relationships were deepening – and would you look at that sumptuous art! As for Crisis, a bunch of Easter Eggs with the occasional big event? Get away! Yes, it doesn’t read quite as well in a oner, but issue by issue, it was an epic like none we’d seen previously. ‘Sprawling’ wasn’t a pejorative back then, this was entertainment on a massive scale, a love letter to the DC Uniiverse. OK, it proved a Dear John to the DC Multiverse, but the excitement – and that includes the tragedies – oh boy.

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