A cold chill goes up your spine. Your skin feels clammy. A eerie voice whispers your name. And now, a strange apparition takes form in front of you. It can only be...day twenty-nine of Spooky covers! Today's frightful feast is House of Secrets #123:
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The cover to HOS #123 is a bit different from the ones we've seen so far in our series in that it involves the reader. Sure, we've seen other covers talk to the reader, warning him of the frights to come or daring him to pick up the book. But HOS #123 breaks the fourth wall and interacts with the reader directly, offering him a chance to be a part of the horror.
Since there is clearly something nefarious going on here, I'm going to say this cover belongs to the Setting the Trap / Leading You to Your Doom category (first discussed here).
What makes this cover interesting to me is that it plays on two very powerful human emotions: pleasure and fear. Is your desire for pleasure (from eating the ice cream) greater than your fear (of the scary face)?
Now I'm willing to stipulate that there may or may not actually be anything wrong with the ice cream. The human brain is hard wired to see faces---even where no face exists.
And our propensity to see (and make emotional connections to) faces, leads us to make all kinds of wild conclusions. It's why some people swear they see ghosts, and why the Virgin Mary keeps popping up in weird places.
So maybe there really isn't a monster in that ice cream. Maybe it's just millions of years of evolution prompting me to interpret cherries, chocolate, and melting ice cream as a scary face.
But there is a skeleton hand holding that cone! Run! Because if you are stupid enough to eat that ice cream, then the cover immediately crosses over to the You're an Idiot category (discussed here)!
Three cheers screams for the amazing Frank Robbins who created this cover.