Here is one of those thrift-shop gems that you almost overlook. Mansion of Evil is a very early graphic novel published in 1950. It’s clear that Gold Key wasn’t quite sure how to handle the format (“Something new!”). For one thing, other than Mr Millard, no credits are given at all. There are also no typical copyright and title pages. It is simply 200 pages of comic book sandwiched between two covers, ending as abruptly as it begins.
The story revolves around a woman who is kidnapped by a wealthy artist to cover up the murder of his wife, who the kidnapped woman just happens to look exactly like. The artwork is not bad, and quaintly outdated. Fedoras and streamlined automobiles abound. The women all wear knee-length skirts, and the men all wear suits. The writing is of the best breathless, pulp detective style. In fact, it reads a lot like how a 1950s radio detective show sounds.
Born in Canby, MN, in 1908, Joseph Millard wrote a number of books on all sorts of subjects. Perhaps his best known are his biography of Edgar Cayce and the movie tie-in novelization of at least one of Clint Eastwood’s “man with no name” movies, For a Few Dollars More.