Wealthy builder Elliot Aldrich had constructed a dream house for his wife Cassandra. But on the day they moved in, the dream turned into a nightmare!
To say much more would be to spoil a ripping yarn from John Wagner and Alan Grant, collected here in a beautiful perfect-bound edition from Hibernia. Smart, snappy writing from two of comics' all-time greats isn't all you get though – no, the art is provided by the late, great Jose Ortiz, who backs up the story with some truly beautiful artwork, more than rising to the challenge of illustrating Wagner and Grant's craziest ideas.
The House of Daemon straddles genres throughout its surprisingly lengthy tale, starting off as a haunted house poltergeist story before running off on a little Lovecraftian adventure and pausing for a number of explosive war sequences in the same fashion as the old WWII comics you'd usually find cluttering the attic or your dad's book collection. This is all presented with the trademark Wagner and Grant sense of humour, reading like a particularly eccentric 2000AD strip crossed with an old (much longer) EC horror comic.
The characters are well-formed and distinctive – strong archetypes thrown into the thick of it without giving us much time to get to know them. With all they face at the hands of the titular Daemon, it's hard not to sympathise. Giant worms, annoying Orc-type kidnappers, bleeding taps and the constant threat of death (alright, we said we wouldn't spoil it, but the story has been knocking about since the ‘80s); it's non-stop, but the gigantic splash pages and Ortiz's smart use of space and scale gives it all the room it needs to breathe. And it needs a lot.
A magnificent re-release from some of comics' most esteemed talent, The House of Daemon was, and remains to this day, one of the best-looking horror comics of all time.
THE HOUSE OF DAEMON / WRITER: ALAN GRANT, JOHN WAGNER / ARTIST: JOSE ORTIZ / PUBLISHER: HIBERNIA / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW