Friday, June 28, 2019

Number 2355: Money for nothin' and the house for free

What an offer! Such a deal! A free house, free food, free giant screen television (that black and white comes in high definition, I hope). Meals are cooked for the occupants, and they even have a guaranteed income of $200 a cash. Oh, and they have robots to do the work. Those occupants, the Jenkins family, have hit the jackpot, and just when they were at their lowest point, sharing a tiny apartment with another family. They are offered a dream house, making their dreams come true. Who wouldn’t take the word of a kindly old man like Mr Appleby, who is so generous?

Me, for one. I remember the old saying: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And for the Jenkins family, it is not only too good, it comes with a hidden price.

“The Dream House” was written by Gardner Fox, using the pseudonym, Robert Starr, for Strange Adventures #3 (1950). It was drawn by Jim Mooney, pencils, and Ray Burnley, inks


Rick said...

I think the punch line would've been more accurate to call the house an ant farm...or in this case a "human farm". An ant farm's purpose was to be able to watch how the ants lived as this house does. A mouse trap...not so much.

Daniel [] said...

Given that the mechanics of the story don't bear close examination, this seems a tale for children; but to what end? I can find a message in it, but I don't know that Fox intended that message, and it would be obscure to someone whose critical thinking weren't bothered by the aforementioned problems with the workings of the story.

In any case, stylistically, this story is amongst those from DC that could just as easily have first appeared ten or more years later. For DC, the transition to the Silver Age was not an across-the-board change, but one of making most of their product as slick as their best stuff had previously been for some years.