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House of Mystery: Room and Boredom (House of Mystery, Volume 1)
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House of Mystery: Room and Boredom (House of Mystery #1)

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,327 Ratings  ·  189 Reviews
Focusing on five characters trapped in a supernatural bar - each one with a terrible past they'd like to forget... and with no books, newspapers or TV allowed, they face an eternity of boredom. But stories become the new currency, and fortunately, the House attracts only the finest storytellers.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published 2008 by DC Vertigo
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 17, 2015 Brad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More of a 3.5 stars.

So far so good. It was nice to see a bit of Cain and Abel and know what I was heading into, but what really kept me reading was the frame, if not the internal stories as much.

I think I prefer all the "simple" stories that have a lot more interesting things going on in the frames best. Very tongue-in-cheek.

So far, it isn't brilliant or anything, but I will stay the course to see where it eventually leads. I can't dislike a story about stories, after all, I am a big fan of th
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
I picked up House of Mystery because it was recommended to people who enjoyed Fables, and I can see the appeal. The concept is one of almost existential horror. Five people end up in a strange house, and they cannot leave its grounds. Essentially, they are trapped in a nightmare they can't wake up from. I have had those dreams where I can never get where I'm supposed to go, no matter how many diversions in direction I make. Finally I wake up out of sheer frustration and the futility of the effor ...more
John Kirk
There are two parts to this book (and presumably the whole series): the framing sequence and the short stories. The framing sequence is interesting, and I liked the joke about "scaling a fish".

The short stories are a bit of a mixed bag; I didn't really like them much on their own merits, and they don't add anything to the framing sequence. By contrast, The Sandman, Vol. 8: Worlds' End has a similar premise and I think it works much better there. I've read some reprints of the original House of M
Titas (Emperor)
When VERTIGO publishes fantasy you know it's serious.
Take numerous fantastic artists, pair them up with prodigious comics writers, form a total collage of stories, grant them total freedom to explore adult horror and fantasy without any hesitation - how can anything be more perfect?!?!
A house, a house of fantasy. You're welcome if you can find. Have a nice time and pay with a story. Perfect right?!
Horror - check,
fantasy - check,
gorgeous art - check,
backdrop story arc - check.
Will you just read
Sarah Anne
It's so refreshing to love something just as much the second time around :) I think I actually enjoyed this more this time.
Jan 14, 2016 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ooh this series is off to a promising start!
The Flooze
House of Mystery: Room & Boredom is a bizarre graphic novel. The central wrap-around story is of the House itself and its new occupant, Fig. This is easily the most intriguing aspect of the book, as the seemingly sentient building twists itself to some unknown purpose. Along the way, we learn more about Fig - her past and her present - while also getting glimpses of the customers in the bar downstairs. The rules of the house: each person must pay his tab by sharing entertaining anecdotes wit ...more
Seizure Romero
Upon finishing this first volume I freely admit I have no idea what the hell is going on, kinda like the people trapped in the House. The art is good and the short stories are interesting-- although, "The Hollows" was icky, icky, gross & disgusting (big problem with the graphic part of graphic novels is that you can't un-see that $#!+). "Jordan's Tale" mostly makes up for the aforementioned icky-ness (and earns the fourth star) through the brilliant juxtaposition of a slacker's bland narrati ...more
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
May 20, 2009 colleen the fabulous fabulaphile rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes Sandman and/or Fables
This was one of the books that, while browsing through Amazon, I saw the cover and thought "that looks cool", which lead me to read the summary to which I thought "hmmm, interesting", and then I found out it was co-written by Bill Willingham, of Fables, which I *love*, so then it was an "I *have* to get this."

All I can say is I was not disappointed. I enjoyed the stories, both the overall story and the vignettes - and I love the "cameo" by Cain and Able and the notion that this is the House from
Aug 25, 2012 Brooke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually really liked this one. A lot of people correctly point out it's very similar to The Sandman, Vol. 8: Worlds' End. Stepping outside of that, the overall narrative tying all the stories together is a mysterious plot about a girl who can talk to houses. I liked the individual stories quite a bit because they really harnessed the power of the graphic novel medium - the text itself was very benign, but the graphics gave a completely and unexpected twist to the words. Very well done, althou ...more
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
This series of graphic novel's are starting out good.
Nothing like FABLES. Of, course.
I will keep my eye out for the next one.
Oct 21, 2014 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good, intriguing start to what I hope is a solid mystery series that actually pays off. The setup is a little strange, with each issue spending most of its time focused on the larger story arc at play in the series, with a short, 4- or 5-page story in the middle that ultimately has nothing to do with the rest of the book and feels a little disruptive. These stories seem to be an homage to the original House of Mystery series that ran from 1951-1983, but they're jammed in so tightly and we ...more
Jun 14, 2011 Felix rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
So far this series has yet to convince me. The overarching plot is not easily accessible so that, five issues in, I still have to warm to the characters. There's not enough character-development to make me feel for them or care whether they live or not. The short tales-within-the-tale by Bill "Fables" Willingham, told by characters in the bar-room, range in quality from excellent (i.e. the first one) to mediocre (i.e. the one about the princess and her cat) to downright shoddy (like the one abou ...more
Fig is awakened one night by two mysterious apparitions, who want to talk to her about a house. She flees when her own house collapses in a burning heap around her and escapes to another place – just barely – the house she has been drawing for most her life, the house of her own creation. It’s a bizarre place, filled with a bizarre cast of characters who come to the house from time to time for a drink and to share their stories. The bartender and his barmaids are the only unlucky souls in the ho ...more
Orrin Grey
Mar 21, 2009 Orrin Grey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
I was really excited about the relaunch of House of Mystery, not least because of the involvement of Matt Sturges and Bill Willingham (and Bernie Wrightson, though not 'til the next volume). Unfortunately, this first volume couldn't quite live up to the hype that I'd created for it.

That's not necessarily a condemnation, though. It's not what I expected or quite what I hoped, and there are times when it has the disorienting feel of a fanfic written for something that doesn't exist (and, consider
Quick Thoughts:
Stories inside stories, how wonderful!
The main narrative is very gripping, yet after reading the first volume still utterly shrouded in mystery and I truly enjoyed the little stories that were told by various characters. (And as payment for drinks at the bar, no less. How delightful is that?) They varied from creepy (The Hollows) to funny (Jordan's Story). And I even laughed out loud a few times, even though there are mostly dire situations or pretty unsettling things going on. Th
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
Well this was interesting. Very interesting. Reminds me a little bit of American Horror Story. Mostly because of that really cool but at the same time creepy cover and well the tone of this.

Then you have the short stories in between the story which are drawn well but are weird.

The art was really good and moments where I was like, wait is that and huh, I didn't think I'd see that and what's going on?

Anyway, this caught my interest and am wondering what will happen next. I really got to keep tra
CJ -Doctor can you help me, 'cause somethin' don't feel right
Jan 23, 2009 CJ -Doctor can you help me, 'cause somethin' don't feel right rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gaiman fans, Willingam fans, good Graphic Novels
An awesome graphic novel. I have a different cover than this one (it threw me off for a moment) but the picture (both of them really) relay the atmosphere of the story.

A mixture of horror, fantasy and angst, it follows in the footsteps of Gaiman's Sandman series (a lovely cameo by Cain and Abel) and sets it on a slightly different path as the core of the story is a girl named Fig and her involvement, connection and fascination with the House.

We have handsome Harry the bartender, Ann Preston the
I really love Bill Willingham so I was psyched to see his name on a new title (even though this probably isn't considered new anymore). A group of people are stuck in a house that is at a bar in the cross roads of many dimensions. In the house they run a bar and people tell stories to pay down their tabs. The book goes back and forth between the stories told by bar patrons and the stories of the house's residents. I can't wait to find out more about why they are stuck in the house and the patron ...more
Jessica T.
I love how it's structured a large story with small ones as filler... it reminds me of the old horror comics.
Feb 01, 2009 Rick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, horror
Sturges and Willingham resurrect the old DC anthology title for the new century by using familiar tropes (travelers exchange outlandish tales in a bar) and recognizable fears of alienation. While the overall story is fairly standard in the post- Sandman era, Luca Rossi's art on the main tale and the bar patron's quirky vignettes make House of Mystery an intriguing and enjoyable read.
Deborah Ideiosepius
As a concept, I found this trade paperback quite interesting with a nice overall story arc. I was really not impressed however that the beginning of the Trade began a story arc that was not completed by the end of the trade. While I would not normally spoiler this type of story on this one I will (view spoiler) ...more
Scott (GrilledCheeseSamurai)

This first volume was pretty freaking fun!

I'm a big fan of short stories, and each issue has the main story arc with a short independent story nestled within it.

A story within a story.

So very much my cup of tea!

The overall plot line of some strangers trapped together in the House Of Mystery is interesting enough. I get a big kick outta the crowd scenes in the bar. There is always something really witty going on and about. So far it looks like its going to be a fun ride piecing together what is h
Matt Sautman
I managed to purchase an oddball assortment of House of Mystery graphic novels on sale from a local comic shop, and while I was greatly excited about starting this series since it, like Lucifer, ties into the greater universe of Gaiman's Sandman series, I find myself left in a kind of stupor. I want to like it, and I don't dislike it, but it is more a short story collection than it is a continuous story that really adds to the greater world as a whole. Cain and Able appear once in the beginning, ...more
Scott Lee
Nov 02, 2014 Scott Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was far better than I expected...enough that I went chasing every other volume I could find immediately upon finishing it. The format's a bit strange--a short story in each issue independent of the events in the rest of the book--but I really enjoyed it. I find the central mystery, the house and the characters stuck there permanently--Harry, Cress, Ann, the Poet, and Fig far more interesting than the stories--but the short story collection is entertaining in itself. This one advertises itse ...more
Jan 07, 2015 Shauna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One day I would like to curl up inside Bill Willingham's head and just sit there, neatly. Minding my own business, but probably while rocking back and forth, covered in blood and viscera, watching as his utter genius way of sorry telling unfolds, in awe of his outré imagination, watching as it entangles itself with the familiar and nostalgic fairy tales, bed time stories and resulting fantastical, creepy and utterly nonsensical dreams you would have as a kid.
The venerable anthology series got a gruesome grown-up reboot in 2008. This collection uses a wraparound tale that tells the story of the house itself, a place where visitors from many worlds and era can meet to have a drink, share stories, and perhaps be doomed. To pay their tab at the house, visitors tell stories of varying degrees of madness. Unfortunately, the downside is that the anthology stories, which range from silly to downright horrifying, are necessarily so brief that they're inconse ...more
May 06, 2016 Phillip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The House of Mystery series is long standing with DC Comics. The latest iteration led by Matthew Sturges borrows a little from the Sandman mythos, which is in turn based on older DC comic series.

I haven't read the older books, but I still enjoyed this one quite a bit. The House of Mystery stands at a crossroads between dimensions where travelers can come to swap stories. A few have been chosen to become permanent residents. This is ostensibly about the permanent residents, but it features some o
Ian Roditi
Feb 26, 2014 Ian Roditi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aquí hay una mansión conectada a muchos mundos, le da entrada a todo aquel que pueda comprender su existencia y la salida a algunos otros para bien o para mal. Dentro de ella hay lugares que no siempre están en el mismo lugar y otros que llegar con los nuevos visitantes. Lo que no hay es tele, libros, ni nada que se le parezca, sólo el bar donde los mundos se cruzan y quien quiera beber o comer paga con historias.

Lo interesante aquí es la gente que no puede irse, por alguna razón que supongo des
 Adriana ♩♪
Jun 30, 2015 Adriana ♩♪ rated it did not like it
This graphic novel is full of waffling nonsense and I can't read it anymore. Book of boredom... blah
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Other Books in the Series

House of Mystery (8 books)
  • House of Mystery, Vol. 2: Love Stories for Dead People
  • House of Mystery, Vol. 3: The Space Between
  • House of Mystery, Vol. 4: The Beauty of Decay
  • House of Mystery, Vol. 5: Under New Management
  • House of Mystery, Vol. 6: Safe as Houses
  • House of Mystery, Vol. 7: Conception
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“It’s the Longing that ultimately undoes you. When it finds you, it gnaws at your bones and tugs at your chest. It fills you up inside like rot and makes you dream dreams and it drowns you. The Longing keeps you in bed, clutching at your sheets while the world goes on outside. It smells like old leaves and cigarette smoke, mixed with the scent of far-off places you will hear of, but never see. It’s the gloss on a lover’s lips the moment you realize you will never kiss those lips again. It is the bittersweet, unrequited love of creation and it will break your heart again and again and again. If you know the Longing the way I do, then these words are redundant. We understand each other perfectly, you and I.” 120 likes
“It is especially so when, on some basic, primal level, you realize that the new world in front of you is somehow the place you were meant to be all along. For a little while, all you can do is gape in wonder. And then, if you are very brave, or very foolish, you take your first step. And at some point you realize---maybe then, maybe later---that the person who stepped through the doorway isn't the same person who emerged on the other side.” 0 likes
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