I recently bought a copy of DC's House of Mystery comic issue 197 and was ASTONISHED at how closely the cover story mirrored the "Tales of the Black Freighter" subtext story in Watchmen and paralleled the general "pirate comics fad" of the Watchmen world. http://i123.photobucket.com/albums/o306 ... 33d79d.jpg
I recommend this to anyone looking for interesting Watchmen spinoffs. Could Moore and/or Gibbons read this comic in 1971 and deliberately or unconsciously taken the idea of Watchmen's pirate comics from the elad story here, "Ghost Ship"? This is a classic of its type. Story by Jack Oleck, art by Jack Sparling, edited by Joe Orlando. The narrative is a sea-faring yarn recounted in the first person, in overwrought prose, the art is wild and dynamic but crude, and of course, Joe Orlando is the real-life comic book genius who was tapped by Moore to appear in his alternate reality. In the late Sixties thru mid-70s Orlando edited a stable of horror comics for DC that for my money have never been surpassed; bulit on the traditions of classic EC horror but told in a more modern and gripping fashion, shaped by influences like the Twilight Zone and B-movies, and no longer stifled by a now-loosened Comics Code Authority. This House of Mystery issue is representative of its type, and in this period contained reprints of older material as well as new stories. The twist ending is a specialty, as well as black humor and vivid illustrations from old veterans and also a new wave of comic talent like Alfredo Alcala and Nestor Redondo.
The horror comic renaissance of the early 1970s was short-lived, but did it contribute toward the world of the Watchmen? Anyone reading HOM #197 would certainly think so.