Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez

Source: Public Library
Paperback, 168 pgs.
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Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez, is part one in a series of graphic novels about a mysterious house and its locked rooms.  Keyhouse is an unlikely mansion in the Massachusetts town of Lovecraft, and it sits on an island separate from the rest of the town.  It’s a clear set up for a horrifying tale.  The three Locke children are left with their barely functioning, alcoholic mother when their father is murdered at their summer cabin outside San Francisco.  The family starts over across the country, only to be caught in a web of darkness they can’t see until it’s too late.

Tyler is struggling because he blames himself for his father’s murder.  He never could please his father, and they often argued, but he did not really want his father to die.  Bode is the youngest, and he escapes the sorrow through his imagination, flying around the Keyhouse as a ghost, while his sister, Kinsey, struggles to remain unseen by everyone in their new school.  What these kids are unaware of are the childhood antics their father and uncle used to get up to as children in Keyhouse, and even their mother is only mildly aware of some stories.  Rodriguez’s artistry is gritty and the violent scenes are well rendered.  The ghost-like characters are gorgeous, swirling as they move from place to place.

Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez, is a great opener to this dark fantasy series, and the twists and turns are unraveled a little at a time to keep readers on their toes.  There are dark forces at work in this house, and they will stop at nothing to open all of the locked doors.

About the Author:

Joseph Hillstrom King is an American writer of fiction, writing under the pen name of Joe Hill.  Hill is the the second child of authors Stephen King and Tabitha King. His younger brother Owen King is also a writer. He has three children.

Hill’s first book, the limited edition collection 20th Century Ghosts published in 2005 by PS Publishing, showcases fourteen of his short stories and won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Fiction Collection, together with the British Fantasy Award for Best Collection and Best Short Story for “Best New Horror”. In October 2007, Hill’s mainstream US and UK publishers reprinted 20th Century Ghosts, without the extras published in the 2005 slipcased versions, but including one new story.

About the Illustrator:

Architect, artist and illustrator. He started his career with myth based illustrations for card games, and then jumped into the world of professional comics working with IDW Publishing. In addition to his current work in Locke & Key, his collaborations with IDW include Clive Barker’s The Great and Secret Show, Beowulf, George Romero’s Land Of The Dead, as well as several CSI comics and some covers for Angel and Transformers.