Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On the Coffee Table: Locke & Key

Title: Locke & Key, Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft
Writer: Joe Hill
Artist: Garbriel Rodriguez
via Wikipedia
Even if you've never heard of Joe Hill, it's highly likely you've heard of his father.  Joe Hill is the pen name of Joseph Hillstrom King, son of Stephen and Tabitha King.  For perfectly understandable reasons, Hill uses a pseudonym so he might have a writing career independent of his literary titan father.  It's an attitude I totally respect, yet there's no denying that writing page-turners runs in the family.  Call it nature or nurture, Hill definitely knows how to spin a yarn.

Rather than the traditional monthly delivery for comic books, Locke & Key is published in limited series.  Welcome to Lovecraft ran from February to July 2008.  The next story, Head Games, picked up in January 2009.  After witnessing the gruesome murder of his father, Tyler Locke and his family move across country to Lovecraft, their father's childhood home and current residence of Tyler's uncle.  The house is filled with doors of mysterious nature.  Bode, Tyler's younger brother, discovers the Ghost Door.  He steps through it, his physical body dies while he becomes a ghost until he re-enters the door from the opposite direction.

Bode also discovers the well and the entity who lives within it.  Said entity is also in touch with Sam, Dad's murderer, in jail back in California.  Sam escapes, then makes his way to Lovecraft in order to set the entity free, no qualms about killing again to accomplish this.

Tension mounts gradually to a thrilling ending.  Even as this initial story wraps up, new questions emerge to be answered - plenty of avenues for the tales to come.  Locke & Key contains ample gruesome violence but it all serves the narrative.  The storytelling is masterful and Rodriguez's artwork plenty creepy to match.  Locke & Key definitely works for me.

12 comments:

  1. Another excellent choice! The entire series of this just ended and is worth every page. Another completed series I would recommend is Sweet Tooth. The art isn't as polished, but that's part of its charm.

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    1. Sweet Tooth is yet another for which I picked up one issue and it didn't take. Now Goodreads is pushing it so Vol. 1 is on my TBR list.

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  2. I'll be reading Hill at some point. It'll be interesting to see how he writes in comparison to his dad.

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    1. And I haven't really read King too much - just The Body.

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  3. wow! so insane writing genius runs in the family!! that definitely sounds horrifically awesome!! lucky!

    and on the lighter side, thanks for supporting my broken branch falls blog tour!

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    1. My pleasure, Tara! I hope all is going well.

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  4. How interesting. I had no idea. Was this published traditionally? If so, I wonder if his dad helped him. Stephen King seems like the type who would provide advice but not do it for him--instead choosing to let him learn the ins and outs of the industry himself. If he managed to get a trad. publisher to take it on as a comic book series without them knowing whom his father was, that's proof talent really matters!

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    1. IDW - traditionally published. It's also not Joe Hill's first book. He's written novels, too. It's difficult to imagine that Papa's connections in the publishing world haven't helped. My point is that Joe Hill's no Julian Lennon. Locke & Key's one of the best comics I've read in quite a while.

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  5. I read his first book, which I loved, and I've been meaning to read his other work. His writing is amazing.

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    1. To be honest, I'd never even heard of him before finding Locke & Key. It's good to know others are reading and enjoying his work, too.

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  6. Had no idea their son wrote too! Will have to check it out!

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    1. If you do, Katie, please let me know what you think.

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