Friday, September 13, 2013

Locke and Key- Graphic Novel Review

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

Book Description:
"Locke & Key tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them.... and home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all... Acclaimed suspense novelist and New York Times best-selling author Joe Hill (Heart-Shaped Box) creates an all-new story of dark fantasy and wonder, with astounding artwork from Gabriel Rodriguez."

Angie's Review:

When I first flipped through this, I thought I might not like the artwork, but the story was interesting. Once I read through the whole thing, though, I completely changed my mind about it. It has a child-like quality to it- more cartoon-ish than realistic, and most of the time I don't enjoy that as much. However, coupled with the story, I think the artwork is brilliant.

This story centers on the Locke children- Tyler, Kinsey and Bode. Their father has been murdered under mysterious circumstances, by a former student of his. This boy, Sam Lesser, seemed to think that Mr. Locke was in possession of a set of keys, and he was willing to murder in order to get his hands on them.

They go with their mother, to Keyhouse, and live with their uncle.. Bode, the youngest of the Locke children, explores the house and discovers that it has many secrets, and if you have the right key, certain abilities are granted to you. He also discovers a voice in an abandoned well- a voice that claims to just want to be Bode's friend. 

Since the story is told from the perspectives of the children, the artwork fits it beautifully. There is an innocence to the style that is a bit jarring when something truly, truly disturbing is happening. But that jarring quality is completely appropriate. This is a story about children whose innocence is shattered one night in an act of terrible violence, and this one event propels them into a world of chaos and heartache, and places them in the path of an evil force, bent on escape from its prison.

As far as content goes- there is violence and gore, no nudity but there are sexual references, and a disturbing scene where a boy is performing a sex act on an older man in order to get a ride with him. (Not seen, but clearly implied) The content is pretty adult.

But, this is a really interesting story. The voice in the well is quite spooky. There are some goosebump-worthy moments and the ending is setting up for a longer story. I really enjoyed it, and will be picking up more of these issues.

Locke & Key Website:

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