“Kids always think they’re coming into a story at the beginning, when usually they’re coming in at the end.”
TITLE & AUTHOR: Locke & Key Vol. 1 by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez
GENRE: Graphic Novel/Horror/Fantasy
PUBLISHED : February 2013, by IDW Publishing (Volume 1)
MY RATING: 5/5
Welcome to Lovecraft
I haven’t been reading graphic novels lately, and it’s been ages since I’ve done a graphic novel review, but after reading one post recently, I remembered I had these stacked somewhere. I’ve had them for a long time, but never had any interest of at least opening them to have a peak inside. The reason is probably that I just got out of horror in the past few years (almost a decade actually, lol), because horror was my life during high school, and later I kind of got fed up so I switched to fantasy. I’ve always maintained a fondness for horror though, and started going back to it last year, and boy was I wrong for avoiding it for so many years. Especially for avoiding Locke & Key, leaving it to collect dust on my shelf. Because it’s f***ing brilliant.
I’ll admit right away that I loved the story way more than the illustrations, because it’s just not my type, but the story was so good it didn’t even matter in the end. And the story of the first volume goes: after a gruesome event that changed their lives forever, a mother and her three kids move in with their relative at their ancestral home – Keyhouse.
At first, Keyhouse looks like an old, crumbling manor, not at all interesting to the traumatized kids: Tyler, the eldest, being eaten up daily by a horrible thing he had to do, and Kinsey, with her own trauma to bear, while trying to shed her past at the same time, and then there’s Bode. He is the youngest, sheltered away from most of what’s happened, and he’s insatiably curious. His curiosity is what instantly leads him to discover the manor’s big secret. There are many doors in the Keyhouse, some small, some large, some crumbling away, some bolted shut, but the secret is not in the doors, it’s how you open them. If you use the right key, and go through a certain door, you can change your size, your gender, or even become a ghost, that is, until you go back through the same door.
I loved this idea, and hoped it would be more explored in the first comic, but it’s repaid masterfully in the sequels, trust me. After all, this one is an intro to this world, and the manor’s various secrets, which will keep you gripped to the pages.
The keys are not the only thing Bode discovers, because deep in a locked-up stone well lies a menacing evil, threatening to revive the trauma this damaged family’s been through.
I can’t really say more without being all spoilery, but these comics are brilliant and imaginative, and this first one is just the taste of it, the one you must try before I continue with my reviews. I’ve also come to realize that Joe Hill is a masterful writer, and now more then ever I have an insatiable need to try his novels.
Have you guys read Locke & Key, and what did you think? I’ll continue reviewing all volumes (which I’ve read all in one night lol), so please no spoilers for those yet. 😉 Have a great reading weekend everyone!