Locke & Key 1: Welcome to Lovecraft
Author/Artist: Joe Hill/Gabriel Rodriguez
Publisher: IDW Publishing
American release date: August 18, 2009
Format/Genre/ Length: Graphic Novel/Fantasy/158 pages
Publisher/Industry Age Rating: Not rated/contains mature themes & graphic violence
Overall Personal Rating: A
Similar authors to check out: HP Lovecraft, Stephen King, Harlan Ellison titles
Tyler, Kinsey and Bode Locke are ripped from the only home they know and uprooted, along with their mother, to their father’s family home—Keyhouse, in Lovecraft, Massachusetts—following his brutal murder by former guidance counselee Sam Lesser. Sam is locked up in juvie now and the kids are adrift without a paddle. And living in a house that has its own name, how creepy is that?
Rendell Locke had always told his wife that if anything ever happened to him that they needed to go to Keyhouse, to his brother Duncan; he told her that the house chose Duncan, not him. Whatever that means.
The house is not only old and mysterious but it contains secrets of its own. Young Bode finds a special door which allows him to become a ghost. Once in his ethereal form he is free to go to the other inhabitants of the house, either by thinking of them or by being thought of by them. When he draws a graphic representation of his summer vacation, including the murder of his father and his newfound ability to become a ghost, his teacher and classmates are disturbed, and his mother hears about it, warning him to keep that kind of stuff at home.
Tyler has issues of his own to deal with, concerning his father’s death, and the part he may have played in it, and he takes a lot of cold showers. Kinsey, in an effort to not stand out in this new place, has removed her dreads, and tried to remold herself in a way that is her and yet not too much her. Nina Locke copes by drinking heavily. And Bode has the echo.
Although warned not to, Bode finds himself drawn to the locked well house, where he becomes acquainted with the voice inside the well, which calls itself his echo. The echo talks to Bode about the house and its special doors, and its special keys. If you walk through one door, it will turn you from a young person to an old one; another will take a girl and make her into a boy and vice versa. And then there is the anywhere key. The anywhere key opens almost any door, and you can step through it to anywhere you like, as long as you have a clear image of that place in your mind. But that key hasn’t been seen for a very long time.
When it’s learned that Sam Lesser has escaped from juvenile detention, the Bodes are naturally concerned, although the authorities assure them that Sam has no way of finding them all the way on the East Coast. He has no way of knowing where they are, or any way of reaching them. But to be safe, they are given police protection.
Sam isn’t all there, you see. He’s on a mission—and he has help. Will he find the Bodes? Will he get what he wants from them? Will their world come crashing down around them once more?
Where is the Anywhere Key?
This is a great start to a new series, written in the style of HP Lovecraft and Stephen King. It combines horror with mystery and fantasy to produce a riveting tale of a family whose life has gone horribly wrong. The artwork is great, very well done, and the characters are certainly memorable. I honestly could not put this down, I was so riveted on the story.
This reminds me of the old horror magazines that were once prolific but are no longer to be found. The story is certainly imaginative and very creative. I hope it continues in this same vein, and I look forward to reading more of the series.