Friday, March 30, 2012

Locke and Key v.1: Welcome to Lovecraft

Locke and Key volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (2009)

At PLA I attended a session on trends in genre series, and the presenter on horror highly recommended Joe Hill's graphic novel series Locke & Key.

It begins with a murder - the father of the Locke family is killed by a former student, after which the family moves to Maine to live with the deceased's brother. The kids try to cope with their grief and adjust to their new life on the island of Lovecraft. The youngest, Bode, soon discovers a magical door that turns him into a ghost and begins communicating with a mysterious woman seemingly trapped in their well. Meanwhile, the psycho who killed their father is still on the loose and moving ever closer to the family.

I thought this was a good story with good illustrations, but I didn't find it especially scary. It has all the elements of scariness - creepy house, psycho killer - but it didn't even give me the creeps. Maybe I am just desensitized after all the horror I read as a teenager. The setup was good though, and I think the characters hold a lot of potential for the series but I'm not sure I'll continue.  Graphic novels are nice palate-cleansers now and then, but I do get a whole lot more out of regular novels.

Have any of you read this series? What did you think? I'm wondering if I should try volume 2. The reviews of this book are all so glowing that I feel like I'm missing something.

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