BookBin2012: Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft

Okay, I’m just going to wait a moment while all you Cthulhu geeks wear yourselves out from your fannish squee frenzy.

All better? Good.

Yes, the subtitle of this first volume of what is currently a five-volume series (the fifth volume has yet to be released, however) is a sly bit of homage to that great proprietor of purple prose himself, H.P. Lovecraft. And, where else would the fair city of Lovecraft be located than in Massachusetts? I’m sure it’s quite close to Arkham and the prestigious Miskatonic University.

For the purposes of this graphic novel, Lovecraft is also the location of Keyhouse, the ancestral home of Rendell Locke, the family patriarch whose brutal murder during a home invasion sends his widow and three children on a cross-country journey from San Francisco back to the East Coast town he once called home.

Of course, any place located in a town named Lovecraft isn’t going to be level in any sense of the word. Keyhouse is vast, twisted, and full of secrets. Believe me when I say that you’ll be dying to learn them all.

Locke & Keye is a collaboration between celebrated genre author Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez. I’ve raved about Rodriguez here at the lair already; he’s the artist behind the CSI graphic novels I’ve recently reviewed, the best being Secret Identity. I was so over-the-top happy to see more of Rodriguez’s exceptional art, which is even more impressive when he’s working with original characters rather than ones based on predetermined appearances. His visual translations of Hill’s bleak, unsettling tale spread through the pages of this novel in a rich, haunting diaspora.

I don’t want to go too far into the details of the story itself. Suffice it to say, the crux of the story is discovery…discovery of strength, of secrets, of keys to unlocking all the mysteries hidden within the confines of the Locke family’s new home and new life. Hill is a king among storytellers, and this is a shining example of his royally inherited prowess.

And if you think that last sentence was a little bit leading, you might have something to stand on there. I won’t say any more about it. I’ll just leave this photo of Joe Hill here, for you to ruminate on for yourselves…

Final Verdict: I completely enjoyed the first part of what I’m hoping to discover is a holistically creepy, captivating series. Bottom line is, if the subsequent volumes are even half as amazing as this first part, it’s going to be an awesome ride from here. I’ve already added this volume to my wish list (alas, this was yet another library loaner) and am contemplating whether or not to just dive in and collect them all. I do believe that my graphic novel collection is growing more rapidly than any other part of my library…and, with stories like this one lining up for consideration, I’m very much okay with that.