Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Locke & Key HC
What an interesting comic. Joe Hill is Stephen King’s kid, right? It sure shows here. This series has all the elements. Sad childhood, creepy locales, depraved psychopaths. In fact, that sad childhood element is a recurring one for King, and Hill seems pretty comfortable tilling the same soil.
The series focuses on the Locke family, specifically on the three Locke children as they wrestle with their mother’s assault and father’s death. There are all sorts of interesting ties between the murderer and the victim, but it turns out that there is a much more supernatural element here. The Locke family moves back to Lovecraft, MA, where the kids start spreading out into their sprawling estate. It’s spooky, but not overly so, in fact, it seems like a pretty great place to live if it wasn’t for the creature in the old well house and the door that turns you into a ghost. And heck, who wouldn’t want to try out being a ghost?
Hill does a nice job getting in the heads of each of the core characters, but he’s not neglecting the rest of the world either. I really enjoy seeing the strength in Locke family matriarch and in the kids’ uncle. They aren’t privy to the toughest parts of the kids’ lives, but they’re doing their best.
After the first collection, I have absolutely no idea where this is going. The creature in the well is certainly giving me some Ring vibes, but it seems there is more than that going on. I’m happy to see the story sort of resolve after the first six issues, but with lots of threads for later. Growing up in the same town your mysterious Dad did is a sure recipe for lots of interesting supporting characters.
Gabriel Rodriguez has a nice style, with big expressive eyes and clear lines. At times the art gets a bit cartoony, especially when drawing Bode, the youngest Locke. That said, some of the elements in this horror story would be too upsetting if drawn realistically. His storytelling is clear, it will be neat seeing if the colors and tone of the art continues or adjusts to the dark subject matter.