Locke & Key is one of the most well known graphic novels out there, and for good reason. It was written by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodríguez and published by IDW Publishing.
The story of Locke & Key is divided into three acts. Each arc is comprised out of two storylines of monthly six issues apiece. Act One’s first story arc, which I will be talking about today – Welcome to Lovecraft was a six-issue limited series released in 2008.
This is the tragic story about a family that is trying to cope with the death of their father by the hands of a couple of juvenile delinquents. Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode Locke along with their mother move to the Keylocke manor in order to somehow move on with their lives and find some peace of mind. A task that proves to be much more difficult than it would seem.
While the mother tries to drown her sorrows in alcohol, the children try to find different ways to cope with their problems. The youngest of the bunch Bode, is the most innocent one, hardly understanding what is going on and tries his best to engage with his broken family, telling jokes and exploring the mansion. Kinsey distances herself from everyone else because she feels that the only thing that everyone knows her for and focuses on is the fact that her father was murdered, and the eldest son, Tyler tries to hide his thoughts by constantly working on the house when he gets back from school while wallowing in self-pity and blaming himself for his father’s death. However, things start to take a turn for the unexpected when we start to learn why exactly their father was killed and who or what wanted him dead.
Even though this series mostly revolves around the supernatural aspect with the magical keys and ghostly figures as we move on with the other chapters, the most powerful part of it is definitely the family and their trauma. It’s written so well and each character has so much substance, even with one issue you really get invested in these characters. There is not a dull face. It’s too early to tell as to how good the supernatural world will be but from the way it is set up so far, you can tell that it’s going to be a hell of a ride.
The artwork itself, even though I don’t personally love the style it’s still one of the better drawn graphic novels. I did really like the design of the keys though.
Overall the first chapter sets things up very well even for a story that has no start or end. (Many of the issues are happening in different timelines). A solid 8/10.