Monday, September 2, 2013

Lock me up in a room with these graphic novels and throw away the key

Glorious, glorious weekend. I spent a part of it reading Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez's wonderfully dark series of graphic novels that begin with Locke & Key 1: Welcome to Lovecraft. If the rest of the series is half as good as this first installment, then I'm a happy camper.

Now, Joe Hill. 20th Century Ghosts, Horns, and Heart-Shaped Box are books right up my alley. Creepy, gory, frightful fun. I guess being a son of Stephen King does have its perks, no? I can just imagine the family dinner conversations. (My horror is better than your horror. Hehehe.)

The first Locke & Key isn't an all-out horror graphic novel though. It starts with a murder. Sam Lesser, an unstable teenager, murders his guidance counselor, leaving Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode without a father. The three siblings and their mother then move to their Uncle Duncan's house (named Keyhouse) in a town called Lovecraft. Sam is locked up not in a jail but in a juvenile detention center because of his age.

Keyhouse is one weird house, I tell you. Lots of locked doors and rooms, there's a girl in a well that speaks to the Bode, the youngest Locke sibling. Bode is the first to discover how a key can open the Ghost Door. When he passes through it, he leaves his body and moves in his spirit form.

We do learn that the girl in the well has a more significant role in the story than I initially thought. Sam thinks of the girl as his master. And somehow, she is still connected to Sam even though he's locked away, giving Sam tools that pave the way for his escape. Sam travels to Keyhouse as ordered by the girl. It's all gore and mayhem from here. Sam takes the Locke family hostage, and Bode finds the Anywhere Key and hands it to the girl.

Sam is eventually killed though, and the girl in the well escapes. By the end of the novel, we see the girl in the well morph into a man. Such a deliciously creepy end to the first series, don't you think? I'm so in!

Read this book if:
  1. You're looking to read a different kind of horror.
  2. You love graphic novels not involving superheroes.
  3. You like dark and wonderfully weird story lines. 
P.S. The illustrations are striking. Gabriel Rodriguez's panels are just too gorgeous. A few below.
When you go through the Ghost Door, your spirit leaves your body.
Basically, your physical body becomes dead.
The girl in the well house
One of the first few full-page panels
Sam Lesser knocking on the door of Locke's house to murder him


Louize Gonzales said...

My horror is better than your horror. Hehehe.

Hahahaha, love that one!

Peter S. said...

Hehehehehehe. We can only imagine!

Nancy Cudis said...

Interesting. My first thought was, is this graphic novel in any way connected to H.P. Lovecraft? Horror, you know. I enjoy graphic novels that does not feature superheroes. I want to look into this. Where did you get your copy?

Peter S. said...

Hi, Nancy! I got my copy at National Bookstore.