Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Welcome to Lovecraft

Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft is a compilation of a creepy six-issue comic book story arc by horror master Joe Hill (son of Stephen King---I almost didn’t mention this because I’m sure Joe would like to make a name for himself that doesn’t also include the name of his legendary father…However, I did mention it, so…Best of luck with that Joe!) and Chilean artist Gabriel Rodriquez. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Joe Hill’s New York Times Bestseller Heart-Shaped Box, the story of an aging rock star who gets much more than he bargains for when he buys a man’s ghost online through an ebay-like website. So, when I discovered that Joe had co-created a graphic novel, I checked it out at the library as soon as I was able to get my hands on it.

Not much time is wasted before things start getting gooey (an amusing term that one of my co-workers uses to describe books or movies that are gory or gruesome). By page three, the body count begins. As the story unfolds, the reader witnesses the brutal murder of Rendell Locke by a mentally disturbed teen (Sam Lesser) who attends the school where Rendell works as a guidance counselor in San Francisco. After the funeral, Rendell’s widow and their three children (teens Tyler and Kinsey, and six-year-old Bode) move across the country to live with Rendell’s brother in the Locke family home. There, they attempt to get past the trauma and carry on with their lives. However, weirdness abounds in this spooky New England mansion…A mysterious doorway enables the spirit of anyone who passes through to leave its body, and an insidious creature beckons to Bode from inside an old forbidden well-house.

Welcome to Lovecraft is packed with surprises, including a “what the heck” ending that had me backtracking through pages to insure that I wasn’t missing something. Although the violence is intense, Hill and Rodriguez have done an amazing job of infusing a real sense of humanity into their characters…At one point, I even found myself feeling a bit sorry for Sam the psycho killer. A second compilation in the series, Head Games, is due to be released in September of this year.

1 comment:

Karen said...

I read this after seeing your post, Greg, and I loved it! I've liked everything Joe Hill has done so far.