Locke & Key 1: Welcome to Lovecraft

locke and key volume 1 welcome to lovecraft cover trade paperback tpb
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Art: 5/10

Interesting concepts in a developing mystery

Art is beneath the story, sometimes the story is written too hokey and tries too hard

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Locke & Key:  Welcome to Lovecraft

Publisher:  IDW Publishing

Writer:  Joe Hill

Artist:  Gabriel Rodriguez

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:  2010


Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft #4

Reprints Locke & Key:  Welcome to Lovecraft #1-6 (February 2008-July 2008).  Bode, Kinsey, and Tyler Locke are on vacation with their parents when tragedy strikes.  Classmates Sam Lesser and Al Grubb go to their house and kill their father in an attempt to find keys.  Bode, Kinsey, and Tyler and their mother are now moving cross country to Lovecraft where they are going to live in the family home of Keyhouse with their uncle Duncan.  Keyhouse holds secrets and all locks have keys that could open unlimited possibilities.  When Bode finds a strange girl living in the sewers of the wellhouse, he learns that she’s seeking the Anywhere Key.  Helping Sam Lesser escape from prison, the girl will do anything to get the Anywhere Key, and Bode might be forced to get it for her to save his family.

Written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez, Locke & Key Volume 1:  Welcome to Lovecraft is the first story arc of the popular series.  The series was nominated for Eisner Awards for Best Limited Series and Joe Hill was nominated for Best Writer.

The first story of Locke & Key serves to introduce the character and begin to introduce the concept.  The series is set up in three story arcs with this story comprising a portion of the first arc.  Locke & Key does a lot right, but I also felt missed the target in some areas.

The writing of Locke & Key is ok.  I’ve read some of Joe Hill’s other work like his novel Heart-Shaped Box, and like his father Stephen King, he has a real grasp of how to make characters, make them feel real, and do it quickly.  Locke & Key also has this going for it.  You feel all three of the kids are real, and this is established quite quickly.


Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft #4

The series also has a bit of “what’s going on” and that is a good thing.  The mystery surrounding the story is interesting and shows a lot of room for development.  The mysterious girl in the well who refers to herself both as “Echo” and “Legion”, and it is already starting to be an interesting storyline.  The story also has a gothic feel which plays like a Hammer movie.

The only problem I have with the writing is that it sometimes appears a bit hokey.  Beside the point of the characters last name is Locke, the story deals with keys, and they living in Keyhouse, some of the dialogue tries to be shockingly realistic, but comes off as cliché (like the Sam Lesser character and his whole background).  The issue on Kinsey also has her being a rather generic type of angsty teen (and the issue kind of slows up the story).

The other problem I have is with the art.  I don’t like Gabriel Rodriguez’s style and think all his characters look the same.  I had problems with the first issue because I couldn’t tell with the time jumping if the Al Grubb character was the Tyler Locke character…they are drawn the same except one has hair and one is bald.  Everyone else also looks the same…male and female…it’s a bit creepy.  It is like all the characters are inbred.  This cartoon style doesn’t meet with the

Locke & Key 1:  Welcome to Lovecraft is worth reading, and I’d definitely read volume 2, but I think that the series has some correcting to do.  A lot like 100 Bullets which I felt had good plotting but poor dialect writing, Locke& Key has to get over this bump of both writing and art.  Locke & Key 1:  Welcome to Lovecraft is followed by Locke & Key 2:  Head Games.

Related Links:

Locke & Key 2:  Head Games

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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