Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Recommended Reading--Locke & Key

So I mentioned last week that I was going to be checking out Scribd, a Netflix-like service for books that just recently added some major comic publishers, including Marvel, Archie and IDW. Even though I'm on a free trial, I've already read a couple hundred dollars of content in my first weekend, including a book I can now cross off my reading pile of shame--Locke & Key.

Every once in a while, you read a book or a comic that seems to be completely tailor-made for you. For me, that book is Locke & Key. As both a horror and dark fantasy fan, Locke & Key flips all the right switches for me. Writer Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez teach a master class in visual storytelling over the course of six volumes.

This is one of those stories I don't want to spoil for those that haven't read it. But I will give you the setup. After their father is brutally murdered, three children and their mother travel across the country to live at their father's family estate in Lovecraft, Massachusetts. The estate is called Keyhouse, and not long after arriving, the kids discover why. One of them finds a very unique key that unlocks one of the house's many mysteries.

I've been wanting to get into Locke & Key for years, but I'm glad I waited. Getting to experience the entire story from start to finish in one weekend was amazing. This book easily makes my all-time top twenty. It reminds me a lot of Clive Barker's more fantastical works like Weaveworld and The Thief of Always. And in some ways, I feel like Joe Hill's style incorporates some of what I love about both Stephen King and Clive Barker, without any of the things I don't care for. Hill's story is both fantastical and grounded at the same time, and it's wonderfully detailed but there's not a panel of filler in the entire series.

As I said, I think Hill and Rodriguez have created a near-perfect story with Locke & Key, and I cannot recommend this series enough. The entire series is on Scribd now, so you could use your free month trial and read the whole thing.

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