Friday, January 10, 2020

Locke and Key Volumes #1-6 by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

Locke and Key Volumes #1-6 by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
Release Date - published from 2003-2013
Publisher Website - IDW Publishing
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
My Rating - 5/5

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Locke & Key tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them. Home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all...
When I heard that Netflix was turning the popular Locke and Key series into a television show I immediately wanted to read it. I have only read a few graphic novels/comics and have enjoyed some more than others. I wasn't sure what to expect going in, but figured I would be in for one heck of a ride with Joe Hill writing the story.

Locke and Key has an atmospheric, well written, meticulously plotted story and uses the incredible artwork to deepen the story being told. I've struggled with previous graphic novels not giving me the fleshed out plot that I want and not having characters that feel fully developed. None of that is an issue with Locke and Key. The characters grow and change over the course of the story. I felt like I got to know them. I felt the story was rich and complex and filled with twists and turns. It's the sort of story that you easily get lost in because you become so infested in what is happening.

The Locke family is easy to love. They're all struggling in their own ways with grief, and their lives being uprooted in the midst of that grief. Bode, the precocious youngest child, is the clear standout. His reactions to Keyhouse and the magic there are so pure and innocent. He's curious and gets into mischief. This curiosity is the catalyst for the start of the events at Keyhouse and seeing it through Bode's eyes helps capture that child wonderment.

 I adored Kinsey who tries to appear tough on the outside but is broken on the inside. Tyler is so serious and stoic that you just want to remind him to be a kid. The three siblings, and their love for each other, are the heart of this story. It is through them that the connection to the story, and any emotional impact is felt.

Villains, particularly in stories that have paranormal/fantasy elements to them, are often what can make or break the story. The villain in this is exactly that you want them to be. The world, and the villain within it, are not black and white. This villain is way more complex than that and I was impressed with how well crafted and detailed the entire story of the villain turned out to be. It hit all of notes I wanted it to and managed to be a good mix of both scary and heartbreaking.

Grief pulses through every single part of this story. It resonates so deeply, and is felt so keenly that the emotional punch that is served up at the end is undeniable. These characters come to mean something to you, and their grief is something you come to care about. The story is already steeped in sadness and darkness from the beginning and that just continues. It manages to have little moments of brightness but even those are twinged with a bit of sadness.

This is a story filled with magic, wonder, death, grief, and hope. It, like Keyhouse, reveals its secrets to you slowly, and opens doors at the exact time it needs to. It has changed what I expect from graphic novels, and the stories within them. It's made me want to seek out more that are like this because of how much I enjoyed my time at Keyhouse.


  1. This was one of the first graphic novel series I ever read and man did it set the bar high. The art is so gorgeous and atmospheric, the story has so many layers of emotion...I don't know whether to be excited or come with some trepidation at the thought of a tv show. I want it to be good so badly! I think this one lends itself to being adapted well so I'm optimistic at least

    1. Hi Elizabeth...

      The cast looks excellent and the trailer certainly sold me! I am hoping for a faithful (with some minor changes to fit a television narrative) adaption and I will be happy.


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