Graphic Novel Review Locke and Key #1: Welcome to Lovecraft

  • Title: Welcome to Lovecraft
  • Series: Locke & Key #1
  • Author: Joe Hill 
  • Illustrator: Gabriel Rodríguez
  • Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Psychological Horror, Supernatural, Paranormal
  • Publication Date:  February 2013
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing
  • Rating: 4 stars

This was my first exposure to Joe Hill, and I loved it!

Sufficiently creepy, though not frightening the way I expected, Welcome to Lovecraft was an alluring welcome to the series. I ordered the second volume before I finished reading the first.

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…

Some of the scenes in Welcome to Lovecraft surprised me – namely some of the sexual aspects that I wasn’t expecting. It definitely unnerved me, which is what was likely intended. I’m unsure if I think it was worthwhile to have that in there, but simultaneously, it did give a peek into the character’s mind – and his desperation.

The characters themselves – from the woman in the well to the psychopath on a murder rampage – had their own story. I loved that!

Every character had their own flavor, and each one had a role, even if small, in the story’s progression. The artwork did the story favors : creepy, grotesque, and macabre, the illustrations meshed well with the story’s unnerving atmosphere. The artwork had a punk feel to them – with the sharp lines and stark colors.

The horror was certainly there – with a murdered father, ghosts, and an evil witch-demon. But the fantasy was strong, too. The house our main characters move into was the one their murdered father grew up in. With hidden keys that unlock doors in the house that leads to other realms, the story is fantastical and has the opportunity to explore multiple dimensions and story angles.

What I really enjoyed was the underlying story of death – the youngest character has figured out what he can become a ghost – he can leave his body and move around without being seen or heard, though he can be felt. His nonchalance to this newfound skill is both eerie and expected – who wouldn’t want to experience death without dying? Coupled with having just lost his father in a brutal murder, it’s no wonder death is a main component of the storyline.

What I loved most about Welcome to Lovecraft was the potential – there are enough layers to the story that the plot can develop with each volume without becoming ladened with cliche or boredom.

Perfect for anyone who likes to be creeped out and sucked into an alluring story and artwork, Welcome to Lovecraft is a good bet on finding all that.

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