Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft

Title:Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft
Author: Joe Hill Illustrator: Gabriel Rodriguez
Pub Date: 2008
Pages: 158
Genre: Graphic Novel, Horror
Challenge: Graphic Novel

Vacation time should be relaxing and carefree. Instead Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode walk into the horrific nightmare of their father being slain. Not knowing what else to do, their mom hauls the Locke family clear across the country to live with their uncle in Keyhouse, the mansion their father grew up in.

Keyhouse, like most mansions in a horror book, has a history (and mind) of its own. Doors lead to different worlds, keys transport spirits, and Echos live in abandoned wells. All characters involved handle the grief differently: the mother drinks; Tyler feels as though his father's death is his fault and contemplates suicide; Kinsey who once was the rebel, tries to become a wallflower; and Bode, well, Bode finds a hidden door that causes him to die momentarily and become a ghost whenever he wants.

And then, as if that all wasn't creepy enough, the killer escapes and is on his way to Keyhouse to get what he was after in the first place.

Okay, so this was my first horror comic and I absolutely loved it. Also, am I the only person in the world who didn't recognize the author? You see, I picked up this book because of the Lovecraft reference. I thought it was an adaptation of a Lovecraft story. (Chtulla anyone?) When I realized it wasn't, I figured what the hell, might as well. I'm glad I did, because it didn't disappoint.

Locke & Key first came out in comics. I believe that this bound book has the first six sessions and there are two more books out there. After doing some perusing I finally recognized Joe Hill - duh, I have wanted to read 20th Century Ghosts for a while. And then, an even bigger DUH...this is the Stephen King's son. Dude. Don't I feel like a goof.

I love the spookiness of the illustrations too. I would warn those who normally don't like gore might not like some of the scenes. I mean, it's not over the top Saw-gory. But there's definitely some blood filled pages.

Plus, I love that Hill incorporates both a crazy killer (you see the dad was a guidance counselor and it was a previous student who went on the killing rampage) with a haunted-spirited filled mansion. It's like the best of both worlds for the spooky.


  1. I definitely need to get my hands on this. I don't read much horror (nothing against it, though) but I did read and loved Hill's Heart-Shaped Box.

  2. This looks fantastic! I didn't love Heart-Shaped Box, but this graphic novel looks spooky and fun to me. Great review.

  3. Now horror, I don't mind. I love the idea of this book. It sounds utterly fabulous. I love creepy old mansions like the one in the book.

  4. I was totally oblivious about the author, too - and I picked it up because of the "Lovecraft" in the title, just like you did. But I'm glad I did!


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