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Shotgun Reviews: Locke and Key

Locke and Key is written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez.       

When the Locke children move to their dead father’s estate, they discover that hidden among the creaky floorboards and dusty furniture are a collection of keys with magical and surreal powers.

  • If you haven’t read Locke and Key, go, right now, to either your local comic book store or library (whichever is closest) and find the first volume, Welcome to Lovecraft.  I cannot recommend this series enough.
  • On the surface it is just another dark fantasy comic book series.  However, Locke and Key contains a mythology and magical system that rivals most other fantasy book series I can think of. 
  • The story sometimes feel like YA fantasy.  Most of the main characters are kids or teenagers.  The illustrations even mimic “kid comics.”  However, this only makes the scenes of dark fantasy and drama even more startling and effective. 
  • The series possesses a wonderful balance of giddy fun and humor as well as dark fantasy, horror and family melodrama.
  • The charactes are complex and nuanced, each with their own deep relationships to all the others.
  • I will say that the family’s suffering (particularly the mother’s depression) almost becomes unbearably heavy in the most recent volume.  However, this is also a sign of how attached the reader becomes with the characters.
  • Even if you aren’t a comic book fan, or a dark fantasy fan, or a fan of books with families, creepy houses or magic keys, check this series out.  Trust me.

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