I’d heard and read all of the hype – “Locke & Key is amazing.” The book is so popular, my local store can’t keep the first book on the shelves and I’ve had trouble pre-ordering it. So, I picked up a floppy issue to see what the big deal was. I hated it. It was clunky and the story seemed way too out there. So I chalked up the talk as just wind. But then a filmmaker buddy of mine who’s taste I trust got me to read Joe Hill’s other title, The Cape. My friend is a movie buff and writer and he could not stop talking about how much he liked the scripting of The Cape, so I had to give it a try – even though I was not a fan of Lock & Key.
So now, here I am singing the praises of Locke & Key. I was at a convention a few weeks ago and it’s publisher, IDW had several copies of Welcome to Lovecraft stacked on their table, some % off. I took the opportunity and purchased one of the hard to find books. It sat on my stack of things to read for a while but one late night, I picked it up and read a chapter. I was immediately hooked. Reading the characters from the beginning, they are endearing, detailed and far more understandable – the writing was indeed terrific.
Joe Hill makes use of the comic book medium in a way that many far more experienced writers struggle to accomplish. Particularly in the first chapter of Welcome to Lovecraft, the pacing is masterful – there are calm, somber and contemplative moments that not only build a strong sense of the characters but also builds an overall suspense in the book that makes the growth of the characters seem that much more relevant and tragic at the end of Welcome to Lovecraft, what is only the first chapter in Locke & Key, a title that I look forward to reading in the future.