Saturday, February 23, 2008

Locke & Key #1

This book begins as a sort of Straw Dogs tale of rural violence, with disgruntled teen Tyler walking in on his mother being raped over the body of his dead father while a second psychopath looks on. The terrified boy is driven to murder one of the killers with a brick, and his mother takes the other one down with a hatchet. Needless to say, the whole experience shakes him up a good bit. Not helping his mental state is the fact that he knew the killers, and maybe even had a conversation with one of them about a hypothetical dad-less existence. And just like in Strangers on a Train, the other guy took it a little too seriously. His father also seemed to know something was going to happen to him, and had arranged for his family to go live at Keyhouse, an old house in Lovecraft (ahem), Massachusetts that has been in his family for generations. And if you couldn’t guess, there’s something about that house

Writer Joe Hill is doing a great job setting up a real world with just a hint of the mystical, and I’m hoping as the series progresses it stays like that without ever going too over the top with fantasy. The art, by Gabriel Rodriguez, is clean and expressive and aside from the occasional amateurish bits it’s top notch. He puts an excruciating amount of detail into every setting–there’s not a single throwaway background in the whole book. I’m very excited to see where this one leads.

This review was originally published as part of Pop Culture Shock's "Picks & Pans".

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