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Locke & Key Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft (Locke & Key (Idw) (Hardcover)) Hardcover – 9 Oct 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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  • Locke & Key Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft (Locke & Key (Idw) (Hardcover))
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  • Locke & Key Volume 2: Head Games (Locke & Key (Idw) (Hardcover))
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  • Locke & Key Volume 3: Crown of Shadows (Locke & Key (Idw) (Hardcover))
Total price: £68.97
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing; illustrated edition edition (9 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600102379
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600102370
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 1.5 x 26.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had been looking forward to reading this graphic novel for a long time. My first graphic novel was The Kite Runner, and since I read that I've been craving more. But I had to wait until I found a job, because graphic novels can be bloody expensive, and that is certainly true for the Locke & Key series. So, I bought this ASAP, and I absolutely devoured it!

I am a huge fan of horror and blood and gore, and as soon as I started reading this I knew that it would be the book for me. There's a murder in the first couple of pages, and Welcome to Lovecraft only gets darker from there.

At the beginning of the book, Papa Locke is murdered and his family go to live at the Keyhouse, a mansion owned by the family. And from then on, a load of crazy [...] happens. Bode, the youngest child, discovers a key to a door that, if you walk through it, turns you into a ghost. He also discovers a ghostly Echo in the wellhouse in the grounds, who seems to be locked in there. Bode's curiosity mirrored my own as he discovered a small handful of the Keyhouse's mysteries.

While all this exploring is going on, the Locke family is also still dealing with Papa Locke's murder. Mama Locke is currently spiralling into a deep depression, and the children are at a loss of what to do with themselves, without any parental influence in their lives. They lost two parents that day instead of just one.

As if that wasn't enough, Sam, one of Papa Locke's killers, escapes from prison with some paranormal help. And he comes for the Locke family. I really liked how Joe Hill didn't forget about Sam. Often, I find that the villains get little backstory, and so people aren't interested in them and just want the heroes of the stories to save the day.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I confess I'd been avoiding Joe Hill's work, purely based on the fact that he's Stephen King's son. Unfair perhaps, but I figured there are so many books out there I want to read that it was daft wasting time on an author whose reputation is so closely linked to one of the greats.

Damn, do I wish I'd picked this up sooner!

Both the story and the artwork are incredible. I don't think I've been this excited about a graphic novel since I first discovered Gaiman's Sandman, and that's saying something. Of course, a lot of the praise goes to Rodriquez for the fantastic artwork - there are plenty of panels with no text that tell the story in a hundred subtle ways.

I don't really want to go too much into the story itself - I think it's best to discover it for yourself. We'll just say that the main characters move to "Key house" after a somewhat traumatic event. The house is well named, and with the discovery of each new key comes a little bit more of the story.

I've already picked up volumes 2-5 and gone through them incredibly quickly. Looking forward to the final volume in Feb now!

Oh, and in case you're wondering about how they display on the kindle app. I've been reading them on a 10.1 Samsung Galaxy Note and they look great. The only comment would be that the double page spreads sometimes require you to flip back and forth between a couple of pages, but there aren't too many of them so it's not really an issue.
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Format: Hardcover
The story begins.... hmmm, see that's the thing with this comic - I'm three words into this review and I've already lied to you. I'll try again.
So bad things happen to the Locke family and the survivors move out to a creepy house on an island. Some of the issues focus on one of the kids in particular. They're all traumatised or changed in some way. I think I liked Bode the best. He's the youngest kid.
The opening panel of this book shows a door. There's going to be a lot of doors in this book - it's one of the recurring archetypal symbols. So get used to the doors, and the locks, and the keys, and the reflections.
Sometimes you get a comic where either the art or the script is carried by the other. That isn't the case here. Both are great. Joe Hill tells a twisty dark story with well formed characters, good pacing and plenty of mystery and suspense. And Gabriel Rodriguez is just brilliant. I love his use of perspective on this book. Forget limited focal range - there's often stuff going on in the foreground and the background and degrees in-between. I think his brain is hooked up to one of those swoopy camera boom things, trying to get the angle that is best for the shot. Take the opening panels for instance. We can see the two guys at the door are hiding knives and a gun but the panel from Nina Locke's perspective just shows two goofy guys standing half in the doorway. Nina is looking past them at their truck. Full page panel showing Nina's cottage in the background and the truck in the foreground. In the back of the truck is a blood stained tarp covering two bodies. We can see all that - Nina can't. Genius. Ok some of it is directed by Joe Hill (I've seen his original script) but Rodriguez really does a great job of turning his directions into vibrant visuals.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tyler, Bode and Kinsey's father is a school counsellor and one day two former pupils stage a home invasion in which their father is killed. Their mother kills one of the boys and the other goes to jail. They move to Lovecraft where the father's family mansion is.

Here at the mansion they begin to repar themselves. Kinsey dabbles with her identity, Tyler comes to terms with letting his family down in their time of need, their mother struggles with alcohol and little Bode discovers that if he leave the house by a certain door his soul leaves his body while it drops dead to the floor. From there he just has to think of a person or place and he can be transported instantly. Not only does little Bode find this development interesting but he discovers that his Echo lives down a well in the old waterhouse. But the Echo wants him to do something for her.

Just in case Bode doesn't comply, the Echo orchestrates the release of Sam, one of their father's killers. She needs someone, Bode or Sam, to bring her the key for the house, a key which will unlock all the doors and free her from the well.

This book has it all; great story, great artwork, great dialogue, great characters and spooks and violence galore. I have not been this excited about a new series for a while and I can't wait to get my paws on the rest of the series.
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