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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 13 March 2013
It has been a long time since I read a story as well crafted and paced as this.

Characters you actually care about and feel invested in, combined with sublime artwork make this an absolute must have for any self respecting fan of either graphic novels or suspense/thrillers.

Highly recommended - about as damned close to perfect as you could ever hope to get.
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on 1 November 2013
Interesting concept, magic keys, turning into ghosts when you go through a magic door. The graphics were great and it was rather addictive, just keeps dragging you back you read more.
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Okay, that may be a *little* sensationalist. I bought a special edition paperback first chapter of Locke and Key after a friend recommended it to me - my usual reads are Y: The Last Man Vol. 1: Unmanned,The Walking Dead Compendium Volume 1 and more recently Shade, the Changing Man: The American Scream v. 1. Locke and Key didn't disappoint. The artwork is crisp, good-looking and suited to the storyline. The characters have actual depth, and the storyline is genuinely intriguing, unlike a lot of the dross that seems to be floating around at the moment. If you're a fan of horror fiction in any format, get this.

Put it this way - I liked it so much I bought the hardcover edition, then wishlisted volumes 2, 3 and 4 in hardcover for my next payday.
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on 27 January 2013
I picked this up as I loved Joe Hill's Heart Shaped Box and I've recently been getting back into graphic novels so it seemed like the next move. I wasn't too sure though as I knew that it was his first comic and to be honest I though Horns was just okay and I didn't like 20th Century Ghosts.

I'm glad I got it anyway as it's probably one of the best comics I've read. I thought the storyline was fantastic and I could not put it down. I'm now eagerly waiting on the second instalment arriving in the post to see where it goes next.

I absolutely loved the art work in this book and thought it really added to the story. I was quite surprised as I could have seen this been drawn in a really dark or grainy way but it wasn't.

The backstory/flashbacks were handled really well and I loved what we have seen so far on the history of Keyhouse and can't wait to find out more.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone and its a definite five stars for me.
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on 21 November 2013
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. I, however, am really interested in evil characters and their stories and psychology. I love discovering what's going on in their heads! And Joe Hill developed Sam's character really well. We got flashbacks with him in, we saw how he was tied to the Locke family, and we saw what led him down this road. Sam is a very broken character, and one that I can't help but sympathise with, despite the fact that he is insane.

I have another favourite character in this book, but I don't want to go into detail on that due to potential spoilers. I'm always wary of those! Just know that someone turns up towards the end of the book who I am totally captivated by, and I can't wait to find out more about them. Whether they're a hero or a villain, you'll have to read the book to find out. I think Tatum will know the answer to that without reading, though.

This book is really creepy, and not even just because of the paranormal stuff that was going on. I was thoroughly creeped out by some of the things that the characters did, and it really drove the message home that humans can be the most evil things out there. Forget about the ghosts and the demons!

The art was fabulous. The characters aren't painted as conventionally beautiful people. They look like your regular person, someone that could easily live next door to you. I loved the detail that Rodríguez goes into with the landscapes and backgrounds. I particularly enjoyed looking at the drawings that took up the entire page. The attention to detail is fantastic, and Rodríguez is seriously talented. In addition, at the back of the book there is a series of more artistic work from him, that connect to the story but look less realistic than the actual art within the story itself.

I have made the decision to buy this series gradually, since each individual book ranges from £9 to £15. That's a lot to spend, but I think it's worth it as long as I don't go too crazy. Like I said, Locke & Key turned out to be right up my alley, and I cannot wait to discover more about the Keyhouse, the Locke family, certain other characters, the Omega key, various other keys... I never thought I would be so interested in keys!
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on 21 January 2014
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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on 1 March 2015
I really enjoyed this dark and at times, graphic, graphic novel (excuse the pun). Written by Stephen King's son, I've heard a lot of buzz surrounding this graphic novel but didn't really understand the hype until I read it myself. Locke & Key volume 1 follows several storylines that are all connected and at times, jumps from the present tense to the past, but the basic story is about the Locke family and an old New England mansion named the Keyhouse.

The artwork in this book was incredible, but it is at times very graphic and gory so if you're at all sensitive to that then this may not be the book for you. The characters were likeable (and hateable - for the 'baddies') and the storyline was original and unique. I was gripped from the first page and something about this story just kept me reading. I'm super excited to carry on with the series and can see Locke & Key becoming one of my all-time favourite graphic novel series.
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I've been wary of picking up any of Joe Hill's stuff. I felt that had he not been Stephen King's son, I would probably have never heard of him. But I kept hearing good things about his 'Locke and Key' series, so I decided it was time to put prejudice aside and take the plunge. I'm glad I did. The hardback is beauty in book form. Gorgeous to hold, with a macabre yet inviting cover, behind which lurk and pages and pages of vibrant and evocative illustrations. The writing is great too; the words and pictures marry perfectly making for a compelling read.

This is an unforced and effortless read of the sort that hides the talent of those behind it. (i.e. The writing is so good, it's made to looks easy). Like all good horror tales, the book's premise is a simple one. The house that takes centre stage contains any number of mysterious doors that have peculiar powers. One turns you into a ghost, another can take you anywhere. Oh yes and there is a mysterious girl who lives down a well, who probably isn't as nice as she first seems. Each of these doors has a key that opens on them, and herein lies the beauty of the series. As long as the writers can keep thinking of interesting things to do with a doorway, they can produce key after key which open a portals to story after macabre story.

Having waxed so lyrical, I do have a couple of reservations. The story does feel a little light. There's a lot of pages for what amounts to not that much exploration of the themes and ideas suggested. There is a violent back-story to the family that live in the house, and some of the panels were over-gory for my tastes. This book is far creepier when it goes for psychological thrills rather than visceral spills. But these are small complaints. I thoroughly enjoyed 'Welcome to Lovecraft'; it reminded me in places of my all time favourite series The Unwritten  and at times matches it for storytelling brilliance. High praise indeed. This is a fine starting block for what promises to be an excellent series. I look forward to reading volume two.
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on 17 July 2013
This is a graphic novel with many nods and homages to many great horror, mystery and sci fi endeavours. What I love about it is that it has faith in its audience, with a first volume comprising of several well developed chapters setting up various plotlines, characters, and already throwing up and delivering a few nice twists and fascinating questions, you know that this is going to be a series where you can expect to be in on a long haul for some of the more deep rooted mysteries, but at the same time it will be an enjoyable ride.

The elements and nature of mysteries in this tale are perhaps most inspired by the miniseries "The Lost Room" focusing in the first volume on mystical keys/items that appear to have supernatural effects and/or, open doors to realms beyond or different to our own... The recent series "Lost" also appears to be somewhat influential by way of the nemesis we encounter in the climax of the first volume due to echoes, the way in which it is contained, and the unusual power and influence it appears to have, as are certain Japanese horror movies for its location and appearance.

The title is obviously going to draw Lovecraft fans in and they will not be disappointed as the township, Keyhouse, and many elements of mystery and dread permeating the tale such as madness, death, magic, hints at demonic forces, etc all echo themes from his short stories and novellas.

This is easily one of the best graphic novels I have read in a long time and pacing and artwork wise I would rate it up there with Civil War, Fear Itself, and Nemesis; as for the story it is rare to find something this deeply developed in a graphic novel. If you are a fan of the old series "American Gothic" or more recently "American Horror Story", and as I previously mentioned "Lost" and "The Lost Room" you should be very pleased with this to say the least.
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on 11 September 2014
I saw this cover from half way across the shop and made a bee-line towards it. A flashing neon sign saying buy me would have been less likely to draw me in. A creepy looking house with an interesting looking key what wasn’t to love? Having Welcome To Lovecraft in the title makes it pretty clear what kind of story lies inside.

For me the mark of a good Lovecraftian tale has always been the way that normal horrors are blended with paranormal ones. For large parts of this story it was easy to forget that there was any supernatural elements involved. I got lost in the story and characters. So much so that I barely even noticed how long I was just staring at some of the stunning artwork. There is one page in particular where the young Bode draws his school holiday. It is perfectly rendered. Every aspect is how I have seen similar things from my kids. The obvious differences being the lack of horrific murders and out of body experiences. Even if you don’t want to read this book I’d recommend looking at that page. The rest of the artwork was also enthralling. After I finished reading this book I went back through it ignoring the words and just looking at the pictures.

This story was dripping with pain and anguish. The deeper story was only hinted at but I just have to find out more.

I have to buy the second part of this story. It has really tickled my fancy.
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