Locke & Key
is a dark supernatural comic book series available in anthology format by writer Joe Hill and cartoonist Gabriel Rodriguez. I won't be spoiling it to say it's about a family (the Lockes) whose father (a high school counselor) is murdered by a couple of his deranged students who have been directed by an otherworldly creature to retrieve two powerful artifacts (as you might guess from the title, they're keys). Locke's grieving widow and three children move from Northern California to the murdered father's childhood home in New England to get away from the bad vibes. The only problem is, the home is a dark Victorian mansion, and it's in a town called Lovecraft.
The gore and violence is over the top, and the mature subject matter prevented me from sharing the book with my 13-year-old daughter. Violence and darkness aside, Joe Hill's story is tight and well told, skillfully weaving flashbacks and present-day scenes, and inserting elements of foreshadowing to add just the right amount of complexity to the plot. Hill is the author of the acclaimed horror novel, Heart-Shaped Box (and his dad is Stephen King, which I just found out about 15 seconds ago).
I'm not familiar with Gabriel Rodriguez, the Chilean artist who drew Locke & Key, but his work is terrific. I have seen too many comics lately where the characters physical features vary from panel to panel so much that they are unrecognizable. Rodriguez's characters are extremely well-designed and consistent throughout the book, making it easy to figure out who is who. That might not seem like a big deal, but to someone like me, who isn't that great at recognizing faces, it's a big help. His depictions of architecture is stunning.
Most supposedly-scary novels and movies don't affect me, even though I enjoy them. But Locke & Key was both enjoyable and spooky. I highly recommend it.
I also found out that Fox is shooting a pilot based on the series.
Locke & Key
Spare a thought for poor Matt Furie, a wonderful indie comics creator whose Boys’ Club comics featured a lovable frog called Pepe that was adopted by the neofascist movement (the so-called “alt-right”) as a symbol for racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia and misogyny.
In Soupy Leaves Home, writer Cecil Castellucci and artist Jose Pimienta expand the borders of young adult graphic novels, telling a moving, inspiring tale of Depression-era hobos, identity, gender, suspicion, solidarity, and the complicated business of being true to yourself while living up to your obligations to others.
In Spill Zone, YA superstar Scott “Uglies” Westerfeld and artist Alex Puvilland tell the spooky, action-packed tale of Addison, one of the few survivors of the mysterious events that destroyed Poughkeepsie, New York, turning it into a spooky, Night-Vale-ish place where mutant animals, floating living corpses, and people trapped in two-dimensional planes live amid strange permanent winds that create funnels of old electronics and medical waste.
Yes, yes there is. The ultraportable Twisty Glass Mini boasts all of the simplicity of its forebear, while fitting just a little bit better in your pocket.The Mini is perfect for casual smokers, and anyone who doesn’t have the patience or fine motor skill for rolling papers. This piece keeps the convenient design of its older […]
Learning to code is a perfect way to grow your technical sophistication, and open up a host of new career options. But since most “learn to code” initiatives focus heavily on web development, it can be tough to find good resources for general-purpose computer science outside of a 4-year degree program. To get a broad […]
While many newer smartphones boast decent water resistance, most of us are still stuck with the kind of handsets that need to spend the night in a bowl of rice when they get wet. If you want to enjoy your favorite podcasts in the shower but are holding out for your next phone upgrade, this […]