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Lory’s Comic Book Pick of the Week | Trash Cookies

Lory’s Comic Book Pick of the Week

Posted on 18 January 2009 by LoryGil

Locke & Key: Head Games #1

Locke & Key: Head Games #1 (IDW Publishing)

Writer: Joe Hill, Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez

Horror comics are fast becoming the new hit in the comic book industry. Even Marvel and DC are putting out their villain lines respectively. On any given week, you can read about zombies, lycanthropes, serial killers and vampires. Sure, Locke & Key is just another comic in a sea of blood, but there is something special about this, my first ever, Pick of the Week. Warning: Spoiler Alert! I write about what happens in this and previous issues.

It was early spring in 2008 when I picked up my first issue of Locke & Key. I was sitting around at my local comic shop, World’s Best Comics, and it caught my eye. I was bored and had a few extra bucks, so I picked up a copy. That was the beginning of a new love affair that I have been chasing ever since.

Locke & Key is the story of the Locke Family and their terrible experiences at the supernatural, multidimensional-portal, Keyhouse Mansion. The first six issues collected the “Welcome to Lovecraft” arc. Every issue had me in suspense. I remember the first scare I had while reading issue #3. I’ve never been scared by reading anything before, but there was one panel that caught me by surprise and actually gave me a fright. I knew then that this was an amazing writer, complimented by an amazing artist.

This new storyline, “Head Games” is set for a 24-issue run. That means I’ll only have my beloved for two years. Far too short a time with such a great comic. Issue one takes place pretty much right after the end of the last story. The Locke Family seems to be getting their lives back in order and the oldest son has unknowingly befriended the person responsible for the death of his father and attempted murder of his entire family. This issue focuses on a man who knew Zack Wells, AKA Luke Caravaggio, long ago. Here is where a bit of the story begins to unfold. We learn something about this mysterious creature who climbed out of the well and took on the appearance of a teenaged boy. There is still so much that we don’t know though. Why did he disappear so long ago? How could he have not aged? What is in Keyhouse that he is after? So on and so forth… you get the picture.

Joe Hill is the son of writer Stephen King and the poisoned apple sure didn’t fall far from the gnarled tree. Horror writing is about the only thing similar between Hill and his father. He has a style all of his own and has proven that he is not just riding daddy’s coat tails. He has the ability to make you sympathize with and care about his characters while spooking the bajesus out of you at the same time.

Artist Gabriel Rodriguez fits perfectly with this genre. Even though the story is pretty violent, Rodriguez manages to portray the death and torture with a grain of sugar. The images are realistic and cartoonish all at the same time. The blood-splattered wall in the background doesn’t offend, but allows the reader to experience the horror at a safe distance. His use of close-ups gives it the added tension that makes this comic such an amazing find. Here is a preview of the first five pages:

Page 1

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