Welcome to Lovecraft is the first volume in Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s comic book series, Locke and Key. Joe Hill first grabbed my attention a couple of years back after picking up a copy of his debut novel, Heart Shaped Box, after reading through that I wanted to make the effort to read the rest of his work; something I struggled to do thanks to being an overly busy student. Naturally Locke and Key was on my reading list, but didn’t invest in the series until after meeting Hill at a signing last October, I got talking to other fans and of course all of his work was laid out in front of me so I went ahead and bought the first volume… then I didn’t pick it up for several months because… ya know, overly busy student.
Anyway, I finally had some down time and thought it was about time to read Welcome to Lovecraft and it did not disappoint. I breezed through the first volume across a few hours.
So a little about the story, the reader is introduced to the Locke family after a personal tragedy which sees the Locke children Bode, Kinsey and Ty move to Lovecraft, New England and take up residence at Keyhouse. At first the house is nothing out of the ordinary, which is until the house starts revealing its secrets to the Locke children. Each chapter of the story builds upon the mythology of Keyhouse and the Locke family, Hill spends plenty of time with each of the children, making them more sympathetic and real with how they all deal with the family tragedy – that said, the mysteries of Keyhouse are presented in such a way that not only makes them unsettling but also quite fun, especially when the first key is shown through the point of view of the youngest sibling, Bode.
Rodriguez’s artwork compliments the writing and adds another level to the dark and mysterious tone of the story, as well as perfectly portraying the feel of the characters through their actions, even with the characters that aren’t the focus of that particular scene. Above all, the combination of Hills writing and Rodriguez’s illustrations do a fantastic job of bringing out the horror in a scene, once again adding to the tension and keeping the reader hooked.
For the first volume out of six, this had a lot to set up and I felt it pulled it off brilliantly. Both the writing and artwork are consistent throughout, creating a cold and dark atmosphere. This is the perfect introduction to Joe Hill, demonstrating his strengths as a storyteller with a host of realistic and sympathetic characters that are both interesting and relatable, on top of that we’re given an antagonist who is creepy and unsettling. I knew that after reading Welcome to Lovecraft, I would have to write something about it and I cannot recommend this book enough.
I’ll be covering Locke and Key in its entirety over the next couple of weeks so check back next week for the second instalment in the series, Head Games.