Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review: Locke and Key

What if you had a key that would let you go anywhere in the world?  Where would you go?  What would you do?  Or, what if you had a key that let you turn into an animal?  What if there was a key that allowed you to grow wings and fly, turn into a giant, or gain the strength of Hercules?  Furthermore, what if a sinister being was trying to get their hands on these keys and you were the only one who could stop it?  My fellow fright fans, welcome to the town of Lovecraft.

The horror comic series of Locke and Key tells the story of the Locke family, who have just moved to their old family home called Keyhouse in Lovecraft, MA.  Originally moving here to escape from a family tragedy, the family attempts to adjust to life in the new town.   However, something strange is going on.  And that's an understatement.  It's a story filled with living shadows, other dimensional abominations, brutal murders, and teenage angst.  

This is going to turn into a gush fest, guys.  It's unavoidable.  Locke and Key is not only one of the best horror comics but one of the best horror stories PERIOD that I have ever read.  I can't think of one bad thing to say about this brilliant series.  One of the best parts, of course, is the story.

The story is heavily inspired by Lovecraft (if the name of the town didn't give that away immediately).  There are horrors from other dimensions and magics that make no sense to the human mind.  However, the central figures to the story are kids and teenagers.  It almost feels like Monster Squad, in that kids are going up against horrifying and powerful monsters.  Of course, this goes deeper than Monster Squad as the story deals with grief, alcoholism, peer pressure, guilt, and a whole mess of other things that really make you think.  The story is also full of twists and I never saw one coming.  It's a brilliantly told story, but the characters are what make this stand out.

The characters of this series have the most development I've ever seen in any horror series.  The kids, Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode, grow up a lot through the series, not physically but mentally.  My favorite character, though, is their mother, Nina.  She hits rock bottom in this series, only finding comfort at the bottom of a bottle.  She grieves hard for her husband, she loses the respect of her kids at one point, but she has one of the strongest come backs I've seen.  All her character points were done perfectly and my heart broke every time something happened to her.  Truly, she was one of the most perfectly done characters in this book.

I'm not an art scholar so I can't think of what to say other than the artwork is fantastic. It feels cartoony, but realistic, if that makes any sense.  The artwork is always one of the first things I look at when I pick up a comic, so this one was good enough for me to look deeper after giving the art a thumbs up.  Don't know what else to say about that, really.

In the end, this series is 100% worth your time and money.  Personally, I got the entire series through trade collection copies.  Since the series is finished, it may be the only way you CAN get it.  It's heartwarming, exciting, disturbing, and, above all else, it's scary.  As a horror fan, this series was simply a delight.  Definitely give it a try. 

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