Saturday, 27 April 2013

Trades made right: Locke & Key

An absolute masterclass in presentation, IDW's Locke and Key hardcovers are easily one of my favourite books on the shelf. Beautifully bound and stitched with colour coordinated book mark, other publishers should take note that IDW can release these HC's at the same price as their standard dust jacket efforts.

When I first picked up volume 1 I went online to see if I had chosen a limited edition version but no, IDW are just taking the rare move of giving you a collection that feels like value for your hard earned pennies.

The artwork in the inside covers by Gabriel Rodriguez is just another example of getting a high end product for a standard price. The book is laid out perfectly to display his incredible art in the series. With no gutter loss and beautifully placed splash pages that never hinder your enjoyment of the book.

Back cover of HC's.

If it suits your collection to purchase paperbacks instead then don't feel hard done to as the paperbacks are, yet again, far superior to their equivalents from other publishers. Quality, sturdy paper wrapped in embossed and glossed cover, you don't get much better than this for $20!

Written by Joe Hill
Art by Gabriel Rodriguez
Colours by Jay Fotos
Collection Design & Lettering by Robbie Robbins


V.1 Welcome to Lovecraft.
V.2 Head Games
V.3 Crown of Shadows
V.4 Keys to The Kingdom
V.5 Clockworks
V.6 Omega

Bonus artwork in paperback. 


 After a family tragedy we follow the Locke family as they move across the United States to the (something clearly isn’t right here) town of Lovecraft and the childhood home of the father, “the Key house.” 

Joe Hill introduces us to the family, who are dysfunctional but ultimately really caring about each other. Straight away you are really rooting for the Locke’s and find yourself engrossed in their history and present affairs. 

In volume one we see the youngest Locke child start to unravel the old family homes secrets, a family coming together through grief, trouble follow them from their old lives and a tonne of seriously spooky shit. I don’t want to give to much away. 

Now the art. I’m flicking through the book as I write this and Gabriel Rodriguez’s art is spectacular, every panel could be cover art. With bold lines and an ultra realistic style perfectly captures the creepiness of Joe Hill’s story. The town of Lovecraft in particular looks incredible. I can only begin to imagine how much time Gabriel spent imagining and designing the place. Also another great thing about the art is the characters facial expressions, considering how much time these people spend confused/scared/baffled/terrified/all of the above Gabriel nails it every time. 

If you have to read one comic from the horror genre, make sure this is it!


  1. The only series I regret getting in paperback is Locke and Key. I was a little late to the party and picked up the first two volumes in softcover. If I had any idea of the radness inside I would have got the hardcovers for sure.

    However my girlfriend fell completely in love with the series and bought the oversized special edition hardcover. That is a hell of a way to present a comic, the extra room makes the art look even more amazing.

    Nice work, I often feel IDW don't get enough credit for producing such beautiful books.

  2. Thanks Joe. It's important to me that I spread the love for work well done more than just lament poorly constructed trades (although we will be doing that also)

    "My girlfriend bought the deluxe hardcover." Is so much hotter than. "My girlfriend went to Victoria's Secret." :p

  3. I agree dude, things like, My girlfriend bought that Game of Thrones T shirt are always much sexier than them going to victorias secret! Gotta love dem geek girls yo!