IDW Publishing 2016
Written by Joe Hill
Illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez
Coloured by Jay Fotos
It’s been three years since we’ve last visited the world of Locke & Key and I will say it’s very nice to be able to revisit it. I like the premise here too because we open up with the father and his two little girls using the small world key on a miniature version of the house. When the key is used the dolls inside seem to come alive and move about the house showing where they are in the real world. It’s like the Russian Nesting Dolls a world within a world within a world and it immediately captures the imagination of the reader.
Sometimes you forget how good a series was until it’s gone and we get a look at it again years later. The way that Joe writes this is genius with how he’s able to weave the story throughout the various versions of the family. Then there’s Gabriel’s interiors. The attention to detail with little visual clues to showcase how this nesting doll house really works is just amazing to see and you really have to look at the pages to see things that you might miss at first glance. The way he brings these characters to life is gorgeous and the use of page layouts through angles, perspective and backgrounds will amaze you time and again.
Aside from the obvious that these people see the larger versions outside the house and occasionally interacting with them Joe takes a basic fear that so many of us have and makes that the focus in such a way that chills to the bone. The world within a world would have been enough to create an amazing story but what would this be if there weren’t something extraordinary happening to turn this joy into terror? This is what Joe does so well he gets us caught up in the awe and wonder of it all and then takes it to a whole new level.
I am enamoured with the characterisation here. From not being able to determine whether or not we’re looking at the big or little people to how they react to the situation they find themselves in it’s strong writing. There are so many aspects of the story that come to life thanks to Joe and what he’s capable of. The way it all weaves in and out through this and that until the main event goes on does a few things that I hadn’t expected. Primarily it really makes me want a lot more stories from this world.
This is a large oversized story and it’s worth every penny. There’s just this whole wonderful ebb and flow to the way things play out here that make this as thrilling as it could possibly be. There’s this perfect mix of action and horror here so that we’re thoroughly entertained from the first page to the last.
A wonderful reminder of the series that we loved and it’s nice to know it isn’t long forgotten.