Graphic Novel Reading Group discussion

Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft
This topic is about Locke & Key, Vol. 1
Book Club Reading Discussions > Official Fourth Book Club Discussion: Locke and Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft - Mar 19 to Apr 19 (may contain spoilers)

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message 1: by Sérgio (last edited Mar 05, 2012 10:25AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sérgio | 458 comments Hi everybody. So the poll has ended and our 4th official read will be Locke and Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez.

Please post your comments, questions, etc. on this thread.

The reading starts on March 19th to give our members time to get a hold of the book. However, if you have the book in hand, or have already read the book, and feel like posting, the please feel free to do so.

To make the discussion more interesting and focused it would be great to have a Discussion Leader who would provide a set of questions/topics of discussion. If you want volunteer to help out with this you can say it right here. Thanks.

(Note: It would be up to you if you want to provide all the questions in the beginning or provide them as the discussion progresses.)

If your post will contain spoilers, then please type SPOILERS in capital letters at the top of your post so that members who are still reading or have not yet read the book can avoid critical details that can spoil their reading.

Enjoy our official book discussion everyone.

Jonathan Culver (wordsasbombs) | 11 comments I'm a bit jaded at times. As much as I hate it, at least I admit it. Most hyped up things drop below my expectations. But Locke and Key both lived up to the hype and surpassed my expectations. I burst through it in one sitting and loved every bit of it, can't wait to read volume 2. It reminded me alot of our current optional read, Chew, in that it had a solid clean art style and a clever premise and just excelled at simply being fun to read. A note of interest: It was far darker than I had expected. Having read the family friendly free comic day issue last may I knew it warned that the full series was more adult than that excerpt, but I didn't expect the level of gore or just occasional macabre creepiness. It wasn't anything over the top, mind you, just surprising for something of the modern fantasy genre such as this, as it feels at first like it will have more of a young adult tinge to it.

message 3: by Adam (new)

Adam | 130 comments Well, in my case, I wasn't even aware of the hype, I knew nothing of this series before starting it today - although having seen a photo of Joe Hill, it was a no-brainer to guess his heritage...

Anyway, I loved this book - it's a quick read, but has just the right undercurrent of supernatural darkness. In fact what it reminded me of most of all was the TV series 'American Gothic' (anyone remember that?), and perhaps a wee bit of 'The Lost Room' as well.

On first read, I like everything about this book - it feels light in tone, but the sudden bursts of graphic violence and the rising tone of dread put paid to that.

I'm going to rush straight on with Head Games now, before I even begin to look at Chew...

Jonathan Culver (wordsasbombs) | 11 comments I'm glad someone else in the world remembers American Gothic! I loved that show and totally see the comparison.

Wendy I came across this first volume in the series three years ago while shelving at my library. It was really one of the first GN's to grab my eye.

This is an amazing and original story with essentially it's own mythology and a level of very creative symbolism. Many subtle and downright overt references to literature throughout. I could say the whole thing is an epic homage, but it's much more than that. They've created their own epic.

The art just pops off the page, and with each subsequent reading, you will find more detail as the story comes together layer by layer.

The characters are well rounded, complex and real with distinct voices. Even the minor characters are interesting and complex in their own right.

It's hard not to just gush over these books and blab about what happens in the next volumes, but I'll refrain.

Mark | 20 comments ComiXology has a good deal on the digital version. I dl'd for my iPad last night.

Faith McKay (faithmckay) I got this from the library after seeing someone casually mentioning it. I didn't know that there was hype, but I can see why there was. I really loved this series, I've read all four volumes and I think it just gets better.

Cyndi (BookChick64) | 93 comments I have read all of the parts available to this beautiful endeavor. They only improve as the story makes its way to the conclusion.

The artwork is beautifully haunting with a visceral quality that cannot be ignored. The story is just great. Teenage angst, shapeshifters, vengeance, love, death, and a pursuit for answers both right and wrong.

Bravo to Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez! Long live this stunning partnership!

Dana * (QueenofEgypt) | 56 comments I have been reading this since it came out and I can't get enough.
The art is stunning, including the great covers.
The concept is great, not too high-concept that it is a turn off, not too low brow that it is just monster and horror. I am fascinated by most of the keys, and what they can do. I wish the background story would get a little more plot time, as it seems like it could be very fascinating.
Don't you love the idea of being able to open your skull and pull out your fears?

message 10: by Andy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Andy Zeigert (Andy_Z) | 6 comments While the book stars children and incorporates many YA themes such as personal identity and belonging, its graphic content and other adult themes make it most definitely not suitable for children. Do you think the YA themes might be lost on the book's intended audience? Or are themes of belonging and personal identity universal?

Tasha Speaking just for myself, I identify just fine with YA books. So having that included isn't a problem for me.

Jonathan Culver (wordsasbombs) | 11 comments I personally loved the mix of young adult and mature content. I often find young adult stories interesting, but am turned off because at times things are "softened up" for young readers and it makes it feel watered down in a fashion. I felt Locke and Key had the best of both worlds. As for themes of belonging and personal identity being universal, I say absolutely, even if just due to peoples penchant for nostalgia and thinking back to their formative years.

Cyndi (BookChick64) | 93 comments Well stated Jonathan!

message 14: by Andy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Andy Zeigert (Andy_Z) | 6 comments I think the inclusion of those youthful themes do give Locke & Key much more heart than it might otherwise have.

Cyndi (BookChick64) | 93 comments Agreed Andy

message 16: by Andy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Andy Zeigert (Andy_Z) | 6 comments Another thought: Early in the book, once we see Lesser's stitched-up face, I couldn't help trying to draw parallels between him and Frankenstein's Creature. I didn't get far with it, though. I guess I could have just as easily connected that imagery to Leatherface or a number of other characters, but the Creature came first. Anyone else?

Jonathan Culver (wordsasbombs) | 11 comments I honestly never made that connection, though there are parallels as his monstrous behavior was a product, at least to some extent, of his environment. You could make the argument that his home life played the role of Dr. Frankenstein here.

message 18: by Mark (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mark | 20 comments Had a long delay at an airport yesterday, plenty of time to read Vol. 1 on the iPad. I have heard a lot about the series on different podcasts, so the book had some hype attached to it in my eyes.

My initial thoughts are very positive. The story was well formed and the pace was good for a fun read. I liked the macabre and supernatural plot lines, as well as the tie to the past life of their father. I am definately going to read the next volume.

I liked the art, it is very clean, and has a unique style. I do think it was a bit off when some of the macabre elements entered the plot, almost too "cartoony" for the material. But, by the end of the book I found the art and story meshing quite well.

For the Frankenstein reference, I missed the connection, but I can see where you are coming from. I just kept thnking about the Punisher villian Jigsaw.

Kevin Cortez (plaidgorilla) | 21 comments I really enjoyed this comic. Amazing -- the art style, though I didn't like it initially, really grew on me and worked well with its writing. I really enjoyed Bode's character and the pacing of the storytelling.

I really felt like the build up was great here. It was like everything came together right in the end in such a perfect way that I felt a kind of regret for not buying Volume 2 when I purchased 1. The pacing was excellent, and all throughout the comic I kept wanting to know more. Where does Bode go? Who's this Echo? What other doors are there in the house? Etc. etc. All of the characters have their own personal struggles, and they all seem to bleed that throughout the comic. I felt that even the lesser important characters had a certain drive and personality that wasn't obviously stated, as well. All character development was spot-on and left me hungry for more. Each back story felt like it wasn't just tacked on for no reason or out of place. There was the right amount of emphasis on Sam's life beforehand that didn't make his motives for killing all that dumb, yet they left it pretty open so the character wasn't convoluted or anything.

The art wasn't what I expected, since the cover looked a little gloomier than most of the coloring done inside of comic. Definitely grew on me, though. Felt like the style fit the type of writing, especially with what Jonathan pointed out.

I can go on, but I'd rather not ramble any further without hearing of what some of you have to add.

Sérgio | 458 comments I read it a few hours ago and I can't say that I really enjoyed it. It was an entertaining enough read and the idea of this magical house and the mysterious past of the father were intriguing. Too bad that they didn’t develop this ideas enough in this but you can’t expect otherwise from a first volume in a series.

Overall the characters were a bit too stereotypical and the dialogue was sometimes a bit off, so I couldn't really enjoy it.

Mark wrote: "I do think it was a bit off when some of the macabre elements entered the plot, almost too "cartoony" for the material."

About the art, I'm with Mark here. I wish Rodriguez's work was moodier and more ambitious.

(view spoiler)

Sérgio | 458 comments Adam wrote: "although having seen a photo of Joe Hill, it was a no-brainer to guess his heritage..."

You're talking about him being Stephen King's son, right?

Another interesting fact about this is that Fox tried to make a TV series out of this book but the pilot they made wasn't convincing I guess. Here's the trailer:

Robert Wright (RHWright) | 286 comments Borrowed this from the library and blazed through in one sitting.

Won't say I was blown away, but it's a fun read that didn't insult my intelligence, which is more than I can say for many books on the stands lately.

Joe Hill does a solid enough job, with a few twists and turns and just enough hints of bigger things to come.

Art is a little different, if you're used to the Vertigo-style of horror comics. I think this is a plus. One thing that bugged me after awhile was that all the Vertigo titles just started to look/feel the same.

Library seems to have a few more volumes, so I guess I know what I may be reading next.

message 23: by Adam (new)

Adam | 130 comments Sérgio wrote: "Adam wrote: "although having seen a photo of Joe Hill, it was a no-brainer to guess his heritage..."

You're talking about him being Stephen King's son, right?

Another interesting fact about this..."

Only just saw this post - yeah, I was talking about Joe Hill being SK's son.

Hadn't a clue about the TV adaptation either. Although, if the trailer's anything to go by - and it often isn't - they got the tone wrong, going straight for the jugular and missing the humour. I reckon the article's right, that network TV's the wrong place for this, that it would need the kind of pacing that HBO, AMC & Showtime are able to give their series, rather than the 23-eps-a-year, 6-years-to-turn-a-profit principle the networks seem to go by.

Ronyell (Rabbitearsblog) | 341 comments I really loved this volume! Joe Hill did an awesome job at writing this story! I actually felt really sad for Tyler, Kinsey and Bode as they had to deal with the murder of their father. I also can't wait to read about how the kids will find all the keys in the house!

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Books mentioned in this topic

Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Gabriel Rodríguez (other topics)
Joe Hill (other topics)