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Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft

(Locke & Key #1)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  84,048 ratings  ·  5,525 reviews
Locke & Key tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them. Home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all...
Hardcover, 168 pages
Published February 2013 by IDW Publishing (first published September 29th 2008)
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Ken-ichi I agree with Alex, definitely too violent. You might consider Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book if you haven't already. Not a comic, but similar subjec…moreI agree with Alex, definitely too violent. You might consider Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book if you haven't already. Not a comic, but similar subjects and themes.(less)
SuperSillySerra Its a really good series and I have a feeling the books might even be better than the show. There's a few different editions for it, so you can get a …moreIts a really good series and I have a feeling the books might even be better than the show. There's a few different editions for it, so you can get a smaller one and try it out without having to buy omibus or anything. its also finished so no waiting around for a writer on the next one! art is great and its not over the top complicated, Id say its a great series for someone who is just starting with Graphic novels. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  84,048 ratings  ·  5,525 reviews

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Start your review of Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft

I'm re-reading the books because we just watched the Netflix show and it made me think about how much I loved this story. This is still one of my all-time favorite graphic novels and if you haven't read it yet, I honestly can't recommend it enough.


I was gifted the beautiful hardback set of these a while back and just finished re-reading the first book...again. Can't believe how much I'd forgotten!


The gist is that the violent murder of their father by two teens sends the three children
You can color me SOLD on this series.


Here's another intelligent, strongly written story with which to pummel the perceptions of the elitist book snobbers, who sneer and snide at the graphic novel medium.

To them, I politely say, "BITE ME"...because this is great stuff.

I was excited to read this because it was written by Joe Hill, the talented offspring of a certain literary King who shall remain nameless Stephen. While I thought Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box was a promising first work, I really f
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
I think most of my friends on Goodreads have either shelved this book to read or have read it. I had to jump on that bandwagon but I was a bit scared.

You see most of them have loved it. Except Erica But she is a hater rebel. Usually books that everyone else loves and fangirl/boys over tend to leave me dry.

I actually liked this one!

It starts off all violent and shit. This guy is killed by a teenage nut job and the nut job is going for his family also, but they get away from him and he en
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When I first started reading Locke & Key a couple years ago, I kinda shrugged and thought to myself, "Yeah. Okay. That's pretty good...."

But the story got its hooks into me pretty quickly after that. Unique concept. Great art. Great storytelling. Great characters.

I read a blurb somewhere that said something along the lines of, "Locke & Key is this generation's Sandman." I don't know if I'd go that far... but if someone wanted to take that stance around me, I don't think I'd waste much energy a
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alejandro by: Gieliza
Fuck! ... That was an admiring “Fuck” not a “Fuck you” Fuck.

Creative Team:

Writer and Co-Creator: Joe Hill

Illustrator and Co-Creator: Gabriel Rodriguez

Coloring: Jay Fotos

Lettering: Robbie Robbins


Welcome to Keyhouse, kid.

Was it weird to grow up in a house with a name?

You have no idea.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about this comic book series, but...

...oh, boy! I never thought that it was THAT GOOD!!!

This first volume was really awesome!

The creative team, Hill &
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
I could, as seems customary in cases like this one (where twenty thousand million people—and a half—loved a book but two—and one quarter—didn't), put one of those silly "unpopular opinion" warnings at the top of this review. But I won't. Ha. "Why," you ask? Because:

1/ Love a book? Hate a book? Doesn't matter. It's your opinion, you're entitled to it. No need to apologize for not agreeing with the masses. Your opinion is what makes you YOU, so bloody shrimping own it. And stuff.
2/ People who feel
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Going back and doing a reread of what I consider one of the best horror comics of all time. Joe Hill is Stephen King's son and Joe has definitely picked up some of his father's best traits. The story starts off tragically. Gabriel Rodriguez's art is so expressive. I felt myself getting all verklempt watching these kids deal with the awful aftermath of that day at the cottage.

So the family packs up and moves in with their uncle back at the family estate in Lovecraft, MA. As they are dealing with
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

Please don’t tell me that I didn’t get it, it’s no use. I already feel as if I didn’t read the same book as all the friends I trust who loved it.

► I know that many readers loved the art, but it threw me off completely. First because in my opinion none of the characters look like their ages (Sam and Tyler, teenagers ??!!) and that increased my general confusion in the beginning. Secondly I thought that all the shapes were too ‘abrupt’, with weird shades on the faces, for example, and it wasn't a
mark monday
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to mark by: Michael
oooooo.... an eerie old mansion on a woody estate, strange mysteries and dangerous secrets, a tangled and forgotten past, a san francisco family of three - father slain - seeking a new life on an island named Lovecraft off the coast of massachusetts, in a place called The Keyhouse. a beautiful girl who lives at the bottom of a well, an insane killer on the hunt for magical keys, doors that open into odd places, walk through one door and change your gender, walk through another door and turn into ...more
Nat K
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Nat by: Ron

”If he does turn up, he better hope the cops get him. The next homicidal maniac who comes our way is going to be find another homicidal maniac waiting for him.”

A couple of admissions. I’ve not read a graphic novel in full before. I’ve only ever flicked through a couple at the bookstore and library. I’m not a fan of horror. This book is both. So, two firsts.

Lovecraft, Massachusetts. The Rendell family have made the move back to the ancestral home “Keyhouse” in attempt to start life anew, after th
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

I’m giving this 4 Stars because it’s the first in the series and I need some rating wiggle room Fuck that, this gets all the stars.

Locke & Key is proof that there is indeed a graphic novel out there for everyone. Being from a small town without a lot of a lot of exposure to the world of comic books and being a *gasp* GIRL on top of that . . .

Commercial Photography

I never bothered with the genre until I birthed a tiny little nerd and then I started dab
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I knew Joe Hill because I read NOS4A2 and Horns, but discovered Locke and Key with the Netflix series. As I read in the reviews of the TV series, the graphic novels are darker and the plot is a bit different. For me, it was almost like reading another story, so it entertained me even if I just finished the show. I really like the universe Joe Hill created and I'm glad I can now read about it! ...more
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm new in the graphic novel game so I'm not sure how to rate this series to others. But, I will say this one was amazing.

Welcome to Lovecraft is the first graphic novel in the series Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez. They did a fantastic job on the collaboration with the storyline and graphics. Really well done!

Here's a look at some of the images in the book...

I can't wait to find out what's up with this house, these magic keys and who's at the bottom of the well that was locked aw
Will M.
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
After months of putting this aside, I finally decided to read this. The premise was very gripping, and the execution was adequate. It's not the best graphic novel I've ever read, but it does have the type of plot that would keep you reading till the end. I can't wait to read the second volume and find out what happens next.

-Fantastic plot
-Likable Characters
They all had their own problems, and each one resulted positively in terms of enjoyment. I enjoyed the graphic novel more because of that
Dave Schaafsma
Feb 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gn-horror
Great and engaging horror story by Joe Hill with great art to complement by Gabriel Rodriquez. I have not historically really been a horror fan, but this hooked me by focusing on the devastated Locke family that has to recover (and doesn't handle well, in each their own screwed-up ways) the murder of their father. We get to know and care about each of the characters, which I think for me must be the key to the best horror stories. Since we come to care about the people, and find them relatable s ...more
This book was (I imagine) what it might be like to down a spoonful of sugar that was, unbeknownst to you, laced with Meth.

What is IN this shi-at, Mary?!

The sugary spoonful sounds like a great idea in your head. "A house full of strange locks and doors with many keys that perform different astonishing feats. One door that can force your consciousness out of your body, while your body appears to be dead. A special key that can open any door and take you anywhere." Sounds great, right? Unfortunatel

Re-reading this for the third time as I get ready to tackle the final two volumes in the series: Clockworks and Alpha & Omega. I love everything about the world and its rules Joe Hill has conjured here, and the characters he has lovingly crafted to live in its pages. Locke & Key has become one of my favorite series ever and I can't wait to see how it's going to end.

2012 Review:
This is my second go around with Joe Hill's phenomenal foray into graphic novel territory (to prepare for Volumes 3
Kayla Dawn
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was surprisingly good!

I often find myself having trouble with the pacing of graphic novels (they tend to feel a little rushed) but this one had a good mixture of character development and plot.
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, 2014

This will be a rushed review, because :
1) I was too engrossed in the story to take notes,
2) I want to start on the second album as soon as possible.

The first thing I feel you need to know about the comic is that it is definitely a horror story, not for the faint of heart. Yes, the protagonists are very young, namely the three children of the Locke family, but I hesitate to call it Young Adult material, given the physical and psychological torments they are put through right from the start. Ther
Edward Lorn
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm late as shit to the Joe Hill graphic novel game. I only read WRAITH because it was included in the limited edition of NOS4A2. I hate that I haven't started this series before now, but these shits are expensive. Rightly so, mind you, but I'm a professional writer, which means my income is limited. Plus I have a horrible (horrible in the best sense of the word) book addiction, so all of my fun money goes to novels and whatnot. This collection costs a hundred bones, but I managed to find a coll ...more
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Hey, hey, hey... this was a great little ghost story. You've got a big creepy house with interesting rooms to explore. You've got a family trying to rebuild their lives and start over. You've got keys to rooms where magical stuff happens. You've got keys that take you anywhere. You've got a psycho murderer with a rough past. You've got a scary something at the bottom of a well. Yeah, so if this kinda stuff is your jam then you will probably like this book, I mean comic book, I mean graphic novel ...more
J.L.   Sutton
Sep 20, 2015 rated it liked it
A chili cheeseburger with avocado, tomatoes and jalapenos, there's plenty to sink your teeth into in Joe Hill's Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft. It's a psychological horror story (not that the blood and gore isn't there in spades), but I feel like the characters are driven by guilt and tormented by what's missing from their lives. I enjoyed it. Not sure I will continue the series, even though the story became more compelling as it came to an end (of part 1). I do like my cheeseburgers, but I'm ...more
Jenny Lawson
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My only complaint is that I don't have access to the next volume yet. ...more
Jan 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comix, fiction, 2012
When I put down Horns, I had a feeling I was going to be a Joe Hill fan. However, when I finished Locke and Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft, I traded that "feeling" in for a Joe Hill fanboy membership.

Good Gravy, this book was spectacular.

Granted, I had my reservations before cracking the cover (which I think I literally did when I dropped it on the floor of the library). Whenever I start a second book by an author I reallllly liked the first time around, my head fills with all these questions
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

The graphics in the book are phenomenal! I liked the story line as well. I love the character of Bode, he just tries to do the right thing. Poor little guy, all of this violence going on around him!

I'm looking forward to reading these books and finding out what is the meaning to all of these doors. Where did they come from?

You also have bad guys in the book you have to deal with, but hopefully they will get out of the freaking way so I can find out about the
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z2017, graphic-novels
This comic actually confused me quite a bit at the start. I was a bit slow to catch on but once I did, wow! I thought this comic was quite dark, interesting and gripping. It's quite an original concept and I can't wait to read what happens next. The illustrations and colouring were pretty good but I absolutely loved the covers for each individual issue. I would recommend this. ...more
Sam Quixote
Aug 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
I read this puppy when it first came out a few years ago and really wanted to like it, and didn’t. So, now the series is done, I thought I’d go back and give it another shot - maybe I was in the wrong frame of mind, or maybe I was just plain wrong, and this time I’d love it? Nope - still terrible, unfortunately.

Three kids - an older boy, his slightly younger sister, and their youngest sibling, a boy called Bode (and the only one whose name I could remember, purely for being such an odd name!) -
Ɗẳɳ  2.☊
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Ɗẳɳ 2.☊ by: Becky

And now, my second dip into the shallow end. I had so much fun with my initial venture, Saga, that I was more than willing to test out the waters once again.

Well, you can go ahead and mark me down as two for two because this shit was fantastic! The only criticism I could even level is that the writing felt a bit clunky here and there. But honestly, when I looked back over a few of the sections I had an issue with they seemed okay. Once again the artwork is top-notch. Perhaps the spooky ma
Jun 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Joe hill does it again, conjuring up another tale of dread, macabre and supernatural goings on with a real gem of a main protagonist in the form of a young kid.
The young boy in question loses someone dear to him and only hopes to be with them. Opportunity presents itself in the form of doors and keys, will he be able to unlock another realm of possibilities. Doors play a key role in the everyday swing of things. Stories have been written involving doors opening up to all kinds of opportune c
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
I love - no, really, love Joe Hill's writing. I think he has a beautifully wicked imagination, and to be frank, I believe that even the man's grocery lists are probably strange.

Like everything else I have read by Joe, the story line was simultaneously sad, unsettling, and downright odd; however, the icing on the cake came from Gabriel Rodriguez's gorgeous illustrations. From the front cover to the back, each panel was just captivating, with brilliant color schemes and mind-blowing attention to d
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Joe Hill's debut, Heart-Shaped Box, won the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel. His second, Horns, was made into a film freakfest starring Daniel Radcliffe. His other novels include NOS4A2, and his #1 New York Times Best-Seller, The Fireman... which was also the winner of a 2016 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Horror Novel.

He writes short stories too. Some of them were gathered together in

Other books in the series

Locke & Key (6 books)
  • Locke & Key, Vol. 2: Head Games
  • Locke & Key, Vol. 3: Crown of Shadows
  • Locke & Key, Vol. 4: Keys to the Kingdom
  • Locke & Key, Vol. 5: Clockworks
  • Locke & Key, Vol. 6: Alpha & Omega

Articles featuring this book

"Horror fiction has traditionally dealt in taboo.… It makes monsters of household pets and begs our affection for psychos. It...
578 likes · 765 comments
“No. You can’t understand. Because you’re reading the last chapter of something without having read the first chapter. You’re a little guy, Bode. Kids always think they’re coming into a story at the beginning, when they’re usually coming in at the end.” 13 likes
“Kids always think they're coming into a story at the beginning, when usually they're coming in at the end.” 8 likes
More quotes…