Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft / 80. Locke & Key: Head Games (Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez)

Although I was a bit disappointed by Joe Hill's first novel Heart-Shaped Box, after his excellent short story collection 20th Century Ghosts, this comic series Locke & Key seems like a perfect medium for Hill — self-contained comic issues that combine into graphic novels (distinct story arcs) but are also structured like a continuing novel (Hill has a clear end in sight, a pre-determined number of issues and story arcs).

Hill's impressive as a writer in many respects, not the least for stepping outside of his father's shadow (his father is Stephen King) while still hanging out in the same wheelhouse (Hill mostly writes supernatural horror). I'm a huge fan of horror, and although there are shades of King here (you can see it in the focus on children, and in simple metaphors to convey complex supernatural processes), it's the same influence you'd see in ANY horror writer's work. Hill's established his own world, in a brilliant and original updating of the haunted house story.

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Jonathan Ball is a writer, filmmaker, and scholar living at www.jonathanball.com.

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