Welcome to Lovecraft, the first volume of Locke & Key is an astonishingly good piece of work on so many different levels. In just six issues a vivid world ripe with possibility is introduced to us. It never feels contrived or forced, and there's a genuine feeling of magic as you stumble across the book's many secrets.
What makes this a particularly impressive read is that it is the first comics work writer Joe Hill has produced. He is the son of Stephen King (he wisely took a pen name to avoid daunting comparisons) and has clearly picked up his dad's knack for success.
Aiding and abetting Hill is artist Gabriel Rodriguez, whose quirky and innovative artwork is a perfect fit for the series. He captures moments of tenderness just as well as moments of maniacal bloodletting (and there are plenty of both). It's surprising, given how good he is, that we haven't seen him drawing the Avengers latest clash with the X Men or contributing to DC's Watchmen prequels. The guy doesn’t draw a single bad panel throughout the whole volume.
Unlike most comics Locke & Key has not been published monthly since its first issue, instead finding itself separated into various miniseries. There will be thirty-six issues in total, spread across six volumes. There are currently five trades available, with the sixth series due to begin later in the year.
While volume one is very much an opening act that sets the scene for the tale to come it can still be enjoyed in its own right. As a mysterious person who lives in a well points out in issue six "You can’t understand because you’re reading the last chapter of something, without having read the first chapters."