One Mad Dog

[Locke & Key Volume 3: Crown of Shadows HC] – (Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez)
February 10, 2011, 8:48 am
Filed under: 9 stars, Gabriel Rodriguez, Joe Hill, Locke and Key

This third Hardcover in the Locke & Key series collects #1 to #6 of Crown Of Shadows. In this book, Dodge steps up his relentless quest to find the key to the black door and raises an army of shadows to help him do it. His battle with the Locke kids is epic in proportion especially when Tyler decides to use the Giant Key.

This series shows absolutely no signs of losing momentum or freshness. The story grabs you from the first page and wont let go.  The battle with Dodge is very well written and leaves you on the edge of your seat just like you were watching a movie. Although Volume 3 is action packed it does have its more somber moments. Hill plunges the mother deeper and deeper into desperation and alcoholism. You can almost taste the despair and I wonder just how this one will be resolved.

The artwork and color in “Crown of Shadows” is really good and continues to uphold the excellent standards set  in the first two volumes.  The splash pages are real eye candy.

Volume 3 is a fantastic story with great artwork. It is printed on good quality paper stock and is a must buy if you enjoyed the first two volumes. [ISBN-13: 978-1600106958]. 9/10

[Locke & Key Volume 2: Head Games HC] – (Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez)
February 4, 2011, 10:00 pm
Filed under: 9 stars, Gabriel Rodriguez, Joe Hill, Locke and Key

Volume 2 collects “Locke & Key : Headgames”  Issues #1 to 6 and it is a great follow up to the first volume. “Head Games” fills in a lot of the back story and builds up the suspense about the  evil thing from the pit. It just makes you want to shout at the book to let the Locke’s know there is a cuckoo in their nest. In this volume Bode also discovers a key that literally allows you to unlock your mind but no good comes from its discovery.  There is also an interesting reveal about one of the supporting characters that I didn’t see coming and I cant wait to see how that story line plays out.

Gabriels artwork in this book is fantastic,  especially the gorgeously illustrated and colored splash pages.  The double splash page of the inside of Bode’s head or the Tempest are a real treat. Although the artwork is slightly cartoony, the level of detail and well chosen color pallete help portray the creepiness of the goings on. Being printed on high quality glossy paper stock helps to make this make this book a absolute joy to look at.

Special mention must also go to the generous helping of Special features and art gallery at the back of the book. This is a real nice bonus. If you liked the first book you wont regret buying this one. [ISBN-13: 978-1600104831]. 9/10

[Locke & Key Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft HC] – (Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez)
February 3, 2011, 8:37 am
Filed under: 9 stars, Gabriel Rodriguez, Joe Hill, Locke and Key

This gorgeous hardcover edition collects “Locke & Key: Crown Of Shadows” Issues #1 to 6.  Locke & Key tells the story of the Locke family who after a brutal attack, move back to their ancestral home in Lovecraft in New England. Life doesn’t get any easier for them there and they find that their mansion is a key house whose doors and keys can do many magical things. They also find an evil presence in the well house that is using its powers to try to escape.

“Welcome to Lovecraft” is a well written horror story that has great characters and an intriguing story line.  Reading this book was just like watching a really well crafted suspense thriller (e.g. The Vanishing).  The story had me hooked from the start and I quickly developed an empathy for the characters.  The story slowly builds in tension to a dramatic climax that was made even more harrowing by this empathy.

Gabriel Rodriguez’s artwork has a slightly cartoony feel to it but it is so well drawn that it suits this horror story perfectly.  The color pallete is also really well chosen and the artwork simply jumps off the page,which is no doubt helped by the use of excellent quality glossy paper stock. It is not just the character art that works so well in this book but also the detailed backgrounds especially on the splash pages. The art gallery in the back of the book  is also really good and shows off Rodriguez’s immense talent. After just this one book I have to say I am a fan of  Gabriel’s work and look forward to more of it in the future.

With a really good story, fantastic art,  great art gallery and wonderful presentation I can unashamedly reccomend this book to all fans of suspense thrillers. [ISBN-13:978-1600102370]. 9/10