[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] LOCKE & KEY: SMALL WORLD #1

 

 

lk-smallworld01-cova

 

Has it really been three years already?

 

Yup, guess it has been that long since Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez locked (sorry) the doors of Keyhouse and concluded their modern long-form horror masterpiece, Locke & Key, and while the time has certainly flown by in many respects, now that we’ve been granted entry into the most mysterious home in Lovecraft, Massachusetts one more time, the truth is that it also feels like it’s been a lot longer than that.  Maybe that’s why it’s good to know, especially right around Christmas, that you (or, in this case, we) actually can go home again.

 

c596933bd1254f336324742ab2da5adf-_sx1280_ql80_ttd_

 

Okay, sure, Locke & Key: Small World #1 may be a good, old-fashioned “one-shot” — and it may be set in the past (specifically the early part of the 20th century) and feature a different cast of characters than the one we came to know in the series proper — but that doesn’t mean it’s not a seamless addition to Hill and Rodriguez’ mythos or that it’s anything less than an absolute delight. In fact, for long-time fans of this world, reading this book is almost certain to make you feel like — dare I say it — a kid at Christmas.

 

The perpetually cynical (a group to which many insist I belong myself) have always said that “familiarity breeds contempt,” of course, but based on the evidence offered here, I humbly beg to differ. Small World serves up nothing you can’t and/or won’t see coming from a mile away — the “surprise” ending, for instance, is nothing of the sort — but for all its predictability and simplicity, it’s much more undeniably charming than it is the product of rote and clinical calculation. An old favorite pair of slippers doesn’t represent anything unexpected or challenging or different, either, but is there anything better to slide your feet into after being out on a cold winter’s day? Tried and true things in life are great comforts, my friends, and in this suddenly-much-more-uncertain world we find ourselves in these days, we need ’em more than ever.

 

a342713b633e1357f5b4f026b11432b8-_sx1280_ql80_ttd_

 

If you’re getting the distinct impression that there’s nothing precisely essential about Locke & Key: Small World, well, shit — I can’t deny that’s absolutely true. Nothing in these pages will enrich your appreciation of the original series or shift your understanding of it in any way. There are no new perspectives to be had or secrets to ponder. But between Hill’s meticulously-crafted script, Rodriguez’ absolutely breathtaking richly-detailed art, and Jay Fotos’ amazingly well-chosen colors, what we have here is a near-perfect representation in microcosm of what made this series such a runaway sensation in the first place. It’s almost impossible to imagine somebody not being utterly transfixed by this gem of a comic, to the point where I can easily imagine one who may be new to this world feeling downright compelled to track down everything that’s come before once they’re read it. “Newbies” are hardly the so-called “target audience” for this book, it’s true — and I can’t see anyone unfamiliar with the franchise being willing to plunk down the $4.99 cover price that IDW is asking for a standard-length, single-issue publication (okay, that’s a bit of a lump of coal in our collective stocking, I suppose) — but there are bound to be some out there, and my money is on them becoming instantly hooked. Every aspect of this comic is expertly executed. Every single one. And whether you’re falling in love with Keyhouse and its denizens for the first time or all over again, it doesn’t matter — “love is love,” after all, as the title of another IDW special that hit LCS shelves this week reminds us.

 

stl026630

 

As I mentioned already — probably more than once — the comforts of beautifully-established “known quantities” are at a premium these days. I love comics that push my thinking in new directions and upset the apple cart of my preconceptions, but there’s always a place on my pull list for books that counteract life’s uncertainties and give me exactly what I’m hoping for. Locke & Key: Small World is the best example of this type of storytelling that it’s been my pleasure to encounter in an awfully long time, and for half an hour it let me pretend that all was right with the world, so ya know what? For all my bitching about the fact that this thing cost five bucks, who are we kidding? That feeling is absolutely priceless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

— @TRASHFILMGURU.

 

 

 

 

 

CHECK OUT THE @TRASHFILMGURU ARCHIVE, SUCKA!

54fa07aceed22

STK668289

Providence01_regular1-600x927

4598339-01

4614551-constan

4867790-01a

4903547-01

4903545-01

4900408-01

4923763-01

THE SHERIFF OF BABYLON #1, cult movie mania, daily grindhouse, trash film guru, dailygrindhouse.com, cultmoviemania.com

CHECK OUT @TRASHFILMGURU’S TOP TEN TITLES OF 2015 OVER HERE!

4858044-01

ST-Cv1-ds-f809b

323170._SX640_QL80_TTD_

STK692497

cov-b-nappi

providence07-reg

Shaft-Imitation-Life-1-Cover

5051574-01

1

The-Discipline-1-Cover

Patience

5130345-01

5133332-01

BlackRoad_01-1

51Sq-hNgfVL

4Kids-Preview1-53613

RenatoJonesOnePercent_01-1

STL003052

DC-Universe-Rebirth-1-1-600x923

5259905-01

STL016857

New-Super-Man-1-2-1-600x923

FLINT_Cv1_ds

5337611-01a

5328118-01

Mechanism_01-1

providence10-reg

Superwoman-1-2

briggsland

LakeofFire_01-1

 

edensfall_01-1

 

real-deal_cover

 

5433923-01-variant

 

5450933-01a

 

5455996-01

 

 

 

stl020931-675x1024

 

stl016642-600x928

 

reborn-1-600x911

 

 

s-l1600-6-600x771

 

vigilante-southland-1-1-600x922

 

occupy_avengers_vol_1_1

 

FIVE COMICS TO HELP YOU SURVIVE THE AGE OF TRUMP

 

 

violentlove_01-1

 

4482105-03

 

silver_star_comics

 

stl023486

 

providence11-reg

 

hawkeye431634-_sx1280_ql80_ttd_

Latest posts by Ryan Carey (see all)


    Tags: , , , ,


    No Comments

    Leave a Comment