This has been on my TBR shelf for a while now (as have many other books), but I hesitated to pick this up, though I've had opportunity before, because I was afraid of being disappointed.Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft may be one of the coolest titles I've heard of in a long time. It's evocative, and I was worried that the evocation might go horribly awry.
My fears were unfounded.
I'll spare you the story - several other reviewer friends of mine have outlined the story more clearly than I can hope to do. Suffice it to say that Lovecraft is a place, not a person, Locke is a family, and Key refers to Keyhouse, a named structure in which much of the story takes place. You won't find any tentacled horrors in this story, however. Yes, there is a strong backbone of supernatural horror, but no creatures from the Lovecraft Mythos, so far. The horrors here are human, albeit *influenced* by seemingly other-world entities.
And it's the humanity of it all that makes this an outstanding graphic novel. The psychotic characters (there are a couple true psychos and quite a few borderline cases) are not just raving serial killers. They are humans with unmet needs. They are fragile. They are broken. And they break others.
The victims and heroes are also portrayed in a more believable way than most graphic novels I've read. They are real. You want to put your arm around them and give them a hug, to tell them that it's alright, that things are going to be okay.
But that would be a lie.