Locke & Key is a comic book series written by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez and published by IDW Publishing.
The story goes about three children who find themselves custodians of Keyhouse, a New England mansion filled with "impossible" doors. There's a door that will turn you into a ghost when you walk through it. There's a closet filled with different robes – an African robe, a Chinese robe, Indian furs – and by throwing on these cloaks you can change your race. Most of all, somewhere in the house, there's a door that must never be opened, the black door. Naturally, there's someone who wants to open it, a creature named Dodge, a kind of Peter Pan gone horribly wrong. Someone who takes the Lost Boys of the world and turns them Columbine.
These lost boys, however, aren't all of the male persuasion. The runaway star of the story is six-year-old Bode Locke, who as a rule manages to endanger his own life at least once an hour. Older brother Tyler is the lead character, a lost 18-year old. He's a kid who did one stupid thing that he can never take back. He's a bit of a Ben Grimm type, lonely and sullen but also a charismatic guy's guy. He's quiet. He's probably the least talkative hero Hill has ever written about, which is fun, because when he says something, it has weight.
And in between them is Kinsey, the political conscience of the family. Like a lot of teenage girls, Kinsey is torn between wanting to fit in, and despising the sort of things girls are expected to do to be liked.
The story of the Lockes has been coursing its way through Hill's veins for years and he always new it made more sense as a comic book than a novel. The narrative of Locke & Key is structured in three acts, with each act consisting of two six-issue storylines. Act One's first story arc, Welcome To Lovecraft, was a six-issue limited series published by IDW Publishing. The first issue of Welcome To Lovecraft was released on February 20, 2008 and sold out in a single day, requiring a second printing to be done immediately. The second arc of Act One, entitled Head Games , commenced with the release of the first issue on January 22, 2009. The actual Head Games story was printed in four issues, with a standalone prologue ("Intermission" or "The Joe Ridgeway Story") and a standalone conclusion ("Army Of One").
Act Two of the Locke & Key story consists of two limited, six-issue miniseries; the first storyline of Act Two, Crown of Shadows , began in the fall of 2009. The second storyline, Keys To The Kingdom, began in August 2010.
The first storyline of Act Three was initially announced as Time & Tide, but is now titled Clockworks.
The original publication plan for the issues comprising the second, third, fourth, and fifth story arcs to be released monthly, with the final storyline being produced as an original graphic novel, but these plans have been altered.
- The special standalone issue Locke & Key – Guide to the Known Keys features an expanded Guide to the Known Keys, an all-new Guide to Failed Keys, and a story of summer-night magic, set in Keyhouse's unlikely past.
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