In addition to being a bestselling novelist and a noted award-winning short story writer, Joe Hill also happens to be the son of novelist Stephen King. I lead with this and feel guilty about it at the same time. Hill created his own name in order to establish his own identity. As soon as we found out, we start telling each other. As I said, I feel guilty, but I also know that letting the cat out of the bag, again, will draw more people to this review and hopefully pump up Hill’s sales. He deserves to be read. He has an intriguing mind and a unique way of looking at the dark corners in life.
Despite his paternity, Hill has crafted an existence for himself that’s just starting to take off. His novel, Heart-Shaped Box, leapt onto bestseller lists and latched hold of horror fans’ psyches in wild, delicious ways. His collection of short stories, 20th Century Ghosts, has won the Bram Stoker Award, the British Fantasy Award, and the International Horror Guild Award.
Now, along with artist Gabriel Rodriguez, Hill has staked out the comics medium with a new series called Locke & Key. The launch is a page-turning suspense story full of surprises. According to information that’s been released by IDW Publishing, this is going to be at least a six-issue monthly series. Hill has plans for at 68 issues of Keyhouse.
I really like the idea behind the house and the series. It focuses on kids, and the house has doors they can pass through that will change them. The power of the doors can change their age, race, and gender, and has a tendency to push people toward the evil we all carry around inside us.
The first issue is stunning. When I saw the blood-red cover with the old key so prominent, I didn’t at first see the house in the background. Once I saw the house, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I just sat there for a moment, frozen, thinking about all the possibilities of the key and the house and all those doors. I think this is what still consumes me about the story.