For the most part, combining an independent publisher and two barely-known creators on an unknown property usually equates to low sales and obscurity. This is the nature of an industry as small as comics; the pond’s too small for the little fish to compete. For every rule there is an exception, however, and this series slams that point home. Welcome to Lovecraft, indeed.
The premise is fairly straightforward: following the grisly murder of the family patriarch, the remaining Lockes relocate to their family estate in Lovecraft, Massachusetts. You can stop using “straightforward” after that, because nothing is as it seems. It isn’t until the last few pages of the first issue that you realize the mansion they now call home has a few secrets of its own.
Through wonderful pacing and a few helpful flashbacks, you’re fully invested at the end of that first issue. No wonder it completely sold out on the day of its release; as far as #1’s go, this was incredibly close to perfection.
I doubt that IDW Publishing, writer Joe Hill (aka Joseph Hillstrom King, Stephen King’s son) and artist Gabriel Rodriguez had an idea of how successful their launch would be, but let me tell you, this series is phenomenal. An even mix of (at times) visceral horror and a sense of wonder, this series is about as fresh as you’ll come across these days. I can see why Dreamworks was so eager to get this on television; here’s hoping they find better luck after Fox backed out.
For every word that Hill plays out masterfully, Rodriguez is equally adept at matching him. At first glance the art wasn’t that appealing, but with the entirety of the first series read I couldn’t see this in any other style. Seriously; in the first issue there are ten (10!) pages without a single word on it.
When both writer and artist can tell a story, you’ve got something special. And that’s what this series is: special. There is a definitive ending to this story after a few more mini-series, and I can’t wait to find out how it all plays out. Treat yourself by jumping on this if you haven’t already.