Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Comics: Wasteland, Locke and Key

I'm back, once again, trying to expand my dear readerseses horizons with not one, but two comic book offerings.

Wasteland: Cities in Dust- First up is Wasteland: Cities in Dust. My only qualm with this post-apocalyptic western is the fact the story is so well told I kept having to backtrack to enjoy the art since my eyes would not slow down long enough to take it all in the first time through.

The story takes place somewhere in the U.S. after an event called The Big Wet, leaving the world a baron wasteland (get it!) where humankind (and not-so-humankind) has divided into scattered tribes of those wishing to live more simple lives and those striving for the progress that may have damned them all in the first place. The world is amazingly fleshed out and the characters are interesting, believable, and full of some captivating dialogue.

This first volume collects six issues for ten bucks, so you really can't go wrong. Wasteland is a fantastic read.

Locke and Key, issue 1- IDW Publishing's latest offering, Locke and Key, comes from the dark and twisted mind of Joe Hill, son of uuber-author Stephen King and author of his own New York Times bestseller Heart-Shaped Box. With Gabriel Rodriguez (Clive Barker's The Great and Secret Show) taking on the art, this maniacal duo have put together what could evolve into a sleeper hit for fans of things that go bump in the night.

Set in the sleepy New England town of Lovecraft, Locke and Key revolves around three siblings who, upon moving into their family home of Key House, discover not every door simply leads to the next room.

In this first issue, Hill does a good job of setting the scene, letting readers know little can be labeled "ordinary" in the world his characters inhabit. From a madman being guided by an unseen force to gruesome encounters and other-worldly experiences, mystery and intrigue drips from every page.

While Hill is busy cramming a lot of story into a single book, Rodriguez returns with his trademark style utilizing bold colors and meticulously detailed character expressions. The art does a fantastic job of saying what the characters can't and, as such, compliments Hill's words perfectly.

There's a lot of heart and plenty of emotion packed into this first issue and I for one eagerly await my second journey into Key House. For those who like suspense with plenty of brains, Locke and Key should be a perfect fit.

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