Tag Archives: joe hill

Preview: Locke & Key: The Golden Age

Locke & Key: The Golden Age

(W) Joe Hill (A/CA) Gabriel Rodriguez
In Shops: Apr 27, 2022
SRP: $29.99

Unlock moments from Keyhouse’s long history, expanding the saga of the Locke family in this collection of stories, which includes the epic crossover with DC’s The Sandman Universe!

For two hundred years, the Locke family has watched over Keyhouse, a New England mansion where reality has come unhinged and shadows are known to walk on their own. Here they have guarded a collection of impossible keys, instruments capable of unlocking both unparalleled wonder and unimaginable evil.

Take a glimpse into the lives of Chamberlin Locke and his family in the early 20th century as they use the keys to fight battles big and small. From the killing fields of Europe during WWI and the depths of Hell, the Lockes are in a constant struggle to keep the dark forces of their world at bay.

Collects three standalone tales, “Small World,” the Eisner-nominated “Open the Moon,” and the never-before-seen “Face the Music,” along with the 3-part …In Pale Battalions Go… and the epic 80-page crossover with The Sandman Universe, Hell & Gone” all from the co-creators of Locke & Key, Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez!

Locke & Key: The Golden Age

Review: Joe Hill’s Rain #2

Joe Hill's Rain #2

The road trip part of the apocalyptic road trip kicks in in Joe Hill’s Rain #2 as Honeysuckle Speck heads to Denver to tell her girlfriend Yolanda’s dad, Dr. Rusted, that his wife and daughter died in the rain of stony needles. Along the way, she picks up a couple stragglers/traveling companions and runs into a weird doomsday cult that gives Zoe Thorogood and Chris O’Halloran a chance to showcase their action chops. However, for the most part, Joe Hill, David Booher, and Thorogood focus on the human side of the end of the world. Like how do you wake up and eat breakfast when the woman you love is stuck with hundreds of needles and a short drive to Denver becomes a hell of a walk thanks to the whole tire puncturing thing.

With the exception of a giant wall of text exposition scene featuring the supporting character Ursula talking about her husband being possibly murdered by the government, Rain #2 never feels like an adaptation of a novella. For example, Thorogood uses a classic nine page grid to show the big picture of the president tweeting about the needles and the more personal story of Honeysuckle removing the needles from Yolanda with a news anchor getting emotional about his wife and kids being stuck in the epicenter of the event acting as a middle ground to show that is a horrifying event that not even the most calm and collected profession can evade. On top of the art is Booher’s narrative captions which collect Honeysuckle’s feelings and memories of Yolanda in evocative prose. It makes for a dense, resonant reading experience with O’Halloran’s flat reds and blues conveying the reflection meets sadness/rage that Honeysuckle and other folks in this Kansas/Colorado area are feeling. Thorogood also picks interesting angles for her images, and Honeysuckle doesn’t even show her face until page three because she is consumed with grief while also coming up with a plan to find Yolanda’s father.

Another strength of Rain #2 is the dialogue from Joe Hill and/or David Booher. At times, Honeysuckle feels like a cowboy, and Thorogood puts in lots of panels focusing on her boots that will protect her from the needles littering the ground on her way to Denver. She quips like she’s in a Bruce Willis movie to a death cult/tax shelter that claims the rain was predicted by their leader and will help them find enlightenment in another dimension, and she scraps like an unlikely hero in the aforementioned scene that is also depicted in yet another nine panel grid. (Silent this time because talking or even captions often ruin the flow of a fight.) Wisely, Hill, Booher, and Zoe Thorogood don’t strip away all the slice of life trappings from the book with waffles, iPads, Starbucks, and (not that they’re helpful) umbrellas still making appearances in addition to two page spreads of apocalyptic landscapes with impaled bodies. Plus a determined Honeysuckle isn’t afraid to go all Wolverine on some cultists.

Not really in content, but in form, Rain #2 reminds me of the better Vertigo books which would pair a prose stylist with a skilled visual storyteller to create comics bursting to the seams with information while also being fun to read and follow. Joe Hill, David Booher, Thorogood, and Chris O’Halloran have balanced heavy emotions of unexpected loss of life with quirky post-apocalyptic story elements like a kid with a cape who thinks he’s a vampire or an MMA fighter turned cat protector. Zoe Thorogood’s ability with facial expressions and Hill and Booher’s insightful captions really connect me to Honeysuckle as a character while I’m also intrigued to learn more about how this disaster is affecting the world and perhaps even its origin.

Story: Joe Hill Adaptation: David Booher Art: Zoe Thorogood
Colors: Chris O’Halloran Letters: Shawn Lee
Story: 7.8 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology/KindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Review: Rain #1

Rain #1
Rain #1, variant cover by Ashley Wood

Joe Hill is a master of emotional horror, of crafting stories that rip through the spectrum of human expression and into the darker things that pump life into his characters. Those things vary in form, be it the fears that accompany motherhood as seen in NOS4A2 or the excesses of life and the extremes they push us into in Heart-Shaped Box. In Image Comics Rain, adapted from a Joe Hill story of the same name by David M. Booher and Zoe Thorogood, the darkness comes from the concept of sudden loss and how unfair life can be when it comes to love.

Rain follows two young women who are in the process of moving in together. Each one has had to go through the harrowing process of coming out to their parents and their experiences range from surprisingly good to deeply traumatizing. As they arrive on the day the move actually starts, sharp crystal-like nails fall from the sky, killing everyone caught outside enjoying what was originally an invitingly sunny day.

Zoe Thorogood’s art goes for a dark fairy tale feel that frames the story in a kind of magically realistic world that’s as wondrous as it is lethal. It’s a curious approach given the only fantastical element thus far, in the first issue, is the rain of nails. Regardless, the strangeness of the event is enough to make the entire story play out as if realism isn’t an unanimously agreed upon condition.

Rain

That’s not to say it works to its detriment. Booher’s script manages to effectively translate the scope of Hill’s emotional arcs into the comic and it does a phenomenal job of keeping things grounded in that regard. It makes for a unique marriage of text and art, but one that succeeds in telling a story that requires more fantasy than usual to get its point across.

There’s also a fair bit of worldbuilding on display in Rain’s first issue, especially in terms of how the couple’s relationship fits into a time and place where acceptance isn’t as widespread as we’d hope it to be. This helps make the world the characters inhabit feel unsafe, a place where people would’ve been right to expect an actual rain of deadly nails to descend upon them at any moment.

Booher and Thorogood’s adaptation of Hill’s novella is a great example of what a creative team can conjure up when it so fully understands the vision behind a story. Adaptation is no easy task, especially when it comes with the expectation it has to be as good (if not greater) than the source text. Fortunately for Rain, the first issue starts the series out on the right foot, with the promise of more darkly curious things to come.

Story: Joe Hill and David M. Booher Art: Zoe Thorogood
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0
Recommendation: Buy and keep a metal-plated umbrella handy. The way things are going, we should be getting sharp nail showers any minute now.

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review purposes.


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Advance Review: Rain #1

Rain #1
Rain #1, variant cover by Ashley Wood

Joe Hill is a master of emotional horror, of crafting stories that rip through the spectrum of human expression and into the darker things that pump life into his characters. Those things vary in form, be it the fears that accompany motherhood as seen in NOS4A2 or the excesses of life and the extremes they push us into in Heart-Shaped Box. In Image Comics Rain, adapted from a Joe Hill story of the same name by David M. Booher and Zoe Thorogood, the darkness comes from the concept of sudden loss and how unfair life can be when it comes to love.

Rain follows two young women who are in the process of moving in together. Each one has had to go through the harrowing process of coming out to their parents and their experiences range from surprisingly good to deeply traumatizing. As they arrive on the day the move actually starts, sharp crystal-like nails fall from the sky, killing everyone caught outside enjoying what was originally an invitingly sunny day.

Zoe Thorogood’s art goes for a dark fairy tale feel that frames the story in a kind of magically realistic world that’s as wondrous as it is lethal. It’s a curious approach given the only fantastical element thus far, in the first issue, is the rain of nails. Regardless, the strangeness of the event is enough to make the entire story play out as if realism isn’t an unanimously agreed upon condition.

Rain

That’s not to say it works to its detriment. Booher’s script manages to effectively translate the scope of Hill’s emotional arcs into the comic and it does a phenomenal job of keeping things grounded in that regard. It makes for a unique marriage of text and art, but one that succeeds in telling a story that requires more fantasy than usual to get its point across.

There’s also a fair bit of worldbuilding on display in Rain’s first issue, especially in terms of how the couple’s relationship fits into a time and place where acceptance isn’t as widespread as we’d hope it to be. This helps make the world the characters inhabit feel unsafe, a place where people would’ve been right to expect an actual rain of deadly nails to descend upon them at any moment.

Booher and Thorogood’s adaptation of Hill’s novella is a great example of what a creative team can conjure up when it so fully understands the vision behind a story. Adaptation is no easy task, especially when it comes with the expectation it has to be as good (if not greater) than the source text. Fortunately for Rain, the first issue starts the series out on the right foot, with the promise of more darkly curious things to come.

Story: Joe Hill and David M. Booher Art: Zoe Thorogood
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0
Recommendation: Buy and keep a metal-plated umbrella handy. The way things are going, we should be getting sharp nail showers any minute now.

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review purposes.


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Preview: Locke & Key Vol. 1: Bienvenidos a Lovecraft

Locke & Key Vol. 1: Bienvenidos a Lovecraft

Written by Joe Hill
Art by Gabriel Rodriguez

Llamada una “obra maestra moderna” por el sitio de revisión de medios The A.V. Club, Locke & Key cuenta una extensa historia acerca de familia y magia, patrimonio y dolor, bien y mal. El aclamado novelista de suspenso y autor más vendido del diario New York Times, Joe Hill (The Fireman, Heart-Shaped Box) ha creado una apasionante historia de fantasía oscura y de maravilla, con asombrosas ilustraciones por Gabriel Rodríguez, que, así como las puertas de la casa llamada Keyhouse, transformarán a todos los que la abren. La historia épica comienza aquí: Bienvenidos a Lovecraft.

Locke & Key Vol. 1: Bienvenidos a Lovecraft

Preview: Locke & Key: Keyhouse Compendium

Locke & Key: Keyhouse Compendium

(W) Joe Hill (A/CA) Gabriel Rodriguez
In Shops: Jul 21, 2021
SRP: $125.00

The stories that inspired the Netflix series! All six volumes of the critically acclaimed Locke & Key series are now available in one massive compendium featuring an all-new Introduction by series co-creator, Joe Hill.

Named a “modern masterpiece” by The A.V. Club, Locke & Key tells a sprawling tale of magic and family, legacy and grief, good and evil. Acclaimed suspense novelist and New York Times-bestselling author Joe Hill (The Fireman, Heart-Shaped Box, NOS4A2) has created a gripping story of dark fantasy and wonder-with astounding artwork from Gabriel Rodriguez-that, like the doors of Keyhouse, will transform all who open it.

Locke & Key: Keyhouse Compendium

DC’s Hill House Returns with Refrigerator Full of Heads

DC’s Hill House is the comic imprint launched by Joe Hill. Its horror theme kept the line focused on its initial launches. A new series, Refrigerator Full of Heads has been announced from writer Rio Youers and artist Tom Fowler. It’s the first in a new wave of Hill House titles from DC and continues the world of Basketful of Heads one of the initial launch titles.

Refrigerator Full of Heads launches on October 19th and will bring readers back to bloody Brody Island. At the bottom of the bay, the mysterious axe that unleashed violent pandemonium during the hurricane of ’83 has been waiting… but nothing that powerful stays buried.

With a new sheriff, new visitors, and a dangerous Great White Shark spotted off the coast, the pieces are all in place for terror to rise again when vacationing couple Calvin Beringer and Arlene Fields stumble onto the wrong side of Brody’s unsavory elements.

Refrigerator Full of Heads is an off-the-wall delight, with moments that could only happen in the panels of a Hill House comic. Readers will not want to miss where this story goes! Issue one of six will be available in comic book shops on October 19 featuring a cover by Sam Wolfe Connelly and a variant cover by Reiko Murakami.

Refrigerator Full of Heads

The Conjuring prequel comic will usher in the new ‘DC Horror’ label

The Conjuring: The Lover

With The Conjuring having its feet firmly planted in its own universe, it’s only natural comics got the opportunity to flesh out the franchise’s particular brand of terror. DC Comics has answered the call to do so with the launch of a new imprint called ‘DC Horror,’ which will premiere with a prequel comic to the latest entry in The Conjuring franchise subtitled The Devil Made Me Do It.

The series, titled The Conjuring: The Lover, will run for five issues and will set up the events that lead into The Devil Made Me Do It. It’s co-written by the film’s screenwriter David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and author Rex Ogle (Death of Wolverine: Life After Logan), with art by Garry Brown (Babyteeth) and colors by Chris Sotomayor.

The story follows Jessica, a college freshman, returning to campus after winter break, that’s dealing with the anxieties of mounting schoolwork and grades, a sexual encounter with a guy she’s now regretting, and the odd feeling she’s being watched by something.

The idea shares some elements with that of The Exorcism of Emily Rose movie, in which the titular character starts manifesting “possession” symptoms while in college, throwing every single aspect of her life into disarray. In a sense, it’s fitting that the story echoes that of the aforementioned movie given its basis on real events, something it shares with The Devil Made Me Do It.

The Conjuring: The Lover

The third entry in The Conjuring series is based on the first legal case in American history to have a defendant claim innocence due to demonic possession at the time of the crime. The Exorcism of Emily Rose, on the other hand, is also based on the true story of Annaliese Michel, who underwent 67 exorcism rites in a year, which eventually led to her death. The cause of death was attributed to malnutrition. Her parents and the priest that conducted the exorcism were convicted of negligent homicide in the case.

How much of this case actually inspired (or not) The Conjuring: The Lover remains to be seen, but the premise promises a story worthy of the name that graces its cover. Additionally, The Lover will feature short back-up stories written by some of horror comics most popular creators, including Scott Snyder, Juan Ferreyra, Che Grayson, and Denys Cowan. These stories will focus on the haunted objects that resided in Lorraine and Ed Warren’s infamous artifact room (which is where they kept the Annabelle doll).

It bears mentioning that this new horror imprint might be riding on the shoulders of Joe Hill’s own recent horror imprint, Hill House Comics, which was headlined by Hill’s own Basketful of Heads comic, illustrated by Leomacs. The series that were published as part of the imprint received mostly universal praise and felt as if they belonged in the same habitat as DC’s classic House of Mystery comics.

The Conjuring: The Lover

DC editor-in-chief Marie Javins seems to be aware of this connection. In a statement she released on the new horror imprint, Javins said that “DC has always been the home of great horror comics and characters. DC Horror continues this tradition with new frightening tales from both well-known and new storytellers that will keep fans spooked and entertained.”

With The Conjuring possessing a well-established horror universe and DC recognizing the weight horror carries within its company’s history, it looks like this year is shaping up to be a good one for both veteran and emerging horror fans. The potential behind the new imprint for pulling in new readers, especially in the wake of Hill House’s success, seems to lean favorably towards success.

One thing’s for sure, if this move inspires other publishers to invest in their own horror imprints, they’ll be able to say ‘DC made me do it.’

The Conjuring: The Lover arrives in comic book stores and on participating digital platforms the same day as the U.S. release of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It—Tuesday, June 1, 2021, with issue #2 available on July 6, 2021. 

Review: Locke & Key/Sandman: Hell & Gone #1

Locke & Key/Sandman: Hell & Gone #1

Nicholas Cage is one of those actors whose films have given him iconic status. In each role, he has not only proven his talent but has made each character incredibly indelible. I remember the first time I saw him, it was in Moonstruck, as the brother of her fiancee whom she falls in love with. Every film after that would just add to his legend.

Cage has touched every film genre and is such a chameleon, that people often identify with certain roles. He can play someone meek, like his character in The Rock. Then there is devil may care character he played in Drive Angry where his character came back from hell to save his daughter. In a rare crossover between two of comics most imaginative universes, Locke & Key/Sandman: Hell & Gone #1 begins Mary Locke’s adventure to do anything to save her brother’s soul.

The comic features a prelude in how Jack got lost in Hell, but we’re taken to 1927 Wych Cross, England, where Mary has just been summoned from study abroad in the United States. A strange rich royal, Roderick Burgess, has summoned her back home to recreate one of her late father’s inventions. His offers her a way to get back her brother Jack. We soon find out he has Dream captured in his basement and leads Mary to take on some extraordinary measures and finesse her way through the House of Mystery. By the issue’s end, Mary might have found the back door to Hell, but what is on the other side she might not be ready for.

Overall, Locke & Key/Sandman: Hell & Gone #1 is an excellent debut issue, which highlights why everyone loves both franchises. The story by Joe Hill and Neil Gaiman is both dour and fascinating. The art by Gabriel Rodriguez, Jay Fotos, and Shawn Lee is astounding. Altogether, the debut issue is an exhilarating trip “down the rabbit hole”. It’s one that enchants and frights.

Story: Joe Hill, Neil Gaiman Art: Gabriel Rodriguez, Jay Fotos, and Shawn Lee
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Preview: Locke & Key/Sandman: Hell & Gone #1

Locke & Key/Sandman: Hell & Gone #1

(W) Joe Hill, Neil Gaiman (A/CA) Gabriel Rodriguez
In Shops: Apr 14, 2021
SRP: $6.99

If you think you can unlock the gates of Hell and just invite yourself in, you must be Dreaming!

The epic crossover between two of the most beloved fantasy universes in comics begins here. John “Jack” Locke is ten years dead, but that hasn’t stopped him from posting the occasional letter home… from Hell. Now Mary Locke will do anything to save her brother’s soul, including cut a deal with Roderick Burgess-the most evil man in England-to search for answers in the House of Mystery and risk the walking nightmare known as the Corinthian to find help in a disintegrating Kingdom of Dreams!

Locke & Key/Sandman: Hell & Gone #1
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