Tagged: Locke Key

Jen Krueger: Binge Reading Comics

A friend of mine has multiple subscriptions at multiple comic book shops. He gets excited for every new issue, and has been consuming comics this way for most of his life. Try as I might, I just can’t understand this, though not because this fervor for comics is foreign to me. It’s the issue by issue thing that I’ve never been able to come around on.

Maybe some of this stems from the way I was introduced to comics. Years ago, I saw Neil Gaiman do a reading of short story and poetry material at the Printer’s Row Book Fair, and the first booth I stopped at afterwards had the The Sandman graphic novels for sale. It was the first time I’d seen the name of an author I knew on a graphic novel, and having been so entertained by that author only minutes before, I figured I’d give this foreign format of storytelling a shot. I read it in one sitting and couldn’t get my hands on the next trade fast enough. By the end of the month, I’d devoured the whole series and become interested in finding other comics I’d enjoy even half as much as I had loved The Sandman.

But even as a comic book convert actively looking for more to read, I just couldn’t bring myself to start with anything short of a trade or graphic novel because single issues of comics have always struck me as unfulfilling, just bite-sized bits of big stories. (more…)

Jen Krueger: Finite Possibilities

Krueger Art 131231With the bustle of the holiday season and the craziness that inevitably accompanies the end of the year, it wasn’t until this week that I was able to get to the final installment of Locke & Key. Joe Hill has been penning this amazing comic since 2008, but I didn’t start reading until 2012, so by the time I came to it there were only seven issues left to be published. For a lot of people, this would be disheartening. For me, it was thrilling.

Comics can be daunting. Spider-Man has been around since 1962, Batman made his debut in 1939, and Superman had them both beat by first hitting the scene in 1933. For a completionist like me, picking up one of these comic book staples would mean starting at the very beginning, and that seems downright impossible. Superman had 716 issues before a relaunch in 2011 brought another #1 around, and this doesn’t even take into account other titles in which Superman appears. Assure me all you want that there are acceptable jumping in points for long-running comics that don’t require me starting from day one, but I’ll never be able to shake the sneaking suspicion I’d understand them better, and therefore like them more, if I did indeed start at issue #1 and work my way forward.

Superman: Red Son, on the other hand? Love it. Mark Millar’s three-issue mini-series exploring what Superman’s life would have been like if he’d landed in the Soviet Union is well written, unique, and managed to get me to crack its cover despite the fact that its titular hero has decades of history behind him because in this particular volume, he actually doesn’t. By standing completely on its own, Superman: Red Son was accessible to me in a way no other Superman comic ever has been. And yes, I realize there are other stand-alone volumes out there, but even with something self-contained like Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman, I find myself held at arm’s length because there’s still an assumption that I know more about Superman when I start than I actually do.

Yet the years of backstory aren’t the only reason long-running comics feel impenetrable to me. The fact that they’re continuing their adventures into the future with no end in sight is equally discouraging, if not more so. How formidable can a villain be when I know there’s always another waiting in the wings? How high can tension run toward a climax when it’s understood there’s always another around the bend? And most importantly, how can a hero truly best his inner demons when his story is expected to carry on indefinitely?

Locke & Key is the best comic I have ever read. A large part of what makes it so amazing is not the fact that there’s a whole world in its pages, but that its pages contain its whole world. Whether or not Hill had the entire saga in mind when he wrote the first series, Welcome to Lovecraft, by the last frame of Alpha there is no stone left unturned. I came in knowing nothing of the story or characters, and that was perfect because I didn’t need to know anything of them.

The sole thing I knew from the outset was that I’d only have 39 issues to spend with the Locke family, and because of this, I appreciated each moment with them more than I could have without their end in sight. The characters travel an arc that is more moving in its fixed breadth than it could ever be were that arc just part of a larger ebb and flow. Their story is exactly complete, and so too is my enjoyment of it.

TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Michael Davis

NEW YEAR’S MORNING: Mike Gold

THURSDAY MORNING: Dennis O’Neil

 

SDCC: 2011 Eisner Awards Winners!

SDCC: 2011 Eisner Awards Winners!

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2:40: And that’s the way to end the show! Enjoy the after parties, everybody!

2:35: Best Graphic Album-New: TIE! Return of the Dapper Men, by Jim McCann and Janet Lee (Archaia); Wilson, by Daniel Clowes (Drawn & Quarterly)

2:31: Best Graphic Album-Reprint: Wednesday Comics, edited by Mark Chiarello (DC)

2:28: Best Adaptation from Another Work: The Marvelous Land of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, adapted by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young (Marvel)

2:18: Best Continuing Series: Chew, by John Layman and Rob Guillory (Image)

2:13: Best Limited Series: Daytripper, by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá (Vertigo/DC)

2:11: That King fella on American Vampire has talent. Of course, he’s no Joe Hill…

2:08: Best New Series: American Vampire, by Scott Snyder, Stephen King, and Rafael Albuquerque (Vertigo/DC)

2:06: Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award: Nate Simpson for Nonplayer

2:03 AM: Best Reality Based Work: It Was the War of the Trenches, by Jacques Tardi (Fantagraphics)

2:00 AM: Best Single Issue (or One-Shot): Hellboy: Double Feature of Evil, by Mike Mignola and Richard Corben (Dark Horse)

1:56: Best Short Story:“Post Mortem,” by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, in I Am an Avenger #2 (Marvel)

1:52: Best Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit (IDW)

1:48: Best Writer: Joe Hill, Locke & Key (IDW)

1:41: Hey, look, everybody! It’s John Stewart, Virgil Hawkins, Remy LeBeau and Samurai Jack!

1:36: In Memoriam. Can we have a year where we don’t need this segment, please?

1:31: Voters’ Choice for Eisner Hall Of Fame: Roy Thomas, and Marv Wolfman.

1:28: Voters’ Choice for Eisner Hall Of Fame: Harvey Pekar.

1:23: Voters’ Choice for Eisner Hall Of Fame: Mort Drucker! Congratulations to one of the usual gang of idiots.

1:16: Hall Of Fame Inductees: Ernie Bushmiller, Jack Johnson, Martin Nodell, and Lynd Ward.

1:04: Best U.S. Edition of International Material-Asia: Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)

1:00 AM: Best U.S. Edition of International Material: It Was the War of the Trenches, by Jacques Tardi (Fantagraphics)

12:51: Best Archival Collection/Project-Strips: Archie: The Complete Daily Newspaper Strips, 1946–1948, by Bob Montana, edited by Greg Goldstein (IDW)

12:47: Best Anthology: Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, edited by Paul Morrissey and David Petersen (Archaia)

12:44: Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, presented by Ruth Clampett to Patrick McDonnell (Mutts)

12:41: Best Publication Design: Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer Artist’s Edition, designed by Randall Dahlk (IDW)

12:38: Best Archival Collection/Project-Comic Books: Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)

12:35: Best Comics-Related Book: 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking, by Paul Levitz (TASCHEN)

12:31: Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism: ComicBookResources, produced by Jonah Weiland (www.comicbookresources.com)

12:28: Best Cover Artist: Mike Mignola, Hellboy, Baltimore: The Plague Ships (Dark Horse)

12:25: Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art): Juanjo Guarnido, Blacksad (Dark Horse)

12:22: Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team: Skottie Young, The Marvelous Land of Oz (Marvel)

12:11: The Bill Finger Excellence in Comics Writing Awards go to Bob Haney and Del Connell.

12:08: Best Digital Comic: Abominable Charles Christopher, by Karl Kerschl, www.abominable.cc

12:05: Best Lettering: Todd Klein, Fables, The Unwritten, Joe the Barbarian, iZombie (Vertigo/DC); Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom (WildStorm/DC); SHIELD (Marvel); Driver for the Dead (Radical)
Best Coloring:
Dave Stewart, Hellboy, BPRD, Baltimore, Let Me In (Dark Horse); Detective Comics (DC); Neil Young’s Greendale, Daytripper, Joe the Barbarian (Vertigo/DC)

12:02: Best Humor Publication: I Thought You Would Be Funnier, by Shannon Wheeler (BOOM!)

11:57: Best Publication for Teens: Smile, by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic Graphix)

11:54: Best Publication for Kids: Tiny Titans, by Art Baltazar and Franco (DC)

11:30 EDT: And awaaaaay we go! Fellow NYU classmates Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant take the stage.

Welcome to our coverage of the 2011 Eisner Awards ceremony from the San Diego Comic-Con. We’ll be updating this post throughout the evening, boldfacing the winners as they’re announced. You can also follow our updates by following ComicMix on Twitter or Facebook.

Leading the 2011 nominees with five nominations is Return of the Dapper Men, a fantasy hardcover by writer Jim McCann and artist Janet Lee and published by Archaia, with nominations for Best Publication for Teens, Best Graphic Album–New, Best Writer, Best Artist, and Best Publication Design. Two comics series have four nominations: Morning Glories by Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma (published by Shadowline/Image) and Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (published by IDW). A variety of titles have received three nominations, including the manga Wilson (Drawn & Quarterly), and Mike Mignola’s Hellboy titles (Dark Horse).

The creator with the most nominations is Mignola with five (including cover artist), followed by Spencer and Hill, each with four. Several creators received three nominations: McCann & Lee, Rodriquez, Urasawa, and Clowes, plus writer Ian Boothy (for Comic Book Guy: The Comic Book and other Bongo titles) and cartoonist Jimmy Gownley (for Best Publication for Kids plus coloring and lettering on his Amelia Rules! series). 15 creators have two nominations each, a new record.

Good luck to all the nominees!

(more…)

‘Human Target’ cancelled, ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Locke & Key’ not picked up for TV

This has not been a good week for comics on TV.

On Tuesday, Fox announced that it was canceling Human Target (starring Mark Valley, Chi McBride, and Jackie Earl Haley and based on the DC Comics character created by Len Wein, Carmine Infantino, and Dick Giordano) after two seasons, and also declined to pick up Locke & Key, the pilot from Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (the minds behind Fringe and the Star Trek reboot) based on the IDW comic from Joe Hill.

Now word has come from Deadline Hollywood that NBC will not be picking up Wonder Woman, the series that would have been produced by David E. Kelley and starred Adrianne Palacki as the amazing Amazon.

Between these developments, and Smallville ending its decade long run tonight, we are suddenly going from a lot of comics adaptations in broadcast prime time to none at all for the first time since 1996– and that was when Sabrina the Teenage Witch first aired.

Right now, all eyes are on whether Disney’s fabled corporate synergy will mean sister companies Marvel and ABC will go ahead with a new version of Hulk with Guillermo del Toro and David Eick, and/or AKA Jessica Jones with Melissa Rosenberg– or whether they’ll be shunted to ABC Family or some such solution.

2011 Eisner Award nominations announced

2011 Eisner Award nominations announced

201104071920.jpgThe 2011 Eisner Award nominations have just been announced.

Heading the 2011 nominees with five nominations is Return of the Dapper Men, a fantasy hardcover by writer Jim McCann and artist Janet Lee and published by Archaia, with nominations for Best Publication for Teens, Best Graphic Album–New, Best Writer, Best Artist, and Best Publication Design. Two comics series have four nominations: Morning Glories by Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma (published by Shadowline/Image) and Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (published by IDW). A variety of titles have received three nominations, including the manga Wilson (Drawn & Quarterly), and Mike Mignola’s Hellboy titles (Dark Horse).

The creator with the most nominations is Mignola with five (including cover artist), followed by Spencer and Hill, each with four. Several creators received three nominations: McCann & Lee, Rodriquez, Urasawa, and Clowes, plus writer Ian Boothy (for Comic Book Guy: The Comic Book and other Bongo titles) and cartoonist Jimmy Gownley (for Best Publication for Kids plus coloring and lettering on his Amelia Rules! series). 15 creators have two nominations each, a new record.

Ballots with this year’s nominees will be going out in mid-April to comics creators, editors, publishers, and retailers. A downloadable .pdf of the ballot will also be available online, and a special website has been set up for online voting. The awards will be presented at a ceremony on the evening of Friday, July 22 at Comic-Con International.

Congratulations to all the nominees!

(more…)

‘Locke & Key’ Collected in Hardcover

‘Locke & Key’ Collected in Hardcover

IDW has announced an October 1 release for the hardcover collection of Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft. The book is from novelist Joe Hill who created the miniseries for the publisher and was surprised by its enthusiastic reception. It has since been optioned by Dimension Films.

Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft, written by Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez (Clive Barker’s The Great and Secret Show), will include the first six-issue storyline, cover gallery, conceptual sketches by Rodriguez, and an all-new introduction from best-selling mystery novelist Robert Crais (Chasing Darkness). The 152-page book will carry a $24.99 cover price.

Locke & Key tells of the Locke family, who relocate after an unspeakable tragedy to Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them… and home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all…

The Locke & Key story continues next year as well. Hill and Rodriguez pick up where this story leaves off with the next story in the ongoing saga, January’s Locke & Key: Head Games #1.
 

Frank Miller: Comics ‘Strip-Mined’ by Movies

The Los Angeles Times just had a story about the boom in comics-to-film. In a recent six-week stretch, some 22 comics properties were optioned, the paper reported.

That includes Locke & Key, the supernatural thriller by Joe Hill for IDW (cover at right). While this is great news for many and illustrates the growing popularity of comics, not everyone is looking at the boom with rose-colored glasses.

"It’s accelerating because right now it’s fashion," says Frank Miller, who created the graphic novels behind "Sin City" and "300," and whose early-’80s series "Ronin," about a reincarnated samurai battling evil in a futuristic New York, is being adapted by Joby Harold ("Awake") for Warner Bros. "I think we can expect it to calm down. Comic books have always been this vast mountain range that gets strip-mined and left behind."

The main point of the story, though, is that one reason so many comics are adapted is that comics and graphic novels are substantially easier to read than screenplays. Miller calls screenplays the "single [worst] story form" and "unreadable."

Dimension Films Locks Up ‘Locke & Key’

Dimension Films Locks Up ‘Locke & Key’

According to Variety, Dimension Films has just snapped up the rights to Joe Hill’s graphic novel Locke & Key — which, conicidentially, ComicMix’s own Van Jensen recently reviewed right here. Dimension bought film and TV rights to the graphic novel from IDW Publishing and will develop it as a potential franchise under the guidence of producer John Davis.

In case you’re not familiar, Locke & Key’s story concerns three children who move to Keyhouse, a mansion in New England that’s full of magic and secrets. Once they begin to explore the house, the kids soon discover doors that transport them to different places and give them powers. Of course, there’s also danger because behind one door is an evil creature that really wants to be let out.

Dimension chief Harvery Weinstein was particularly happy about his company’s latest acquisition. "I love what Joe wrote," said Weinstein in the Variety article. "There are fun elements that horror fans love, and it feels like a franchise where you can feel satisfied with each film, but there is a door left open for the next one."

IDW released the first issue of Locke & Key last Wednesday, with the second one set to follow on March 5th.

 

Review: Locke & Key #1

Review: Locke & Key #1

You can understand why Joe Hill waited so long to publicly acknowledge that his father is famed writer Stephen King. For several years, Hill used that shortened version of his name (Joseph Hillstrom King in full) so that he could test himself in the fantasy/horror writing world without the spectre of his father lurking about.

Now jumping into comics for the first time with the new series Locke & Key ($3.99), Hill saw that experience affected by the elder King even before Locke & Key #1 hit shelves. While publisher IDW didn’t promote the famous father angle, it didn’t stop some such as Rich Johnston from playing up that lineage as a bit of comics speculating.

Those who actually read the book and didn’t just seal it away in plastic to put up on eBay at a later date were treated to a very good first issue that succeeds in areas a lot of novelists-cum-comics writers fail. That is, Hill clearly understands the medium. He knows when to rein in the verbiage and let artist Gabriel Rodriguez drive the story. 

The narrative is split in three parts: the teenaged protagonist Ty witnessing his father’s murder, sobbing through the funeral and relocating to a spooky house in the ominously named town of Lovecraft, Mass. Aside from a few awkward transitions, the story runs seamlessly.

First issues, of course, are incredibly difficult to do well, making it all the more surprising that in his first 32 pages of comics, Hill establishes a great deal of depth to his characters and lays out a handful of intriguing plotlines to follow. The last few pages are particularly effective, as Hill takes what was previously a down-to-earth story and shifts to a more supernatural paradigm.

It’s a series to watch, even if you aren’t just looking to make a buck.

ComicMix Radio: ‘Heroes’ Is Back!

ComicMix Radio: ‘Heroes’ Is Back!

Yes, Heroes is back… at least, in the toy and comic stores. Mezco Toyz is handling the no-brainer of bringing Claire, Hiro & the rest into the world of action figures. Who is coming and when? ComicMix Radio has got the scoop, plus:

— A trip to the coolest toy collection on the planet (and a desperate search for one particular item you might have)

Locke & Key scores a sellout for IDW

— The X-Men Origins: Wolverine casts keeps expanding

— Did you know Mr. T was cooler than Thomas Jefferson?

— And, of course, another brand new trivia question and another chance to grab an exclusive Graham Crackers Comics variant by e-mailing us at: podcast [at] comicmix.com

We pity the fool who doesn’t Press The Button!

 

 And remember, you can always subscribe to ComicMix Radio podcasts via iTunes - ComicMix or RSS!