Thursday, January 5, 2012

Good Reads: Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez Have Got the Key to My Heart



My bookshelf is in serious trouble, god bless its spine. I've fallen in love with a new genre.

Remind me to add "no toppling" to my literary prayers.

My boyfriend, is a serious comic book/graphic novel lover & has pushed me into reading a few of his favorites. Those include; Y The Last Man, The Walking Dead, 100 Bullets, & Fables. This newfound love couldn't have come at a more perfect time. My students were about to create a graphic novel for their winter semester project, one of my co-workers is the granddaughter of a comic book great and quite frequently brings in controversial graphic novels for me to ogle, and middle schoolers seem to have a renewed excitement for the genre. Thank the new DC 52, quirky comic novels like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and superhero remakes for that.

Just as I was about to ween myself off of the panel & speech bubble kick to get back to fiction, the boyfriend walked in with Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez's "Locke and Key."

As an older cousin to a Green Lantern and Superman fiend, I took a glance at a comic book or two. Most issues went something like this:

1) Superhero minding his business.
2) Villain comes along and screws everything up.
3) Superhero almost loses this battle. He's so close to death, you can feel it.
4) But how will they ever carry on with the next issue? Oh, wait there's been a turn of events.
5) He's alive!
6) Villain is dead, or locked up. (Depending on the morale of the company.) The end.

Bleh.

Well those few issues fooled me. There are a ton of graphic novels and comics with relatable themes and amazing plots. There's something for everyone. I'll never judge a book by its cover again.

Well, unless it's drawn by Gabriel Rodriguez....



Hill already boasts a ton of amazing suspense and horror fiction within his resume. This skill blended with the intricacy of Rodriguez's canvass, puts any black and white novel to shame. I mean, who wants just words anymore?

Sorry literati, I'm kidding.

Anyway, the story is about three children who have a horrific experience in which they lose a parent who's been surrounded by an incredible magical realism; all his life.The three children: an emo, a shy jock and a fidgety little brother, find themselves living in a home riddled with mysterious locks and the keys to dark adventure.

The protagonists try to untangle the mystery of their new home while intertwined with the past, present, future and other dimensions. I felt as if I was reading three stories at once. Don't you love the book within a book thing that authors do?

Upon each endeavor, Hill leaves his audience mystified with another piece of the puzzle and questions riddling your heart.

It also doesn't help that Rodriguez's finale artwork will have you unconsciously veering off the expressway to work to the nearest Barnes & Noble or comic shop.

Yeahhhh, I swear I haven't done that. Much.

I'd bang out the full synopsis here, but then there'd be no mystery right?

Give your reading palette a new taste. Don't say I never fed you anything.

-riv-