Jacked, looping, dirty, messy lines seem to overwhelm the page. There is a marked difference between the stylized forms of the characters, and the hyper realistic shadow denizens that haunt them. Moreover, the level of detail on these pages projects a world that seems real.
Many of the character interactions were incredibly human. The interaction of the ghostly Bode and his mom was particularly poignant and redeeming. The story itself is well explained yet simple, and as such relies heavily on the character interactions to get by. While at times it stutters, I give it credit for attempting to be character driven in the heavily plot-driven arena that is cosmic horror.
The whole book felt a little too bright, and especially so when you factor in most of it happens at night or underground. There was a real chance to distinguish the shadow and light worlds by really accentuating the differences between bright panels and dark, but the book misses, even making the shadows too bright. The lights seem simply splashed onto the page, creating no sense of depth. The pages often get cluttered with detail that doesn't serve the story or enhance the ambiance. While it is nice to see this level of detail in a book, like wasabi, it must be using sparingly for the optimal effect.
The book’s attempts at humor clash heavily with the dark atmosphere it is attempting to project, and what is left is a jarring experience where we are not sure quite how to feel about what is going on.
If you have come this far with the Locke and Key series, now is not the place to stop. If you are new to the story, this isn't the best place to jump in, and unless you are a fan of the original Locke and Key series, you might find this book lacks oomph.
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