Locke & Key Panel @ SDCC 2019

Joe Hill and Gabe Rodriguez: Locke & Key Spectacular

Have you ever heard of Locke & Key? Well, if you haven’t I can’t recommend the graphic novel series enough. It’s the story of a family who is dealing with death and moves to their ancestral home in New England. This is no ordinary house – Keyhouse has some serious history and mythology, the most important of which is that their ancestors created a set of magical keys that each have special powers. Of course, in the wrong hands they can be used for great evil. Different members of the family stumble upon the keys and have to figure out how to stop an evil coming back to haunt their family. This is a horror comic that feels directly out of one of H.P. Lovecraft’s short stories. If you like dark magic and mythology then this one is for you.


The Locke & Key series ran from 2008 – 2013 and spans six volumes. It was a very tight series where everything felt like it wrapped up perfectly in a bow. Since it’s completion there have been numerous attempts and failures to turn it into a TV show, the most notable was Hulu. After Hulu failed to bring Locke & Key to the screen, Netflix decided to pick it up. Hill and Rodriguez could not say exactly when it would release but Hill revealed that, “The show is wrapped, all 10 episodes have been shot. I’ve seen the first eight episodes and it’s like TV crack.” It turns out that it was a blessing that Hulu dropped the show because Netflix is going to do this one right. The most exciting announcement about Netflix’s Locke & Key adaptation is that Meredith Averill, the executive producer and writer behind the “Bent Neck Lady” episode from The Haunting of Hill House is the showrunner and executive producer. Considering that the “Bent Neck Lady” episode was probably one of the best horror episodes to ever hit Netflix, I am beyond excited to see how Averill will use that experience to make Locke & Key scary.


Talking about how happy he is with the direction of the show, Hill said, “The best thing that could’ve happened is Hulu not going through with the show. Every time we’ve gone back to the drawing board the show has become more itself, more tapped into the spirit of what’s going on in the comics.” Of course, for those of us who have read the comics, we can expect that there are gonna be some changes in the show. I’m sure there will be some we like and others we don’t, but I know I like to be surprised when watching adaptations. Speaking on the show’s similarity to the comics, Hill said, “We talked about a couple of changes, and I suggested a few to keep readers of the comic off balance. . . It’s true to the spirit of the story, true to the spirit of the characters. I don’t always want everyone who read the comics to always think they’re going to know what’s going to happen.” After hearing all this talk about the Netflix series and seeing the popularity of Umbrella Academy, I am confident this is going to be a hit.

IMG_1384 2

But that’s not all that Hill and Rodriguez talked about. They also announced some new comics coming out in the future that will revisit Keyhouse in new ways. To set the stage for a return to Keyhouse, they created a new one-shot comic, called “Nailed It!” They described how this comic resurrects Keyhouse and comes back to some of the characters we know and love after several years have passed. Hill also revealed that they are planning a “World War Key” storyline that explores the how the magical keys were used in different wars throughout American history. Explaining his desire to write this kind of story, Hill said, “It’d be about the idea that the past is never gone. . . and I think a lot of ghost stories are about ways the past keep bleeding through to the present.” I, for one, am looking forward to see how Hill expands the key mythology and I can already imagine some really interesting ways that they could have been used for good or evil throughout American history.


Another big thing that Hill revealed is that he is working on a brand new comic at IDW, S.T. Homes, the Insulting Detective, in. . . Dying is Easy! Hill discussed how the S.T. stands for “shit talking” and that it really started as a one-off story for readers of a newsletter  but then morphed into something more. The comic will be an action-packed detective story, and, judging by the name, have some humor elements too. He is working on the book with artist Martin Simmonds (Death Sentence).

IMG_1392 2

Last but not least, Hill and Rodriguez were kind enough to answer fan questions and my favorite was, “If you could have one of the keys in real life, which one would you chose and why?” Rodriguez was the first to answer, ” I would choose the anywhere key because it would save me the 16 hour flight whenever I wanted to hangout with these guys (Joe Hill and editor Chris Ryall).” Hill agreed that this would also be his top choice.


So, if you could choose one of the magical keys below, which would you choose and why? We’d love to hear your answers in the comments!

Known Keys

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: