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The horror (comics)! The horror (comics)! #4

This week's edition of The Horror (Comics)! sees our intrepid Matt bringing in two trophies to display (2 for the price of 1- that's value!). So, we're looking at...

Locke and Key/Dying is Easy

Now you may be asking yourself, why would I be recommended a comic with the clear indication on the cover that it’s a mystery rather than a horror? Well one possibility is that Luke was right in his assessment of his horror knowledge and the other is....

The other is Dying is Easy is being written by Joe Hill and that means Locke and Key and that means the most engaging supernatural horror since IT.

Dying is Easy is the current ongoing comic series from Joe Hill and Martin Simmonds. It’s only at issue three in at the time of writing (Ed- think we're on 5 at time of this going online) and all signs are that this is going to be a murder mystery following comedian Syd “Shit-Talk” Homes who is being pegged for the death of a joke stealing rival. I’m including this series for a few reasons:

  • Joe Hill….that’s some high caliber writing and horror pedigree (more to follow)

  • Martin Simmonds illustrations style has the same kind of excellent gritty surrealness as Killadelphia.

  • Homes has a past that makes me think of Mr Aster's break up film (Ed- that's Midsommar rather than his family drama Hereditary).

  • Even if it’s not a horror, after three issues I want to know whodunnit and I’m gonna keep reading until I work it out or Shit-Talk talks his last shit (Ed- makes me think of Richie "Trashmouth" Tozier from IT).

It’s even more inappropriate for me to say anything else about Dying is Easy than it is when Ed and I spoil our way through our film discussions so I won’t say anything further on the subject...other than: if you’ve already read or seen Locke and Key then what I’ve just written is probably enough to peak your interest and if you haven’t encountered Locke and Key, and you’re here, on a horror website….It’s your next stop.

Locke and Key is a completed works so you can almost certainly get the collected volumes from your local comic book store.

It’s hard to describe Locke and Key in a way that doesn’t really spoil it, but like many a great horror it manages to combine magic, mystery and family bonds in a way that makes you empathise and root for the characters despite their circumstances being so fantastical. It’s a beautifully told coming of age story and I was gripped from the off. If you’ve never tried horror comics, this is really the place to begin because it’s so easy to engage with and constantly entertaining without ever dumbing down. It’s also scary without being sufficiently terrifying that you’ll not want to read again….unlike the last horror comic I’d like to talk about...

But more about that next time, dear reader, when we take a look at...


The takeaway from this is simple: support your local comic book store. Our own favourite Chaos City Comics now has an online store (Ed- which I've already sampled and will be bringing you more tasty morsels from in later weeks). These choice delicacies came courtesy of the wonderful illustrator Luke Ridge (you should check out his stuff).

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