CGC Registry

Under Locke & Key


Set Type: Locke & Key
Owner: NewEnglandGothic
Last Modified: 6/10/2011
Views: 879

Award Time Rank: 1
Award Time Score: 2450


Set Description

Wipe your feet on the mat and come in... Keyhouse is waiting.

I always wanted to build a run of new books, starting at #1, to put away and rediscover later on in perfect condition unlike my mauled childhood Copper Age comic books I had stored away. Comic books in the early 80's were like VHS tapes, things we would play over and over again until they fell apart. I remember wearing a net-like onion bag over my head, and went out climbing trees (buildings in my imagination) all that afternoon after reading Spectacular Spider-Man #71. Yes, ...an onion bag, like the way Peter Parker used his webbing to hide his identity in it because I got so involved in that comic, although I just probably looked like a kid wearing a red plastic onion sack. It was around 1983, when I started enjoying videotapes and games more, and my enjoyment for comics stopped around The Adventures of the Kool-Aid Man #1. I really got into movies and collected thousands of VHS tapes. Then in the late 90's, I was starting to enjoy the comic book genre movies from Hollywood and wandered into a comic shop for the first time in 2002 and started collecting raws (Route 666). But, I still wanted more from the hobby if I was gonna build an impressive run. Once, I discovered CGC in 2005, I knew I could do this.

After seeing the friendly Registry Set rivalry, between EvilAsh and Pitboss with their graded Walking Dead sets, I decided I wanted to start a graded set that will define me as a collector. During 2006-7, I was collecting Grimm Fairy Tales and pretty much had assembled a brilliant set. But, the rushed art, neverending spin-offs, increasing number of variants and lackluster stories was turning me off to it. I was desperate to find a worthy title that I would feel passionate about issue to issue. The first Locke & Key book I picked up was issue #2 and after skimming through it, I didn't get it and put it back on the shelf (still hard to believe that actually happened). I felt I missed something major with issue #1 and the Casper-like cover didn't appeal to me. When the book was picking up some heat in Modern Age Section at CGC, a couple weeks later, I decided to buy a 9.9 graded one to flip. Once the book arrived, there was a kind of "shining" with it, commanding me to read it. I went to the LCS that day and picked up spare #1-2's (#3 was coming out in a week). Once, I read them at work that night, I knew this book was gonna be my "new" focus. I even sold all my graded Grimm Fairy Tales books a couple weeks later. During that week, I received an email from an eBay seller that wanted to sell me a Locke & Key #1 in CGC 10 and everything kind of flew from there. Ironically, the #2 Locke & Key set holder (Cheryllynn) became one of my bestest friends through our very own "friendly rivalry" with our title and EvilAsh and Pitboss has/had graded Locke & Key sets of their own even.

It would be a disservice to Joe Hill to remind people he is actually Stephen King's son, but the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree as the elements of King's early work (The Shining to It) are there for all to see. Locke & Key tells the tale of the three Locke children who move into their father's childhood New England mansion, Keyhouse, after he is brutally murdered by a couple of disturbed teens on a rampage. It turns out, one of the teens was actually on a mission to free a girl trapped in a well, that the Locke father had imprisoned there twenty years before! Needless to say, despite having enough supernatural magic in it's halls to protect the Locke children, Keyhouse has a few skeletons in it's many closets too. So, the Lockes must race to uncover it's dark secrets, before they wind up it's casualties to a centuries-old demon. Joe Hill exudes a cool confidence with his characters in a story about children that isn't really for children. On top of that, co-creator and artist Gabriel Rodriguez can illustrate laborious and careful details of various character reactions and emotions in his unique line work that can add an element of creepy menace during the slightest shift of tone in the horror-fantasy environment Joe Hill writes. This has been a dream team of a collaboration. The first story arc, Welcome To Lovecraft, was a six-issue limited series, part of a metaseries of books, published by IDW Publishing. The first issue of Welcome To Lovecraft was released on February 20, 2008 with a paltry initial order of 7,560 copies and was sold out in a single day, requiring a second printing of 3,890 floppies on April 2nd to be done immediately. The second issue had an even weaker order of 6,122 issues, thus requiring a second printing also.

I added the graded second printings to the set, even though their interior art has a weathered almost brown-hued look for the majority of the books along with miscellaneous printing defects, while the original first printing interiors display deeper blacks and more vivid colors provided by Jay Fotos giving Rodriguez's line work a more three dimensional image. The graded Dynamic Forces "editions" don't interest me much either because they are just glorified third and fourth printings that came out about four months after #1's February release to cash in on the book's rising popularity, but I will be adding them. Even though they have nifty covers and better interior colors, they were more flimsy in construction compared to their IDW cardstock-cover counterparts and most were riddled with severe spinal stress due to shipping abuse. Even though, I have or had the second prints and DF editions graded, I feel they represent more publisher greed than a complete set. Despite what I add and don't, I'm not worried about the holes in my registry set, all that matters to me right now is what is the high quality of funny books from this title in my short box.

I have always considered Locke & Key a sleeping giant comic in Moderns. It had an explosive start to it's thirty-six "planned" issue run back in April of 2008, with good word of mouth that initially drove up the prices, only to crash with a stalled Disney picture deal. It recently showed new signs of growth with the announcement of a FOX TV pilot (with a series commitment deal), only to have that deal fall apart when FOX passed on it, causing the book to slide in value yet again. But, like a loyal husband, I stick with my title through thick and thin or for better or worse. I did originally start collecting this series for speculation, but after I read it, I knew it had what it took to be one of the best all-time comic series in the history of this format. Granted, it's nice to collect something with a little worth, but it's not a necessity when the writing is this good. I feel once the Locke & Key saga completes next year and an omnibus is released, collecting everything at once, more people will jump on board for this title. It has been downright excruciating for many to collect this sometime bi-monthly title to wait inbetween issues after something happened and alot jumped off by Head Games #3 because of Hill's novelist writing style of chapter to chapter. When it's complete it will be the "perfect" novel for many newcomers to enjoy with multiple readings. Sometimes, I wish I could be one of them too. It's going to be so much to take in at first.

Because most IDW books can easily grade CGC 9.8, I face an impossible task of building a registry set of 9.9 or better, to compete with others, who might assemble theirs in Signature Series and I'm not a big fan of yellow labels or upgrading. Once, I acquire a book, I tend to move on to the next one. I find it's the only way to maintain my graded focus, through all the variants. 98% of my books were bought outside of the CGC boards too, so it's been a struggle to find these, through a submission service or by myself, up here in New Hampshire. What you see here in my set, is someone who sacrificed collecting alot of other Modern titles graded, to maintain my own goals. Plus, not all IDW books are going to be mint. I feel alot of collectors are prejudiced against IDW book's high quality construction. I hear how all IDW books are Gem Mints all the time, when I showcase a new book in my collection. I'm here to set the record straight by putting a few extra books in some of my reverse gallery shots in my set. I hope by offering a little proof in pictures, I can dispell this "CGC Urban Legend", by showing how some different versions of an issue can squeak by and how some ignored IDW books can get severely damaged (Doctor Who Classics #2). All it takes is one cover scuff outside the embossed area or slight overhang to not be considered gem mint. Welcome to Lovecraft #4 had two separate releases of first prints within two weeks of each other. That's two opportunities, for the nine gem mints to be realized. I see this alot with this title. It's almost to the point of being released regionally in areas across the United states. The Western and South-Eastern part first, then the rest within a week. This was a highly speculated upon book series when it first came out, from a publisher of high quality cardstock material too, so you are going to get some great grades anyway.

I have severe OCD. If I would get a chip on my new car's hood, I would go into shock. I wouldn't even look at the spot of my car that got a ding. It's why I drive beaters, for better piece of mind. Originally, when I went out to buy VHS tapes, I would hunt for the perfect box. I can't even tell you how much time I wasted on looking for a perfect Mrs. Doubtfire box and I didn't even like that movie. Whether a ding, a brand stamp bleeding through or an corner edge that breaks color, I learned really fast to accept qualified flaws into the VHS collection. I spent over a decade in this frame of mind, which in turn was perfect practice for grading comics. I also liked the embossed Sony widescreen series of VHS boxes (Anaconda, Godzilla, Mask of Zorro, and As Good As It Gets), which are very similar to the Locke & Key covers. I also would look at Jen's (sexyghoul) collection of graded Crow books and be amazed how happy she was with her 9.4's. They always bothered me with their fingerprints, dented corners and spinal stress. I knew, I was not gonna be happy with anything less than perfect if I could only stare at it through a sealed plastic comic prison.

Is it possible that the things in your focus's comic plot might affect you in your very own real life. I didn't think so at first, but things have a way of just happening. Coincidence or not, like the oldest Locke child Tyler, I feel the guilt of having a hand in my own father's death. My father was at the final stage of his COPD illness and I got him sick with a disease I had. Even knowing he was going to die after being told by the doctors, he still forgave me. Accepting his fate, he told me what he expected of me for down the road. He got pneumonia soon after and died. Like Tyler, I wasn't ready for the amount of guilt I feel every day since his passing and the wake up call I got with losing a loved one that fast.

I can't believe I'm writing this intro. I remember reading mschmidt's for Sandman and oneasian's for Captain America (2005) in 2008, finding myself inspired to do something similar by building one of the best presented Registry Sets at CGC. It took a while, but I feel I have assembled a truly special collection of books. I have never been more into comic books, since I wore that onion bag over my head. Thank you to everyone who has helped me with their support through my three year old focus. I am eternally grateful. I can only hope someone in turn gets inspired from my very own Registry Set to build one with as much passion as I put into mine, so that the Registry can be used as a future learning tool for funny books. As I continue to collect into the graded Head Games, Crown Of Shadows, Keys To The Kingdom, Clockworks and Omega story arcs, I will collect all the variants that come with them too and the occasional Joe Hill written funny book that may come along in between.

This set is dedicated to my late father, Gerald(1944-2011). A beloved father who tried to get me in the hobby he loved as a kid with my first comic book Detective Comics #506, thirty years ago.


comic_best_presented Best Presented
Slot DescriptionThe Comics Registry IDComic GradeScore Updated
Locke & Key 1 0151286002 10.0 60 2/12/2010
Locke & Key 1 Dynamic Forces Edition 0174333010 9.8 40 12/19/2010
Locke & Key 1 Dynamic Forces Negative Edition 0944557045 9.8 40 2/12/2010
Locke & Key 1 Signed Edition 0981396002 9.8 34 6/17/2010
Locke & Key 1 Second Printing 0166054001 9.9 40 4/24/2010
Locke & Key 2 0151593006 9.9 40 2/12/2010
Locke & Key 2 Second Printing 0999579001 9.8 32 7/21/2010
Locke & Key 3 0152100013 10.0 60 2/12/2010
Locke & Key 3 Second Printing 0152893018 9.8 32 7/21/2010
Locke & Key 4 0152840003 10.0 60 5/2/2010
Locke & Key 5 0154908023 10.0 60 2/12/2010
Locke & Key 6 0154908028 10.0 60 2/12/2010
Locke & Key: Head Games 1 0156855013 10.0 60 2/12/2010
Locke & Key: Head Games 1 Jetpack Comics Edition 0948134003 9.9 50 2/12/2010
Locke & Key: Head Games 1 Signed Edition 0985555070 10.0 83 6/17/2010
Locke & Key: Head Games 1 Retailer Incentive Edition 0156855019 10.0 75 6/17/2010
Locke & Key: Head Games 2 0157190020 9.9 40 2/12/2010
Locke & Key: Head Games 2 Retailer Incentive Edition 0157190022 10.0 75 6/22/2010
Locke & Key: Head Games 3 0157727011 9.8 32 2/12/2010
Locke & Key: Head Games 3 Retailer Incentive Edition 0985555075 10.0 75 6/17/2010
Locke & Key: Head Games 4 0162873005 9.9 40 2/12/2010
Locke & Key: Head Games 4 Retailer Incentive Edition 0983239004 10.0 75 6/17/2010
Locke & Key: Head Games 5 0159611029 9.8 32 2/12/2010
Locke & Key: Head Games 6 0160448029 9.9 40 2/12/2010
Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft Special Edition 1 0162143030 10.0 60 2/12/2010
Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft Special Edition 1 Variant Cover 0162143028 9.9 50 6/17/2010
Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft, Legacy Edition 1 0170010005 9.8 32 1/29/2011
Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows 1 0163536008 10.0 60 2/12/2010
Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows 1 Retailer Incentive Edition 0163536010 10.0 75 6/17/2010
Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows 1 Jetpack Comics Edition 0999580003 10.0 75 2/12/2010
Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows 2 0164114027 9.9 40 2/18/2010
Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows 2 Retailer Incentive Edition 0164114030 9.9 50 6/17/2010
Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows 3 1003390001 9.9 40 8/17/2010
Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows 3 Retailer Incentive Edition 0165761004 9.8 40 8/17/2010
Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows 4 0166341021 9.8 32 8/17/2010
Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows 4 Retailer Incentive Edition 0166341023 9.8 40 8/17/2010
Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows 5 0167451015 9.8 32 8/17/2010
Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows 5 Retailer Incentive Edition 0167451017 9.9 50 8/17/2010
Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows 6 0169332017 10.0 60 8/21/2010
Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows 6 Retailer Incentive Edition 1003393005 9.8 40 10/16/2010
Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom 1 0178255028 10.0 60 6/10/2011
Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom 1 Signed Edition 0173661001 9.8 34 1/29/2011
Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom 2 0173872005 9.9 40 1/29/2011
Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom 2 Retailer Incentive Edition 0173872009 9.9 50 1/29/2011
Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom 3 0174567024 9.9 40 1/29/2011
Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom 3 Retailer Incentive Edition 0174567025 9.9 50 1/29/2011
Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom 4 0175602013 9.9 40 4/6/2011
Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom 5 0176777025 9.9 40 4/6/2011
Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom 5 Retailer Incentive Edition 0176777020 9.9 50 4/6/2011
Locke & Key: Free Comic Book Day Edition nn 0179053003 9.8 35 6/10/2011

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