Joe Hill’s The Dollhouse Family – A Graphic Novel Review
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About The Dollhouse Family
The Dollhouse Family is written by M.R. Carey, pencilled by Peter Gross and Vince Locke, with colours by Cris Peter.
SYNOPSIS: Alice loves to talk to her dolls, and her dolls and dollhouse love to talk back.
When Alice is six, she is given a beautiful antique dollhouse. When things in her life get scary, Alice turns to her dolls and dollhouse for comfort. One day, they invite her to come play inside with them. As Alice’s life is turned upside down in the “big” world, she is always welcomed home to the little world inside the dollhouse; the house will even grant her a wish if she agrees to live with them! Follow Alice through the door of the dollhouse and into the demon’s den!
The Dollhouse Family is part of Joe Hill’s Hill House which Published by DC Black Label.
It will be available as a Graphic Novel on October 13th, 2020.
The Dollhouse Family Review
Quite a bit different than I initially expected, The Dollhouse Family is a deep dive into a few genres of horror. Family curses, of sorts, spanning centuries, as well as cosmic horror entities corrupting the mortals it comes into contact with, and even chilling haunted house vibes. All of this sounds fairly disjointed. How could any of this make sense all tied together? But it does, and it is fascinating.
Of all of the Hill House stories so far, I think Alice may be my favorite character. From the time she is introduced as a young child, you feel her unwavering strength. The bravery follows her throughout her life – as an older child, as a college student, and later in life as a fully grown adult and mother. She’s fiercely loyal to those she loves, and most of all, she stands by her own moral compass, despite temptations repeatedly presented to her. It evokes a sense of pride in the character and makes her very likeable.
Beyond Alice, the plot handles a lot of characters and storylines very well, even though it would be extremely easy to lose a reader by jumping between characters, timelines, and locations so much. On top of that, the horror elements that are blended together – cosmic horror, haunted items, family curses, and more – are also handled extremely well. It sounds like something that could get muddled easily, but between the written story and visual storytelling, everything stays clear and audiences are able to keep up very easily.
A lot of the graceful handling of all of these stories and themes is easily credited to the artwork. Characters are distinct. Time periods and settings are very clear, through colors and illustrations. The lettering helps clarify speakers through different uses and speech bubbles. The team really worked beautifully together to create something truly grand in scale.
The Dollhouse Family is very fitting to the Hill House brand – it combines something that feels like basic horror, with other story elements that are larger than life to create something new and exciting. Even with everything I’ve said about the story, there are so many complexities to it still that will keep you on your toes as a reader.
Engage with the Creators
M.R. Carey – Twitter
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