“Locke & Key” Tattoos Don’t Make Saying Goodbye Easier

I read the final issues of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’ “Locke & Key” late last night. While I found it completely satisfying and fitting for the story and it’s characters, I’m not quite ready to let go. IDW Publishing put out a hell of a series from start to finish, and knowing that the final curtain has fallen is bittersweet even if I’m happy with how it all played out.

So… tattoos! I went searching for the best and brightest “Locke & Key” tattoos — and I suspect there’s more where this came from — so I could bid farewell to the series while also giving you some eye candy.

This is Redditor Stuireds’ ink, three sessions in. It’s based on Gabriel Rodriguez’ cover to “Locke & Key: Head Games” #2 featuring the youngest Locke son, Bode.

James “Biggie” Connolly got the actual head key from “Head Games” on his forearm.

He wrote the following on his blog:

Locke and Key is an amazing comic series written by Joe Hill and Illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez. Since reading it I’ve turned most of my friends onto it and they all love it as much as I do. When a friend of mine introduced it to a co-worker of his (also another tattooer) she loved it so much she asked me to tattoo this Head Key on her. This was so much fun, I love tattooing comic book imagery because I’m a giant nerd fanboy. We’re adding more to the leg from Locke and Key so look out for that later on.

DeviantArt user jigz-zaw posted this work in progress shot in 2009, but never added any updates. It features Kinsey Locke when she was attacked by Sam Lesser (also responsible for another attack on the Locke family). jigz-zaw planned to add Lesser to the image as well, and wrote the following to accompany the image.

I picked this picture because I thought it was a turning point to Kinsey. After her father is dead and moving to a new location and school, she tried to ‘become normal’. A girl who is normally looking like a rock star has to wear normal clothes and have a normal hairstyle. Only problem is that she didn’t recognize herself in the mirror and often screamed at it in fear.

She knew that she will always be looking out for Sam Lesser all her life, but didn’t want to be afraid of her own reflection.

This scene is where Sam Traveled across the USA to find the Locke family, and finds Kinsey Locke looking for her little brother, in the middle of the night.

The scene reminded me of my childhood more than you know and now I wanted it on my skin.

Claire Leach tattooed the Mending Key on her forearm. The tattoo was done by Andrea Ottlewski at Slave to the Needle in Ballard, WA.

Sarah again went the “Head Games” route and received this keyhole on the back of her neck, much like the one that appears when someone uses the Head Key.

Greg K. has the tattoo that set me off on today’s ink hunt. In “Locke & Key: Omega” #1, supporting character Scot Kavanaugh gets a new tattoo on his chest. I can’t find a shot of it online, but this is exactly what it looks like — only in real life.

That’s Greg (right) with writer Joe Hill (left).

Goodbye, “Locke & Key.” You’ll be missed, but definitely not forgotten.


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