Back in Black

Man, it feels good to be back in the key business. The last three months I’ve been behind the scenes sculpting and working on cool projects I can’t talk about yet. To answer one question I’ve heard a few times this week – Why’d you pull the Animal and Undertree Keys off the site? – let’s just say I’m squirreling them away for later this winter. (Pun intended.) Undertree and Animal will go back up when they’re ready to ship.Meanwhile: - The Whispering Iron and Legacy Edition Omega Key, the key to Black Door, go live today. I’m excited about both but have to admit to a soft spot for the Omega. I’d been planning to release it timed to the last arc, but couldn’t resist. Hope people dig it as much as I do. - Stay tuned for cool signing news on the next two keys. - You know what? Don’t stay tuned at all: Best-selling writer Joe Hill is autographing one key, obscenely-talented Gabriel Rodriguez is autographing the other. Really psyched the guys are willing to take the time out of their crazy, award-winning schedules. But what keys are they signing? Well, I guess you will have to wait for that. - I have plans for December. Big plans. Deluxe plans. More later. Hope everyone’s well and hope you had a great Halloween. If you notice some of the e-mail now is being answered by Kathryn, that’s my wife. Skelton Crew Jr. is almost ready to start answering phones and if the studio keeps growing like this, he’ll have to. Israel
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And Now For Something Slightly Different

Hope everyone’s sliding smoothly into fall. I wanted to share a little news and a pic.- The Whispering Iron will debut online at the end of the month, alongside the long-awaited Undertree Key. The Whispering Iron is featured in the back of Clockworks 1 on the last page and, as a sculptor, too cool to ignore. This was the issue I’ve been waiting for —  to finally see the Black Door in all its creepiness. As always, Joe and Gabe knocked it out of the park. - A prototype of the Chain Key is below. It’s a little under three feet long and a few pounds. I’d love to hear if there’s any interest in a piece this large. On that note, still pricing out the Giant Key. Trying to get the cost somewhere under “astronomical” is proving to be a challenge. - I’ll have word next month on a cool signing timed around Halloween with the pre-order key, for now, under wraps. October should also see the Animal Key, followed by the Angel Key in November. - If you’re curious for a little more Skelton Crew back story, Jill “Nerdy Bird” Pantozzi had a nice piece in Newsarama last week. Larry Fire’s the Fire Wire also did a write-up –  thanks to both for the kind words. I’m hearing the same MTV rumors about the TV series that you are. Man, wouldn’t that be amazing? That surely would end my 20 year MTV hiatus. Israel
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San Diego Goodness

Couldn’t make it to Comic Con? As it turns out, I couldn’t either. Instead of catching my flight I was in the ER with my first kidney stone yesterday. Pretty awful, but I did get a get-well-soon call from Walt Simonson, a great consolation prize. And speaking of that, two consolation prizes for those of you who also are not in sunny San Diego this weekend:- The Giant Key prototype is below. (Seen here on G4 today with Blair Butler.) It took a crazy amount of work and, like the Ghost Door, wouldn’t have been possible without Mike “Germazing” St. Germain and Peter “Laser Eye” Gill. We’re still working up the final numbers on cost, hope to have details in late August. It’ll definitely be on a made-to-order basis. (Shipping alone from Maine to California was $160.)- Starting Monday, we’re going to try something new, a sort of post-order window: Orders placed for the new comic con exclusive IDW Key before Aug. 8 will receive a tag signed by two of the busiest – and nicest – guys in comics, IDW CEO Ted Adams and IDW Chief Creative Officer Chris Ryall. Meanwhile, in other key business, the Undertree Key will be coming in late August, followed by the Animal Key in September. Really appreciated all the support and have a great rest of the summer. Here's looking forward to NYCC, where, fittingly, the Mending Key might be the con exclusive. I'll throw up a prototype when it's finished. And, of course, huge congrats to Joe for taking home the Eisner for Best Writer and to IDW who raked in five Eisners overall. Well deserved. Wish I could have been there to toast you.Israel
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Studio Locke Down

Sorry it’s been so long between updates. We’ve been crazy busy trying to get sculpts done for San Diego. I’ll be at SDCC and bringing with me a limited edition con exclusive, the IDW Key. I’ve wanted to tackle it since seeing the key in the comic included with IDW: The First 10 Years. I’ve also got two versions of the Hercules Key, the Undertree Key and the Animal Key in different stages of production, all due out within the next couple of months. (The Hercules Key, formerly known as the Beast Key, won the fan choice vote back in February.) Because a lot of fans asked, I’m also releasing a Legacy Edition Head Key this month, plated in antique rose gold. Legacy edition runs aren’t limited or numbered and going forward, some keys will get limited edition variants and legacy runs, some won’t. I hope to run into a bunch of you at SDCC – I’ll be the one with the shaved head and the black t-shirt, I swear, you won’t miss me . . . I’ll also have a few goodies at the IDW booth in addition to the con exclusive key, so please stop by and check them out. Thanks, too, to everyone who’s offered well wishes and sleep advice for the baby. We were able to hit the snooze alarm this morning, twice, for the first time since he was born – that has to be a good sign. Israel
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1 of 1

We’ve had our hands full over here at the studio – turns out, it doesn’t matter how many warnings you get about the impending sleepless nights, it’s not quite real until it’s here. Although our little rock star is keeping us up all night, he's pretty darn amazing. We will start taking orders for the Shadow Key in a few weeks, and it really looks great. I think people are going to dig this one, and it may be my new favorite key. That may soon be trumped, though, by the Beast Key, which won the Fan Choice vote. Gabe’s design on this key rocks, and it’s currently underway and tentatively set for April. I appreciated all the votes, and the interest in a life-size Giant Key. More to come on the latter. Thanks for all the well wishes for the baby. Feedback is always welcome, as is any tip on convincing a two-week-old that he ought to hit the hay before midnight.Israel
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Updates, News & Fan Choice

Hope everyone had a great holiday, up to and including Groundhog Day and Super Bowl Sunday. Many thanks to those who pre-ordered the Anywhere Key. We received the signed tags from Gabe last week – the man has a very cool autograph, if we do say – and those keys started shipping Friday in the order that pre-orders were placed. We hope to see the last keys off on Wednesday.

That’s the update, which leads to a bit of news: We’ll be marking keys temporarily sold out and taking a little bit of downtime over the next few weeks as we welcome Skelton Crew junior. As soon as everyone is settled (and sleeping) we’ll open sales back up with the kick-off of the new Legacy Edition Shadow Key. That’s still tentatively set for the end of the month; we’ll drop a quick note when it’s ready. That’s the news, which leads to opinions, but not ours. We want to hear from you. I’d like to make the next key a fan choice between the Beast Key and the Mending Key. (Beast is the sword-like key on the cover of February, Mending opens the healing medicine cabinet.) Honestly, I can’t wait to tackle both of them, and I’m sure I will, but I’d love to hear what you’d like, so please, drop me an e-mail by Feb. 14. Majority wins.

I’m also interested in gauging interest in a very limited, made to order life-size Giant Key.  You could probably guess that it wouldn’t be inexpensive, but it would be pretty cool.

Have a great few weeks. I think mine will be a happy blur. Israel
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Because you asked for it.

Man, I ate too much.

I know it may have felt like a long delay to some but I’m happy to say that we plan to open the pre-order window for the Anywhere Key in the next 10 days. It’ll stay open for two weeks, with Locke & Key’s own amazing Gabriel Rodriguez autographing all of the pre-order tags. With transit time to Chile and back, we can’t guarantee a Christmas delivery, but we’ll get them out the door as soon as possible.

Speaking of transit time, please check out our FAQ page for information about international shipping and whether Gabe can sign any other keys while he’s at it. (OK, maybe we’ll just head off the latter right here: He’s a busy guy, so unfortunately, no.) And for a full reveal of how truly nerdy I am, check out this kind piece by the Bangor Daily News’ Emily Burnham. Yes, I really did try making Wolverine’s claws out of blueberry rakes as a kid.

But, that’s not all.

On this Black Friday eve, we also wanted to let you know some news we’ve been sitting on for a bit:

The Ghost Key is back. Sort of.

In December we’ll also debut the new Legacy Edition Ghost Key, an updated sculpt with hollowed eyes and that same antique silver finish. Ever since we secured the license this summer, a lot of fans have contacted us disappointed that they haven’t been able to find the sold out San Diego Comic Con exclusive Ghost Key. We hope this new version satisfies them without stepping on the toes of those fortunate 500. It’s in a long velvet bag and won’t be numbered, further setting it apart from the SDCC key. Pre-orders for it start the same day as the Anywhere. We’ll drop a very quick note the day before they go live online.

I know today I’m thankful for friends, family and everyone who’s been so supportive. Now, to fall asleep watching the Bond marathon on Syfy.

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Thanks for a great show

We had a great time at NYCC this weekend, and thanks to all who stopped by Artist’s Alley (or who worked extra hard to find us.) I’ve posted a few pictures below: Signing at the IDW booth with the talented Gabriel Rodriguez, all the way up from Chile, quick shots with G4's Blair Butler and MTV Splash Page’s Jill “Nerdybird” Pantozzi (both amazing ladies) and my pal Dan using a Head Key to unlock legos at The Art of the Brick booth. I also had fun talking props with the guys from Cultural Compulsive Disorder.Those who stopped by got a sneak peek at the Anywhere Key, which I’ve now posted in the Shop section of the website. It’s coming next month. They also got a preview of one of my new favorites, the Shadow Key, which should debut near Christmas – photos of it soon.We’re getting lots of questions about more Ghost Keys (understandable, because we just saw one go for $145 on eBay) and don’t have any plans future plans for it right now, but I’m happy to keep you all posted. Speaking of keys selling out ... we had a great key weekend and we’re down to about 60 Head Keys. Thanks again to everyone who’s ordered. Really hope everyone digs them as much as I dig building them. I got my own sneak peek of upcoming keys courtesy of Gabe and Joe. Two words: Friggin' awesome. ‘Til next month, Israel
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NYCC Update

Sorry for the late news, but I wanted to share that there won’t be a New York Comic Con exclusive next week. It was going to be the much-anticipated Anywhere Key. Unfortunately, it took longer than expected to hammer out all the fine details of this key, and to do it right, it’s taken a little more time. We’re hoping now to debut it in early November online and I’ll drop another note when details have firmed up. To lessen any letdown, does it help to know a certain amazing Chilean artist will be autographing some of the tags? More details to come on that, too. I’ll still be at NYCC next week in Artist’s Alley with any remaining Head and Echo Keys (though I will be surprised if either of them last the whole show.) I’ll also have some of my other gallery pieces on display, hopefully a sample of the Anywhere and maybe the prototype of the fifth key, debuting around Christmas, which could come in handy in dark places ... Please swing by, say hi and give me your ideas on what “Locke & Key” goodness Skelton Crew Studio ought to be working on in 2011. Thanks again to everyone who’s dropped a line and ordered. Glad to hear you like them. I can’t wait to continue to add to your – and my – collection.Israel
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Key Notes

I want to start by saying a huge thanks to everyone who dropped a kind word after our license news earlier this month. I've had a chance to catch up on a bunch of blogs and comic site write-ups and it's much appreciated. Speaking of kind words ... • Skelton Crew Studio and the new keys were on G4's “Attack of the Show’s” Fresh Ink segment tonight with Blair Butler. Very cool, and thanks, Blair. • Have you had a chance to check out the "Locke & Key" Legacy Edition yet? It’s only a buck, so run don't walk. It’s a reprint of “L&K” #1 with several pages of Joe Hill catching the reader up on what they’ve missed in the months since, all the while standing in front of the Ghost Door in his office. (Great pics by Maine’s own Shane Leonard, by the way.) My own shout-outs to Mike “Germazing” St. Germain and Peter “Laser Eye” Gill for helping me bring that piece to life. • Pre-orders are going great, thanks to everyone who's gotten an order in already. The window to place an order and have Joe autograph the key tag closes at midnight tonight (Sept. 2.) As soon as we get the tags back from Joe, we'll bag, tag and ship. We're shooting to have the keys out the door mid-September. I’ve gotten the Echo Key back from the caster and I think fans are really going to like it (new pics are under Shop.) See you at BangPop! if you're there Sept. 19 and NYCC Oct. 8-10. Hope to announce the NYCC exclusive key in three weeks.Oh, and yeah - FOX just picked up this phenomenal book for a TV series. How *!^$!@! cool is that? It couldn’t happen to a nicer group of guys (Joe, Gabe, Jay, Chris and the whole team at IDW.) Congratulations, fellas. Israel
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