Jeff Lemire, Xeric Award winning comic creator, became a comic media sensation with his highly creative and stylistic original graphic novel series Tales of Essex County. I really loved the work and was excited to see that he was getting his own comic through Vertigo - a perfect fit for his dark style that explores raw human emotion.
I loved Jeff Lemire's Tales of Essex County
series. His style was so refreshing and different and his storytelling was top notch. So when I heard about his latest project, an ongoing series through Vertigo, I was excited. When the first issued landed in my mailbox I was greeted by a half deer half boy on the cover and the title "Sweet Tooth" above. I was intrigued.
What drew me in with Tales of Essex, his stylized sketchy art, didn't quite draw me in this time. I don't know if it was the coloring or if Lemire had to rush things, but in both issues, much of the artwork lost a lot of its appeal to me. It felt like the coloring may have had something to do with it, but then again, Lemire's work would seem to be difficult to color in on most days. The way he worked in Essex brought so much feeling and emotion, it felt like those black and white animated films that had so much feeling in them. This felt a little washed out.
The storyline, and Lemire's telling of the plight of this lonely child, was what captivated me though. Lemire has really come into his own in terms of crafting a well told story. He dealt a lot on the subject of loneliness in his other works, and those ideas came through well here also. You really felt for this unusual boy and his life and death circumstance.
Sweet Tooth #2Copyright Vertigo/DC Comics
As the story unfolds, we see more of the landscape and what has happened to the world. The boy, Gus, is a hybrid and one of the few people impervious to a killing virus that has ravaged the world. His whole life has been spent in isolation, his only companion an overprotective father who has frightened him into staying put as leaving would lead him into the hands of hunters and killers looking for hybrids like himself. His whole world changes upon the discovery of a candy bar and a sweetness that he has never known before, but the sweetness leads to a bitter and dangerous journey that may be his only way to a life of safety.
As a whole, Sweet Tooth held me and kept me going with its story. There were times and certain panels that showed his great style, but overall, it was a bit of a letdown. The funny thing is, I'd still gladly recommend this series, the story to me was that good. It was a very different take on the post apocalyptic theme and I look forward to where this series is going.