GRAPHIC CONTENT: PICK OF THE WEEK – ‘Sweet Tooth’ Issue #21

It may be my bias toward pretty much anything Vertigo puts out combined with my love for a fellow Canadian, Jeff Lemire, but I am obsessed with Sweet Tooth. For those who have not been following this gem of a book, quite simply, you should be. This series is consistently beautiful month after month, and I can hardly wait to see what little antler boy is getting up to. Read on for the skinny…

Writen by: Jeff Lemire
Art by: Jeff Lemire
Publisher: Vertigo

“Gus reluctantly joins Jepperd on a hunt for the missing girls, but the tension between the two continues to grow. Meanwhile, Singh and Johnny come face to face with a deadly new threat, and Lucy and the girls meet Walter Fish, an enigmatic survivor who may have more to offer than meets the eye. Don’t miss snowmobile gangs, yetis and more as the new story arc “Endangered Species” kicks off with a bang!”

The story is set in a rural post-apocalyptic America, though the cause of the day of reckoning is relatively unknown. What is important is that, resulting from the apocalypse there are some human/animal hybrids who have high prices on their heads. It mainly follows a young boy, Gus, who has antlers, was brought up in the on a remote farm, and loves chocolate (hence the name, Sweet Tooth). Some more hybrids are found along the way and a hard-ass human, Jepperd, is trying to keep them safe. What makes this book stand out however is the absolute creative control that Lemire gets across.

It seems that when one person both writes and pencils a comic, it turns out pretty damn well (though there are many exceptions). Lemire knows what’s in his mind, and knows how to put it on the page. Some of the panels throughout the series are so magnificent it can be hard not to put the book down in a moment of “man, this guy really get’s it”. The drawing is sketchy and lovely at the same time, and the writing is minimal yet potent. Lemire definitely knows how to communicate through his art.

This issue is the second chapter of the newest arc, “Endangered Species”. Gus and Jepperd are wandering in the snow-covered forest in search of their friends, who have found a new friend of their own. Based on the way the last issue ended, with a giant bear chasing Gus, something tells me this is going to be the most intense arc yet.

I plugged this in the weekly previews, but again, if you have not read Lemire before, I strongly suggest you pick up Essex County. This graphic novel was a finalist for CBC’s Best Canadian Read, and it is an incredible story about living in rural Canada. Jeff Lemire is one of the best storytellers in the business, and both Sweet Tooth and Essex County are proof of his incredible ability to draw us in to a world with truly lovable characters.

“SWEET TOOTH” Issue #21 Drops Wednesday, May 4th From Vertigo Comics! (MSRP – $2.99)