Thursday, November 19, 2009

USA TODAY Calls SWEET TOOTH "Spellbinding and Offbeat"!

'Sweet Tooth' like Mad Max with antlers

Cover to issue #4 of Jeff Lemire's Sweet Tooth, available in December from Vertigo.
Vertigo/DC Comics

Vertigo/DC Comics

Cover from issue #2 of Sweet Tooth available from Vertigo/DC Comics

Vertigo/DC Comics

Vertigo/DC Comics

What if a post-pandemic world devolved into a population of human/animal hybrid children being hunted by paranoid humans? That's the question Jeff Lemire proposes to readers in his new spellbinding and offbeat Vertigo series, Sweet Tooth.

Lemire is the critically acclaimed author/artist of the Essex County graphic novel trilogy, a devastatingly beautiful series of tales that led readers through the intertwined lives of characters in rural Canada. Essex was a story that highlighted the human experience from the magic in a child's imagination to the sorrowful regrets of old men.

So, how did the writer-illustrator go from quiet domestic drama to a story about the survival of human-animal hybrid children during the end of the world? Look no further than Dr. Moreau, Kamandi and Mad Max.

"The idea came when I was working on my recent Vertigo series called The Nobody— a reinterpretation of H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man," Lemire explains. "That involvement with Wells got me thinking about, and subsequently reading again, The Island of Dr. Moreau. I love the idea of these half-human/half-animals running around."

So much so, in fact, that Lemire had actually pitched the idea of doing a reinterpretation of Jack Kirby's Kamandi, the classic series recently redone by Dave Gibbons and Ryan Sook for DC Comics' Wednesday Comics. Like Kamandi, Sweet Tooth also follows the adventures of a lost boy, Gus, through a world devastated by a single, calamitous event. One key difference between the two series, however — Gus is an 11-year-old boy with deer antlers growing from his head.

The story of Sweet Tooth opens with Gus being protected and sealed off from the world by his father in a desolate woodland cabin. If he ventures out in the world, the boy is told, he'll be hunted and killed by men. Due to circumstances beyond his control, he finds himself no longer able to remain hidden away in the woods. A grizzled old brawler named Jepperd promises to keep Gus safe and take him to a place where he will be accepted and protected for the rest of his life. So begins the adventure.

"I'm a huge fan of post-apocalyptic stories —Mad Max and so on. Sweet Tooth is my version of a post-apocalyptic tale. It's a surreal fairy tale for adults. The series tries to solve the mystery of why the few children who are being born after this worldwide pandemic are all human/animal hybrids."

Expect some major plot twists along the way, specifically involving Jepperd's real intentions and the way Gus begins to develop as more of an adult character. "We'll see some big-time developments involving Jepperd. Readers will see how his motives are questionable, to say the least. He's going to play a huge part in the outcome of the story."

The main character of Gus also changes in significant ways. "He goes from being an innocent to being thrust into a violent world and needing to learn to survive."

The first five-issue story arc for Sweet Tooth will come to an end in January, with the second arc launching in February 2010. Lemire has the story plotted well into the future, though. "Right now, I have it planned out to be 20 to 30 issues, but it could go even further depending on the response it gets."

Given today's headlines concerning swine flu and other potential pandemics, Lemire's Sweet Tooth is certainly well-suited to capture the attention of a much larger audience. If the emotionally charged writing and subtle-yet-powerful art displayed in this first story arc are any indicator of what's to come, Lemire might just find himself creating Sweet Tooth books for a long, long time.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Written by Jeff Lemire; Art and cover by Jeff Lemire

"The new 'must-read' book." – Geoff Johns

"Like a Coen brothers road trip drama… a fantastic post-apocalyptic comic." – AM New York

"In Captivity" part 1! A new storyline begins for one of the most talked about new series. After the twisted conclusion to the previous issue, take a look back at the first days of the apocalypse and the lengths to which Jeppard is forced to go in order to survive. Plus, discover more details about the disturbing fate of the young hybrid boy Gus.

On Sale February 3, 2010

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Vertigo's latest keeps on going strong.
by Jesse Schedeen

November 4, 2009 - On a surface level, Jeff Lemire's Sweet Tooth seems to borrow from numerous sources. The basic concept of a young boy and his grizzled protector crossing a post-apocalyptic wasteland evokes images of Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Comics like The Walking Dead and Y: The Last Man also deal with similar subject matter. But the difference lies all in the execution. No matter how many times we might have seen the post-apocalyptic tale in comics, Lemire makes it seem fresh again.

The story might have moved a little slowly in the first two issues, but now that Gus and Jepperd are out on the road the pace picks up a bit. Lemire devotes some time to building on Gus' character this month, proving again that he's more than a simple country hick with no practical knowledge of the world. One positive quality this series shares with The Road is the slowly building sense of tension. Gus and Jepperd spend most of the issue alone, but it's difficult not to feel a growing sense of foreboding with each passing page. Lemire has established this world as a dark, scary place, and the reader is now left to wait and wonder when tragedy will strike again for Gus. It's tough to know whether to even accept Jepperd as a companion for Gus or just one more threat to confront. A powerful and haunting dream sequence certainly casts doubt on Jepperd's motivations and Gus' safety.

More than anything, though, it's the fusion of Lemire's art and writing that make this series function so smoothly and elegantly. The best writers and artists may achieve that long-sought creative synergy, but it's hard to top a creator who can do both and do them well. Lemire knows his craft well. There's never a case where the storytelling falters or Lemire's intentions become cloudy. Lemire is skilled at building mood and tension in his scenes, be they set in a barren room or in the tortured landscape of Gus' dreams. It's not the most detailed book in the Vertigo lineup, but I'd go so far as to say that Sweet Tooth is the best-looking one.

Vertigo has launched numerous books in 2009. Their track record with these new releases is very impressive. But as much as I'm drawn in by complex, winding projects like The Unwritten, the captivating, elegantly sparse world of Sweet Tooth represents one of Vertigo's finest new books in years.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


By Pamela Mullin

Hunters, cultists, mutants and shantytown pimps all want a piece of Gus and all that stands between them, is Jepperd. As the little boy with antlers heads out into what’s left of the world, he’ll find out that no one is quite what they seem. Or are they? Jeff Lemire continues to amaze in SWEET TOOTH issue #3.

SWTO Cv3.indd