Sweet Tooth #1
So Jeff Lemire is a rising star. Essex County is nothing short of Brilliant while the Nobody is solid and entertaining, but hardly worth calling home for.
Of course, when a comic talent is making waves, the big two come a knocking. I assume Jeff turned down a gig on Strange Tales and went for DC's house of the weird and unusual, where he is a natural fit.
There are two things that impress me about this book. First, with all of his previous work being graphic novels, I was impressed with Lemire's ability to write a serial work here. He has a firm grasp of how to pack enough into 28-32 pages to make it worthwhile for reading and leaves us wanting more with a fairly impressive cliffhanger. This was my biggest concern going into this. I was afraid I was going to read a needlessly chopped up graphic novel, but it is clear that Lemire understands the strengths of the format and is fearlessly going to use them.
Secondly, Lemire's other works have been filled with a sense of Isolation. Picking first his home of Essex County for the eponymous trilogy and then the midwest of the US for his reimagining of Wells' Invisible man, he has made his job easy. Here, we again have a secluded local for the tale and I was fearful of the color. The previous books with their lack of color or monochromatic coloring added to the sense that these stories were happening somewhere removed from Suburbia or the hectic world of a Metropolis. This was the world of Fargo and 30 Days of Night. It added to the specialness of the story, would color detract from this? No, the color does not detract, because Lemire is a skillfull story teller who does not merely rely on art gimmicks to get his point across. Here he sets up what seems to be an apocalyptic scenario, or it might all be a lie. Who knows? Well, the reader does by the end.
Solid, brilliant story telling, with quirky art. Seems like this book was written just for me. Glad most of the rest of you liked it as well.