Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tradio #19 - Sweet Tooth - Out of the Deep Woods

Welcome back, imaginary readers!  This week, we focus on a writer/artist that has been killing it with his new series (Animal Man and Frankenstein) that are part of the new 52 over at DC.  This title really got his work in more mainstream hands and ultimately lead to him getting the work he has today.  This week, we focus on writer/artist Jeff Lemire's first trade for Sweet Tooth entitled Out of the Deep Woods, published by DC comics under the Vertigo banner.
Sweet Tooth is an ongoing comic series that focuses on Gus.  Just your average nine year old boy with antlers and deer ears as he tries to survive in a post-apocalyptic America.  Through the course of the five issues collected here, we see what became of Gus's family and how he survives the dangers that await him in the world outside of the forest home that he grew up in.  A plague of some sort has wiped out most of humanity and since it happened, the only children that have been born are part animal.  What makes Gus unique is that he pre-dates the plague and thus does he hold the key to curing the disease or is he the original cause?  That question is not answered here, but we get to meet the mysterious and brooding Jeppard as he befriends Gus and offers to take him to the "Preserve"; a place where it is rumored that they protect hybrid children.  Is the Preserve a myth?  You have to read it for yourself.
Sweet Tooth is a great read.  Lemire does an outstanding job of letting his art tell the story as much as the words.  The themes are dark and world is dangerous and foreboding and his storytelling and art mesh to let these ideas seep through on every page.  You really connect with Gus and ultimately with Jeppard and see the world through their eyes.  Gus will make you want to cry over and over again as his life falls apart and he sees just where he can put his trust.  Not a light-hearted read but it is brisk if you don't really appreciate all that is going on on every page.  You can not go wrong with this book, but it will depress you if you have a heart and if you don't have a heart, you will before this first trade is over.

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