The end of the Book Three, the climax of the ‘Animal Armies’ conflict, brings despair and a measure of hope in the grim landscape that Lemire has so vividly illustrated. With Jepperd leading the rescue attempt at the camp, there is one secret that is finally revealed. We finally find out the truth about Jepperd’s son – and the way Lemire tells it is shocking and stunning. I would not expect Lemire to hold back, and he doesn’t. There is so much misery and despair in Sweet Tooth that the humanity, when it surfaces, is heartbreaking. But the hope is the real killer here – because the further this odyssey goes, the realisation that these characters are heading towards an endless horizon of suffering is inescapable. But it is the most beautiful and sad comic book around.
This is all I am going to say – there is nothing finer currently on the shelves. One year on, it has an emotional pull that is unmatched by any other title. Look at those hybrid children and I dare you not to feel any twinge of sadness. Looking at the overall picture, I can see a storm brewing. I hope that Jepperd is riding it.
JUST BUY THE FIRST VOLUME AND BE PREPARED TO BE MOVED.
Jeff Lemire is doing something beautiful here people – please support his efforts.
Hoera!! Hoera!! (That is dutch for ‘hooray’! or ‘Hurrah’!) ‘Sweet Tooth’ has made it to a year – which, considering the recent news that both ‘Unknown Soldier’ and ‘Air’ have been cancelled, is something to still be grateful to Vertigo for. I don’t think the single issue sales for this title make happy reading, but the trade of volume 1 (aka ‘Out of the Woods’) did some good business on its release a few months back. Like so many other Veritgo titles, when they do not make money on the singles, they really cash in with the trades.
But enough of sales and figures – we are at a lull in proceedings with the story at this issue, with Dr. Singh committing his surmising, thoughts and feelings to tape, and so provides a ‘jumping on’ point to try and grab the attention of more prospective readers. So, if you have not succumbed to the charm and emotion of this brilliant post-apocalyptic tale, please go and buy issue 12 right now! You have no excuse. And buy the first trade while you are at it.
What Jeff Lemire (writer and artist) has constructed, as a narrative device in this issue, are panels devoid of any dialogue except for Singhs thoughts as text at the bottom of the panels. This allows Lemires wonky yet emotionally charged art to tell the tragic tale of Gus and the other animal-children hybrids, their fate inescapably entwined with that of the future of the human race.
The brutality of the situation is made more hard to take because of the innocence / kindness of Gus, to his fellow captives. You are not allowed to forget that beyond their sometimes grotesque / funny appearance, these are children, helpless, incarcerated and very much at the centre of this drama.
Issue 12 does not advance the story too much, but as a reference to where the story is right now, it does its job effectively. Does it work as a jumping on point? Yes Is there enough to keep established readers active? Yes.
Oh, by the way – it has enough to spare for a heart thumping revelation at the end….
SWEET TOOTH #12
Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art and cover by JEFF LEMIRE
In this stand-alone story, we take a peek into a day in the life of Gus as our favorite antlered boy finds moments of surprising tenderness in the grueling militia camp. Meanwhile, Dr. Singh recounts the events of the plague. The shocking revelations continue in this great jumping-on point to Vertigo’s Eisner-nominated buzz book!
On sale AUGUST 4 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US MATURE READERS
UNKNOWN SOLDIER #23
Written by JOSHUA DYSART
Art by ALBERTO PONTICELLI
Cover by DAVE JOHNSON
In the hands of the men who created his fractured psyche, Moses is ready to assume his role as a super soldier in service of a shadowy government agency. But on one condition: Bring back ostracized CIA agent in exile Jack Lee Howl. Get ready for secrets revealed, mysteries unlocked and old warriors reunited.
On sale AUGUST 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS
Another highly impressive, engrossing episode of Jeff Lemire’s post-apocalyptic opus. Here, he effortlessly interweaves the tales of Gus & Jepperd, as the reader gets a better understanding of the forces at work in this terrible world Lemire has conjured. There is nothing but pure misery and sadness running coursing through this issue – Jepperd hell-bent on self destruction, lamenting his lost love, Gus terrified, confused and alone – but the power of these emotions is compelling. There is a lot more of this tale to be told.
Maybe we are beginning to understand the bigger picture, maybe beginning to grasp what is driving / killing Jeppered. My perception of Singh changed somewhat during this issue. Maybe he is as helpless as Jepperd & Gus. Abbot, however, seems to be all about evil and power…
Nice Mad Max/ Akira tribute inside these marvelous pages as well. This title has not put a foot wrong, and as it heads into double figures, its power and intensity only increases. BUY THIS BOOK. IT WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE BETTER.
I think the first issue is out next month – pretty excited about this title….
On sale JULY 7
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Written by CHRIS ROBERSON
Art and cover by MICHAEL ALLRED
Unless zombie gravedigger Gwen Dylan eats a dead person’s brain once a month, she loses her memories. The trouble is, for the week following a feeding, she shares her head with the dead person’s final thoughts and has to complete any unfinished business they’ve left behind. In this case, it involves solving the murder of “Dead Fred.”
Meanwhile, Gwen’s friend Spot is finding it increasingly difficult to keep his secret life as a were-terrier from his coworkers…
Oh my god – I cannot wait for this – Sweet Tooth is now officially the TWLB no.1 comic!
SWEET TOOTH #11
On sale JULY 7
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art and cover by JEFF LEMIRE
In the most intense issue yet of Vertigo’s breakout hit, all of Jepperd’s secrets are finally revealed, as the cold-blooded killer recounts the most horrendous time of his life and the vicious events that made him the man he is today. Shocking and brutal, this issue is not to be missed!
Another startling, fantastic installment. Jepperd’s back story is slowly unravelling, with hints that his story is more tragic than previously thought. In the present, his attempts to kill the heartache are reaching desperate new lengths.
An aside – It was while looking at some of the panels in a fantastic fight sequence that I realised that Lemire draws characters with the same dishevelled scribbled lines as Quentin Blake
. I don’t know if you care, but that association just adds to the charm of Lemires work here.
Gus finally meets Dr Singh. I will not spoil it for you. just read the damn thing – it’s brilliant. The final page is shocking, startling and brilliant in it’s inventiveness. Is someone going to make a decent movie adaptation of this? It deserves it. A joy. As always.
There is something incredibly dark, something terribly bleak about this installment of Sweet Tooth. If we are going to get to a brighter day in this story, then this is the beginning of the necessary darkness.
Jepperd, we learn, is a much more complex, yet at the same time more basic, character than the man who betrayed Gus. It seems he did it all for love, but that love has ultimately turned him into a broken man. Where he goes from here is hard to predict (and thanks to Lemires exemplary plotting, there is literally no clues as to how his tale will end. I hope he finds redemption, I really hope he finds a way to assuage this blackness and despair).
Gus is in a scenario that is dire. Who knows what Dr Singh wants with him. It does not look good. The conditions are appalling, the one child who can articulate the desperate straits they are in seems to have come from a situation more dire than Gus. It is a horrible issue – the effects of a world decimated by plague are laid bare to the reader, across splash pages and tiny panels where the horror is compressed but not diluted. All love has gone – what remains is an absence of humanity, an abyss. Lemire chronicles the loss of a world and how its inhabitants react to that loss. It is a stunning achievement.