Saturday, July 6, 2013

Sweet Tooth Vol. 6: Wild Game (2013) - Jeff Lemire

Sweet Tooth Vol. 6: Wild Game (2013) - Jeff Lemire
Collecting Sweet Tooth #33-40
Trade paperback, 200 pages
ISBN 9781401240295
Retail price: $16.99
Amazon price: $12.17

Out of the Woods, the first volume of Sweet Tooth, introduced us to Gus, a boy with antlers who has been raised by his human father in the backwoods of post-apocalyptic Nebraska. Gus has a weakness for candy bars (thus the title), which are rare and tend to get him in some early trouble. Gus is a hybrid - part human, part animal, and in Out of the Woods, he’s scared to death, but ready to find out where he came from, despite the warnings of his concerned father. 

That was in 2009. Now in 2013, with the release of Vol. 6, Wild Game, Lemire brings the Sweet Tooth saga to a close. It is a mostly satisfying closure filled with answers to questions, hope for the future and oddly enough, grace. I say mostly because Lemire could tell us more in some future incarnation of the book, but I really hope he doesn’t. The entire series is filled with great adventure, weird science, and wonderful relationships. It's also often quite harsh and painful, but isn't the real world also? I’ll just leave it at that and hope that I’ve given you enough incentive to seek out this series.   

A word about the art: Lemire’s style takes some getting used to if you’ve never experienced it before. It’s a rough, loosely-sketched style that often looks unfinished, yet is perfectly matched to the tone of the story. In contrast, the backgrounds and watercolors by Jose Villarrubia are often breathtakingly beautiful. The art brilliantly encapsulates the combination of gritty realism of the story, surrounded by an overarching theme of redemption and good. 

If you enjoy post-apocalyptic fiction, you’ll probably like Sweet Tooth and will want to start from the beginning. With the series now complete, you can read the entire story in six trade paperbacks. This is from DC’s Vertigo line, so expect lots of profanity and some graphic violence, but this is also Lemire, so expect an outstanding, well-crafted story that delivers. 


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