Crimespree on Comics: Sweet Tooth

Vertigo
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Jeff Lemire

Post-apocalyptic stories are a dime a dozen. They’re showing up in all forms of media and they’re starting to get repetitive. So, when one comes along that showcases an original idea by a voice that deserves to be heard it’s set to blow up in a big way. That is what you get with “Sweet Tooth.”

It all starts with a boy with antlers. He and his father live in a small cabin away from the “sinners” of the world. After the disease wiped out most of the population of Earth the remaining people hid, succumbed or went “Mad Max.” The world became a very dark and dangerous place. But, in the small cabin the boy’s father teaches him how to read and write. Tells his the word or God and does everything he can to keep the boy safe. Then the boy’s father dies. The boy with antlers ventures out into the world and nothing could prepare him for what he finds. The world is full of hybrids. A hybrid just like the boy. There are girls with pig snouts and groundhog boys and the people kidnapping them to find a cure to the disease that is still ravaging the planet. A big man named Jeppard comes to the boy’s aid and it starts a journey to find a cure, a safe haven, and answers to why the world ended.

Jeff Lemire recently wrapped up “Sweet Tooth” to much critical acclaim. Lemire is an indie darling who became a big name thanks to Tooth. Now, he writes a good portion of the major books at DC as well as continuing to work on his creator-owned work. “Sweet Tooth” shows off his brilliance of story-telling and genre. The book showcases his awareness of “end of the world” stories with the twist of the hybrids continuing to show up as the humans die. Lemire understands the importance of developing characters in a story like this. It’s vital to care about who we read about as they are some of the last people around. You get a good feel for everyone and care when something happens to them. His storytelling is beautiful as, methodically, we see the tale unfold. He presents everything in a beautiful way that’s very believable. And an ending that is both genius and satisfying.

One of the best, strangest, and engrossing stories in years, “Sweet Tooth” is a story that will captivate you. From the first step to the powerful last page the book will hold you needing to find out what happened, what will happen, and how the characters live.

Jo Schmidt