Vertigo Comics’ TRILLIUM

Trillium
Vertigo Comics
Script and art by Jeff Lemire

Let’s start with the obvious. Jeff Lemire is a genius and we should all be in awe of his greatness. To achieve an ounce of his talent is to achieve become one with the Gods of Story. Long may they reign. He is amazing, his work is amazing, and everything he can do is amazing. OK, that’s out of the way. “Trillium.” To put it quickly, its amazing.

How to accurately describe “Trillium?” It’s a beautiful sci-fi, time travel, reality bending epic that stretches what can be done with comics. Two journeys taking place at once. Time could be linear or time could be happening at the same time all at once. “Trillium” straddles the line of where it believes it should be and that’s part of the story. In the distant future the human population has plummeted to 4,000 people. A sentient virus has destroyed the universe and the only cure is a little flower called Trillium. Held behind walls, the aliens who own them are almost impossible to understand. Time is running out for the human race and Nika has to find a way to get those flowers before everyone else just stomps in and takes them. 1921, a man still suffering from the Great War travels back to the jungle to find, something. There’s something he has to find and there’s not telling what it could mean. Shortly, these two will cross paths. How can two people from different times and on different worlds end up together?

That was rhetorical. Because, for you to learn the answer, you must read this book. Seriously. You have to. Lemire does things with the comic format in this book that really bring it to a new level. It’s quite a wonderful thing to behold. His ability to story-tell doesn’t just shine here, it burns brightly in proof he is one of the best storytellers in comics, ever. He proves it again and again with every book he does.

His art is some of the most uniquely perfect art in comics. At first glance it could be mistaken for something less than what we are used to. But because he is the story teller of that caliber his art is just the delivery system for his excellence. With colorist Jose Villarrubia the story is lifted off the page. The words and the art are one with each other. Nothing here is out of place. It’s exactly where Lemire wants it to be and that is exactly where it’s suppose to be.

“Trillium” is one of the best graphic novels of the year. It is added to the collection of Lemire books that are must reads on everyone’s book shelf. If we ever needed more evidence that we need more Jeff Lemire in our lives, “Trillium” is it.

Jo Schmidt