Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Reader's Diary #864- Jeff Lemire: Sweet Tooth, Out of The Deep Woods
Sweet Tooth, the titular character (shown with deer antlers on the cover), has known little of the world at large. His zealously religious father has kept him secluded in the woods, stressing that he is never to leave the woods at any cost or the fire will get him. However, when his father passes away, Sweet Tooth becomes lonely and sets off. Before long he comes across a man named Jepperd who promises to take him to the Preserve, a supposed safe-haven for hybrids.
With the various mutations, I was initially reminded of Charles Burns' Black Hole. However, whereas Burns book is about teens behaving badly, Sweet Tooth couldn't be more of an opposite. Out of the Deep Woods, the first in the Sweet Tooth, seems to be an analysis on the fine line between naivete and innocence. Should Sweet Tooth be trusting the stranger named Jepperd? The mystery is the hook of the plot. However, there are enough hooks for the larger plot left to be visited in future volumes: what caused the Affliction? Why is there such a demand on hybrid heads? What will happen to Sweet Tooth next?
As for the art work, they are typical of Lemire's work, meaning if you weren't a fan before, you're not likely to be a fan this time around either. They're highly stylized sketches, but where I think Lemire shines is the frames, zooming in on key facial features and telling as much of the story through emotive expressions as the text. Plus Jose Villarrubia does a fantastic job complementing the mood with the colouring.
I'm very much looking forward to the next volume.
(Does anyone know if Sweet Tooth was inspired by Fall Out Boy's Sugar, We're Goin Down video? Is it just a coincidence? Are there a lot of myths about people with antlers, like human jackalopes?)