Give me a jumping on point and I’ll try any title. Heck, most times I won’t even wait for a new-reader friendly spot. I’ll pick it up and give it a go. For whatever reason, “Sweet Tooth” has eluded me to this point. Lemire must have recognized this, so issue #12 was released this week specifically with the intent of giving me a chance to check this title out. So I did.
I set aside my expectations and prepared myself to read about some dude with deer antlers.
This is a quick read that sets up the story of Gus -- I gleaned his name from elsewhere since he’s never referred to by name here -- for new readers. It’s told from the point of view of a scientist capturing journal notes. As such, the page layout is completely unorthodox, with the text of the story running at the bottom of the page, freeing the art to tell a story all its own. Lemire lets his art tell the story and he enhances that tale with the nether-narrative down below.
Lemire’s art is rough and gritty, well-suited to a post-epidemic world. This isn’t a pretty book, but it’s not through any fault of Lemire’s. Quite the opposite, in fact. Lemire is telling the tale of imperfection in a desperate time. The art fits the tale and, in this case, is the tale.
This issue was a fast read, but there’s nothing wrong with an occasional breeze through. Truly, this is an issue that will become less of a fast read over time and more of a re-read due to its individuality, self-sufficiency, and freedom from continuity. I’m not immersed in this title yet, but I am intrigued. As far as first impressions go, this one did a decent job of introducing the world.
I need to know more about the characters though. Sure, I feel for Gus, but I’m not clear on what Gus’ cause is. Why do I need to know more beyond this issue? Sure, I’ll check in on issue #13 when it hits, but this book is going to have to do more than present a slow burn with the next issue.