Jeff Lemire - Sweet Tooth (4 stars)

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Jeff Lemire - Sweet Tooth

(Titan/Vertigo)

It’s hardly surprising that Jeff Lemire’s current ongoing series (the first five issues of which are collected here) should be a bleak, post-apocalyptic yarn that recalls, among other precedents, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Lemire established himself as a new talent to watch with his achingly sad rural saga The Essex County Trilogy, before using his pared-down but highly emotive storytelling style to explore themes of identity and alienation in a graphic novel reinvention of HG Wells’ The Invisible Man, entitled The Nobody.

Set in the ravaged heart of North America some years after a mysterious plague has virtually wiped out the human race, Sweet Tooth tells the story of a young boy named Gus who was born with stag’s antlers, one of a number of human/animal hybrids who may offer salvation to what’s left of mankind. Its appropriately dark stuff, but five issues in, it still feels a bit thin and somewhat derivative narrative-wise.

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