The 40th and final issue of Sweet Tooth came out this last week. Write, drawn, colored, and lettered by Jeff Lemire, Sweet Tooth told the story of Gus, a human animal hybrid. In this present day world, animal hybrids recently started to be born. Half human, half pig, bird, dog, cat, and even deer. Gus is of the latter, with antlers on his head. All new babies born are hybrids. As this is happening a plague begins to spread, killing all humans who become infected.
Gus lives in a cabin, hidden in the woods with his father. After his father passes from the plague, Gus ventures out into the world, only to be found by a large, angry man named Jepperd. Jepperd cares for Gus like he was his own child, and we see them bond over the series as they try to survive this world and make their way to Alaska. A place where they are inexplicably drawn.
This series contains more heartfelt moments than I could begin to count. Gus’ complicated relationship with Jepperd being the forefront. I don’t want to ruin spoil anything here but I want to assure you that the plague and hybrids are given a sound explanation. It is a pet peeve of mine when these grand concepts or settings are given life and a poor excuse for existence. Or worse, no reason at all.
Jeff Lemire started work in comics nearly a decade ago, producing indie work such as Essex County and The Nobody. Both are excellent reads and highly recommended. As with Sweet Tooth, he wrote, drew, colored, and lettered them. It’s tough to find many people in any industry that can produce complete works on their own. Over the last four years his stock has risen. Currently a staple writer at DC Comics penning Animal Man, Justice League Dark, Green Arrow, and the new Constantine series.
Even with his mainstream work, he still stays true to his roots producing original graphic novels like the recently released Underwater Welder and the yet to be released Trillium.
His art work isn’t full of the usual mainstream fair. His pencils are loose, with a watercoloring flair to them. Much like the artists of Daytripper, his work still contains the emotion needed convey the story.
One note I want to make about the final issue; it was an epilogue. Too many stories lose sight of their purpose, assuming once the conflict has resolved, so does the story. I find this to be very untrue. If you love the characters you want to see how and if they solve their troubles, and what they do from there. We do need to let them go, but a small glimpse into their future never hurts. Sweet Tooth #40 delivers on this in spades.
Sweet Tooth sadly isn’t available in hardcover (yet), but is in trades.
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