Publisher Website: Jeff Lemiere (Author/Artist)
Reading a pandemic book during a pandemic. Groundbreaking. But hindsight of our months long quarantine gives this comic book a different perspective.
Hints of: Mad Max, Y the Last Man, Savage Highway
Warning: Pandemic trigger warning. Also a bit of religious extremism. Child abuse.
Seven years ago, the Affliction raged like a forest fire, killing billions. The only children born since are part of a new breed of human-animal hybrids. Gus is one of these children, a boy with a sweet soul, a sweeter tooth-and the features of a deer.
Been a while since this whole pandemic thing started hasn't it. Given us some time to look at past novels and movies and really dissect them for their faults in how this would all pan out. If you'd asked me at the beginning if any of them had any fruition or insight I would've said no. Couple of weeks ago when things started opening back up? Definitely not. Now with the resurgence...ok maybe.
Sweet Tooth is a pandemic comic. I'm sorry to say. And before I had opened it up I didn't realize that so bare with me. I thought about not reading it but it was deceptively good. Classic post apocalyptic styling but for some reason I was hooked.
We start off in the woods at a lovely cabin (very end of Blair With Project-esque). We meet Gus and his totally stable Christian father who believes that the plague came and wiped out billions as the realistic version of the second coming.
Now lets pause here. Has anyone else been shocked we HAVEN'T heard that from the religious fanatics?! Cause wow.
Anyways, Gus is part human, part deer. A new race of humanity that has emerged from the post pandemic world. These kids don't live very long but they don't get the same illness as their fully human counterparts. Gus' father implores him to stay within the confines of their cabin for fear that the sinners and bad men outside will take him away.
Gus' father is killed by militia men and Gus finds himself in the company of a white knight named Mr. Jepperd who defeats said militia men. Jepperd tells Gus about "The Preserve" a sort of safe haven for people like Gus. See Gus is only nine and has never met anyone like himself. The Preserve seems like something too good to be true but he trusts this man to help him.
HAHAHAHA humans suck.
Yea the preserve isn't a safe haven. Its a horror show for the hybrids like Gus. Gus is given up by Mr Jepperd in exchange for a bag full of "prizes". The reader thinks its money but it turns out to be the bones of his wife. The Preserve is a fucked up experiment camp for the cure. Home to Dr. Singh, the scientist trying to find the cure. Folks are sure that these hybrids hold the answer.
And lets just pause again to think about how realistic this situation might be. If COVID-19 turns out to be this world ending disease wouldn't we do anything and everything to figure it out. Aren't we doing that in some sense of the word right now. Granted we are civilized about it but in this world there are no governments, there is no military, the world has collapsed. Just think what our world would look like if coronavirus has done that to us. Creepy.
Dr. Singh begins his experiments and finds something that changes the game. See he had almost given up on this notion that the hybrids held the cure. Since the beginning of H5-G9 was 8 years ago. But Gus, Gus is different.
Because Gus has no bellybutton.
Sweet Tooth is one of Lemire's early works. It has received much acclaim and is currently in production as an 8 part mini series for Netflix. It will be produced by Robert Downey Jr.'s production company Team Downey. It was a suggested read for me by comixology and i'm honestly so grateful that it fell into my lap.
I gave Sweet Tooth four stars because its simple and easy to follow and its just a fun read. Even though its about a pandemic and that is probably the last thing anyone wants to read right now. Its filled with interesting concepts and with the hindsight of our shared experience I wanted to read another pandemic book just to see if they got anything right.
Give Sweet Tooth a chance. You wont regret it.
Drink Pairing: Death by Chocolate. I chose this drink because Gus has a sweet tooth (hence the name of the comic) and loves chocolate bars. Plus everyone dies.