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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

Sweet Tooth
Book 1 - Out of the Deep Woods


Author: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Jeff Lemire
Titan Books
RRP: £7.99, US $9.99
ISBN: 978 1 84856 773 3
Available 23 July 2010

A decade ago the Affliction raged like a forest fire, killing billions, and the only children born since are a new breed of human/animal hybrid. Gus is one of these endangered children, a boy with a sweet soul, a sweeter tooth - and the features of a deer. But kids like Gus have a price on their heads. When vicious hunters descend on his isolated forest home, a mysterious and violent man called Jepperd rescues Gus. The hulking drifter promises to lead Gus to "The Preserve," a fabled safe-haven for hybrid children. As the two cross this dangerous new American frontier, will Jepperd corrupt "Sweet Tooth," as the killer has nicknamed him, or will it be Gus's heart that changes Jepperd...?

Out of the Deep Woods collects together the first five issues of Jeff Lemire's Sweet Tooth series. This follows young Gus, a rare new breed of human-animal hybrid, who was raised in isolation following a pandemic that struck a decade earlier. Just before his father dies, Gus promises to stay away from other humans, as his father has warned him that they are not to be trusted.

Once his father dies however, he stumbles across two hunters. Gus's genetic abnormality is much prized by scientists and hunters realise that capturing a live specimen can be very lucrative. But before he can be captured, Gus is saved by Mr Jepperd, a mysterious drifter. Mr Jepperd tells Gus that he can't stay where he was brought up as other hunters could be along at any minute. He promises to take Gus to an idylic preserve where others of his kind are well looked after. But can Gus trust his new friend?

While the conclusion to this first book was a little obvious, it is only an introduction to Gus and from that point of view it does a fine job of setting the main story and exploring what sort of society humans now live in.

So, not a bad beginning, and I very much look forward to watching how this series develops.


Darren Rea

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