★ ★ ★
A cross between Bambi and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, SWEET TOOTH tells the story of Gus, a rare new breed of human/animal hybrid children, has been raised in isolation following an inexplicable pandemic that struck a decade earlier. Now, with the death of his father he’s left to fend for himself . . . until he meets a hulking drifter named Jepperd who promises to help him. Jepperd and Gus set out on a post-apocalyptic journey into the devastated American landscape to find ‘The Preserve’ a refuge for hybrids.
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with reviewing Graphic Novels – the pros are cons and vice-versa. On one hand, I’d like to assault your beautiful eyes with the illustrations of Jeff Lemire’s characters and setting, however, after awhile, you’d overdose on the images and this review would just be congested. But on the other hand, it’d be sacrilegious to not show images of the novel since it’s a graphic novel! Here in lies my problem, and why I rarely write reviews for graphic novels. Now that that rant’s complete, shall we get to the review?!
Out of The Deep Woods (Sweet Tooth, Vol. 1) is a really freaking weird novel, even for a post apocalyptic, dystopian. Featuring animal/human hybrid children and the world going to shit – I’d hope that would be the only reason animal/human hybrid children exist – after a disease known as the Affliction (ominous right!) killed off billions people. So, a new species is fabricated known as animal-hybrid children. However, these children are hunted, by hunters, to be hunted….hehe.
The story follows the journey of a sweet, deer animal-hybrid kid named Gus, aka Sweet Tooth, and his mountain-like savior Jeppard, after saving Gus from the aforementioned hunters. Along the journey to the safe haven for hybrid children like Gus called The Preserve, we don’t meet a copious group characters, but we do encounter a few: mock animal-hybrid prostitutes, hunters, and savage hyena-looking murderers.
This novel being so short didn’t leave much room for development of any kind. Since this is Volume one I kind of expected to learn a bit more about the characters or story line, however, I didn’t learn anything. The only storyish foreshadow is that animal-hybrid children exist because of a disease, which hasn’t been explained, killed most of the people. There’s a few fighting scenes that, I guess, shed light on both Gus and Jeppard’s characters. Mainly we got the emotional impact of a world without rules, morals and ethics, through the eyes of this boy who’s the foil of this whole world in a way. He’s sweet, innocent and compassionate in a world that’s done away with all those things. The end is also unsatisfying but that’s due to there being a Volume two.