sweet tooth: series review + giveaway [CLOSED]


Hello friends! My name is Marines and today I’ll be
talking about a graphic novel series I finished recently, Sweet Tooth by Jeff LeMire. This graphic novel series is set in a post-apocalyptic
world where a sickness has wiped out most of the population. Now all of the children being
born into this world are human-animal hybrids and they are the only ones that are immune
to the sickness. Even though it has slowed down, the
sickness continues to pick at the human population. Our main character Gus is one of these
hybrids and while some of the hybrids are more feral or more uneducated,
Gus is very human-like. When we meet Gus, he’s living alone his father, his mother
died when he was a baby, and all he knows is the cabin he grew up in, his father
and the woods that his father told him never to leave. Things get complicated when Gus is found by some
hunters though he’s saved by a man named Jeppard. Very early on in this first volume, Gus has to make the decision of whether or not to listen to his father has told him all his life about leaving the forest.
And we go on from there. I really enjoyed this series.
I read about 14 graphic novels in total last year, in 2015 so I’m not by any means the biggest
consumer of this category. I love it in theory, but more often than
not I find that the stories aren’t fleshed out enough to fit my particular tastes.
I feel like here, in just six volumes LeMire tells a full story with
fleshed out characters and real emotional impact. LeMire also does the
artwork for the series and it’s… interesting. First off, the story is gritty and dark.
It’s post-apocalyptic like I mentioned and a lot of it is about just civilization on its last legs and the struggle to deal with these hybrids, what they mean, incorporating them into society and
how to treat something that is animal and human. It’s about the lengths that people will
go to do what they believe is right in a lot of instances and the major
conflict within the story is that each of our main characters is doing
something they believe is right, but that’s taking them all in in different
directions. That dark atmosphere is reflected well in the aesthetic that
Lemire has going, even down to the texture of the paper. It’s matte and paper bag like
and I know that there are probably better terms to describe them that I
don’t know but usually when I have graphic novels it tends to be a little
bit shinier and brighter and this completely is not. And I know a lot of
people complain about Lemire’s ‘s artwork. I’m not familiar with his art anywhere
else besides this graphic novel series so I don’t know if this is what he’s
done specifically or only what he’s capable of but in any case I feel like the art
matches the story incredibly well. I was talking to somebody else about this art
style and I was struggling to find a word to describe it and she used the
word grotesque, which is a strong word but i think it fits pretty well to the
style that he incorporates here in this series. I have a feeling there may be people who won’t get past the art style into the story but as I said I thought it was really fitting and I thought the story was strong enough, the characters and the plot were strong enough to make up for it if it was something that you didn’t enjoy. At points, his art style seems a little
bit slapdash just because you have these basic shapes and not a lot of details
and there are characters you recognize, because you’ve been reading about them, but they
weren’t very well defined and in that way, I think Lemire uses this art style to kind of
explore anatomy specifically because we have these human-animal hybrids and a
lot of times he uses kind of a hazy picture to draw a comparison either
between a hybrid and a human or some part of nature and a human or else some
part of living and dead. My frame is a little tight but I wanted to
show you this specifically where this is Jeppard, a character that we know, but
again he’s very hazy in this and it’s very clearly trying to paint a picture
and draw some comparisons so I think that art style is a
purposeful choice. Even if you don’t like it, knowing I think that it has a purpose
will help you overall in the enjoyment of the story. I really enjoyed the first volume and I think it did such a good job of opening up the story and getting me interested in reading the rest. I recap television and I’m just always so fascinated about pilot episodes. I think pilots have so much work to do and they very
rarely do it well but they’ve got to introduce characters, exposit, set up the world, set up the
premise of the series or the season long arc. Plus, they have to have all of the
ingredients of an insular episode. They have to have a beginning, middle and
end and something within that episode itself to keep us going. So it’s a lot to do and
I recognize that but it’s also why I get so happy when I watch a good pilot and I
often have that same feeling with first volumes in graphic novel series.
They feel very pilot-like and it’s very rare that I have more to say about a first
volume other than, “it felt like a first volume. We were introduced to characters
the world was set up there was some exposition, that it.” kind of feeling. But in this
case I was actually looking forward to reading more because I was already
invested. Right within the first scene or two, we were in the world and we understood
what was at stake. We get such a great sense of the characters right as they
enter the story but Lemire also leaves room for them to be fleshed out and grow. Volume 4 was definitely my favorite and
it was the only one that I rated 5 out of 5 stars. It was so incredibly intense. While I
read 1 through 4 in pretty quick succession, I paused after 4 because I was just
so worried about what was going to happen going forward in the series and
that is a credit I think to the storytelling that this whole thing made
me incredibly tense but that also I had the foresight– he set it up enough that I
had the foresight that bad things were coming. Just after this point I was invested, my
feelings were invested and I knew that we are reaching kind of the climax of the story
In volume 5, Lemire takes a brief pause from the impending doom and
gives us some backstory. What you suspect is the main mystery of
the story is answered in volume 5. It was unexpected for me to find so many
answers in the penultimate volume but I think it fits really well with a lesson
that Lemire is trying to get out about the importance of what comes before
versus the importance of where we go from here. My favorite character was definitely
Jeppard, which is a little interesting and surprising for me because he’s
exactly the kind of character I don’t gravitate towards. He’s basically the
hard-ass with the tragic backstory but that is absolutely putting it too simply. I thought his back story was done very well
because it wasn’t there to excuse his behavior, simply because it fit in so
well with the story and it was part of the larger tragedy that everybody is
living in the story. It was also very consistent with his
character. You realize that Jeppard is never acting in any other way except for
being Jeppard. It’s not like he was being one way and then you learn
something about it and– He’s just always been acting consistently and the
way we see that and the way that we understand that changes as we get to
know him more. I wanted to keep that all vague and
spoiler-free, but there is one little spoilery thing about Jeppard that I
wanted to talk about so please if you have not read the
series click on the link to skip to the end of the video where I talk about the
giveaway. So, just get out of this spoilery section now.
I hope you’re gone… One of the most shocking things to me
about this entire series with such a small, small reveal and that is of what
Jeppard used to do before the apocalypse. I’m not sure if i’ve ever encountered
any other post-apocalyptic stories that featured a main character who was a
former athlete, though I’m not thinking about it very in-depth right now so if
I’ve missed anything or if you know of any more let me know down in the
comments. This reminded me a little bit of “Station
Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel because in that story we follow a group of
artists after the apocalypse and we think about more art in a rebuilding
society and we kind of get to see how actors or artists would do in that
society and– and the kind of things that would be important to them and in
this case we see that, a little bit, with a former athlete. Did that moment and
reveal stand out to you or was it just me that I was kind of blown away that
that was part of his backstory? One because it fit really well and two
because it was just so normal and I think it came in volume 2 so we spend
this whole volume like thinking about how this world is pretty messed up and
things are kind of crazy and then we have this scene where something
so normal about Jeppard is revealed and it just– I don’t know. I really enjoyed
that moment i love that piece of his backstory. I like that it comes back again later
towards the end of the series and I just wanted to see if that was simply a me thing or if that stood out to you guys as well. Also, before we head back into non-spoilery territory, I wanted to ask you guys what you thought about the explanation as far as where Gus came
from and where the sickness came from. That explanation to me felt like on the
other end of the former athlete thing. So, we have this world that is kind of crazy
things are falling apart bad things are happening. The former athlete thing felt so normal
in that story and then we go to the explanation of where Gus came from and
the sickness and it’s on that other end of like extreme to normal and it
just hit this mythical point, this mythical portion in a story that I thought was
pushing science on us as an explanation. Well, I expected that something
science-related was going to be involved and then it hits this mythical thing and
I still am not quite sure how to feel about that. I enjoyed it in terms of progression of
the story but I just– I don’t know it was just so unexpected that it’s hard for me
to process or if it was just something that I didn’t enjoy. So, there you have it. Overall, I would
rate this entire series about a 4.25 out of 5 stars. Though, from an enjoyment perspective I will count
it as one of my favorite graphic novel series. I highly recommend it. I would love more people to
read it so that we can talk about it and let’s be real, that’s basically why I ever recommend
anything or talk about anything on this channel. To that end, I am hosting a
giveaway! I will be giving away the first three
volumes in this graphic novel series. The usual rules apply: you must be 18 or
older so that way you can share your address with me and I can send you these
volumes; you must be subscribed to this channel
in some way that I can verify; and you must live in a place or a country where
Book Depository will ship to because I will be sending them through Book Depository. I want to chat with you all in the
comments but if you are entering the giveaway specifically please leave that
somewhere in your comment and that will count as your entry. I will use a random number generator and go by posting order in order to pick a winner on June 6th. Let me know if you have any questions about the giveaway. Let’s chat about this graphic novel if you’ve read it,
if you’re interested in reading it. Leave all of that stuff in the comments below. Thank you so much for watching this video and I will see you guys soon!

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