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Sweet Tooth Vol. 1: Out of the Deep Woods Paperback – May 18, 2010

39 customer reviews
Book 1 of 27 in the Sweet Tooth Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The latest entry in the postapocalyptic survivalist fantasy stakes has a peculiar sentimental streak in it. Gus, an almost parodically naïve young boy with antlers sprouting from his forehead and a taste for chocolate, is one of the few children born after some kind of manmade catastrophe. Following the death of his Bible-thumping father, the only other person he's ever known, he's rescued from hunters by a hulking, rifle-toting man called Jepperd, who promises to take him to a sanctuary for kids like him (and slaughters the refugees from Clichéd Dialogue University who get in their way en route). But could Jepperd be more than he seems? (One guess.) Lemire's thick, crunching brush strokes can be rawly expressive; he's got a terrific sense of composition and narrative flow, and the crumbling settings he draws effectively evoke a blasted, forsaken world. Too often, though, his artwork simply comes off as crude. His characters' bodies and features are often distractingly inconsistent from one panel to the next. And Gus's dream vision of a cartoon deer (identified as Dandy) telling him to run away, which should be a dramatic peak of this volume, falls flat because Lemire can't pull off his attempted shift away from his baseline style. (May)
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From School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up–Years ago during the Affliction, billions of people died and children were born as human/animal hybrids. Gus, a human/deer hybrid, was raised in isolation for years, but after his father dies hunters come to capture him. He is rescued by a mysterious man who tells him that he will take him to a preserve for hybrid children. While Gus is never sure if he should trust Jepperd, he goes with him because he is lonely. What follows is a voyage through what is left of the country, during which Jepperd gives Gus candy (and the nickname "Sweet Tooth") and fights through all of the obstacles that are in their way, usually with violent methods. While Gus is the protagonist, Jepperd continues to steal the spotlight. Readers know that he has sympathy for Gus and for other characters they meet along the way, and they know that he saves Gus's life multiple times. But they also know that he frequently lies. What isn't clear until the end of the book is just how much he has been lying. Sweet Tooth is often visually stunning and even cinematic. It primarily uses a muted palette that reflects the darkness of this postapocalyptic world, but bright colors burst from the page during moments of violence, and there are quite a few of those in this book. An outstanding choice for most collections.Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Product Details

  • Series: Sweet Tooth (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; First Edition edition (May 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401226965
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401226961
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.3 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

New York Times Bestselling author Jeff Lemire has built a unique career as both the writer and artist of acclaimed literary graphic novels like Essex County, The Underwater Welder, Sweet Tooth and Trillium and also as one of the most popular writers of mainstream superhero comics with acclaimed runs on such titles as Green Arrow, Animal Man, Justice League and Hawkeye for Marvel and DC Comics.

Current projects include the original graphic novel ROUGHNECK to be published by Simon and Schuster in 2016, as well as the science fiction series DESCENDER with Dustin Nguyen and A.D. with Scott Snyder.

In 2008 and in 2013 Jeff won the Schuster Award for Best Canadian Cartoonist. He has also received The Doug Wright Award for Best Emerging Talent and the American Library Association's prestigious Alex Award, recognizing books for adults with specific teen appeal. He has also been nominated for 8 Eisner awards, 7 Harvey Awards and 8 Shuster Awards.
In 2010 Essex County became the first graphic novel to be included in the prestigious Canada Reads contest making it to the final five and winning the people's choice vote as best Canadian novel of the decade.

He lives in Toronto with his wife and son.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Paige Turner on August 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Sweet Tooth", written and drawn by Jeff Lemire, may be the most original graphic novel concept since "Y the Last Man." It's a dark tale of a hybrid deer-boy "Gus/Sweet Tooth" and his thuggish killer/protector, Jepperd. They wade through a post-apocalyptic hyper-violent mileu, encountering obstacles, which beneath the violence, deal with emotional issues.

This book is a trifecta of near-perfection: 1. Deceptively simple, engaging plot 2. Fascinating, unique concept with amazing characters 3. Artwork that perfectly conveys the mood of the story. At times when reading this book, I was so engrossed and emotionally connected with "Sweet Tooth" that I felt I WAS him, cowering under Mr. Jepperd's protective violence.

The set-up sounds like a weird combination, but "Sweet Tooth" succeeds where others like "Preacher" and even "Ex Machina" fall a bit short. This is the kind of book that confirms that we indeed live in the absolute best time in history (so far) for the graphic novel medium. Pick up this book - you won't forget it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Torie J on October 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I'm reviewing three volumes of Sweet Tooth in one post because I accidentally binge-read it and it's easier this way. Whatever. Three birds with one stone!

So, in this review, you're getting a review for Volume One: Out of the Woods, Volume Two: In Captivity, and Volume Three: Animal Armies.

Brace yourself.

Sweet Tooth takes place in a post-apocalyptic time, where a majority of the world has been wiped out by the plague. The few survivors of this disease are divided into three primary groups: the remnants of the government/military, a rabid cult, and the "hybrids." The hybrids are a mix of animal/humans who are immune to the disease that has swept the world. As a result, they're hunted down by the cult, the rogue militia, and any human stragglers who want to sell them for goods.

God, this story is bleak. Don't sit down and read this book expecting to feel anything but dread. There are small pockets of happiness, but those moments are fleeting. This comic will rip out your guts and sap any semblance of hope from your body. It is gruesome. It is haunting. And it is SAD. Oh man is it sad.

Unlike so many other post-apocalyptic stories out there, this one is frighteningly realistic. I think this is because Lemire uses this comic to really explore human behavior. Many of the situations in this comic expose how our natural instincts often betray our set of values. There are many scenes in this comic where characters are faced with the "right" and "wrong" thing to do. While usual comic protagonists would choose the right thing to do despite putting their life on the line, the characters in this story do whatever keeps them alive. They make realistic decisions that aren't necessarily going to be accepted by the reader, and they do so constantly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Vish Singh on January 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is the text for Sweet Tooth from my comics blog, Breaking the Fourth Wall, which can be found at: bt4wall [dot] wordpress [dot] com. I wrote this after reading the entire series, not just the first volume, but it does not contain spoilers.

For my first entry, I'd like to talk about Sweet Tooth, a series from Vertigo written by Jeff Lemire. A clerk at a comic shop in NYC recommended this title to my wife when she was looking for something to read, maybe 2 years ago. I didn't start reading it until a few weeks ago, in December, and as luck would have it, I read it through just in time for the final issue to print on January 9th, this year.

40 issues
Not suitable for children (language, violence)

Jeff Lemire can write. This series was my introduction to him, and I've found that he writes about characters in a way that makes me place an emotional investment in them. I really liked his story and pacing in this series. Characters developed as their awareness of the workings of the world increased and due to (sometimes harsh) interactions with each other and their own internal logic.

Sweeth Tooth takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting where humans have largely been wiped out by disease and a small number of human/animal hybrids is growing. For the most part, these hybrids are peaceful creatures. They're actually mainly young children, with none of them being older than about 10 years of age.

The story focuses on the "adventures" of Gus, a human/deer hybrid and Tommy Jeppard (rhymes with leopard), a former hockey player and generally tough-as-nails badass (who is looking for a reason to live) that basically adopts Gus and travels with him on a quest to discover his origins.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K. W. Schreiter on July 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
This TPB collects the first five issues of Canadian writer/artist Jeff Lemire's fascinating monthly Vertigo series. Protagonist Gus is a deer-human "hybrid" boy who lives with his dying father in an isolated wooded area as the outside world crumbles after an apocalypse known only as "The Accident". Based on his father's dire warnings of "fire and hell", Gus has never left his part of the woods or seen humans besides his parents. Resembling an aging Frank Castle/The Punisher, the shadowy and commanding Mr. Sheppard meets Gus and promises salvation at "the preserve". Gus' heartbreaking innocence contrasts with the brutal dystopian surroundings. The plot unfolds slowly with Lemire's gradual revelations: this volume ends with a bang but much mystery remains for Volume 2. Lemire's simple, maudlin artwork echoes that of his "Essex County Trilogy". This title was nominated for a 2010 "Best New Series" Eisner Award. I've enjoyed all ten Sweet Tooth issues thus far and hope this series continues for a while.
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