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

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Sweet Tooth Vol. 1: Out of the Deep Woods + Sweet Tooth Vol. 2: In Captivity + Sweet Tooth Vol. 3: Animal Armies
Price for all three: $33.44

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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 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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.

More About the Author

Award-winning Canadian cartoonist Jeff Lemire is the creator of the acclaimed monthly comic book series SWEET TOOTH published by DC/Vertigo and the award winning graphic novel ESSEX COUNTY published by Top Shelf. He also writes ANIMAL MAN, FRANKENSTEIN AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E. and SUPERBOY for DC Comics.

In 2008 Jeff won the Schuster Award for Best Canadian Cartoonist, and The Doug Wright Award for Best Emerging Talent. He also won the American Library Association's prestigious Alex Award, recognizing books for adults with specific teen appeal. In 2010 Essex County was named as one of the five Essential Canadian Novels of the Decade!

Recently named one of Wizard magazines 25 "rising stars", Jeff is also hard at work on a new graphic novel for Top Shelf called THE UNDERWATER WELDER, due in 2012. He currently lives and works in Toronto with his wife and son.

Customer Reviews

This is why the character development in this story is so excellent.
Torie J
I don't want to spoil the series for anyone who hasn't read it (I'll do that at a later time), so I won't go into more detail just yet.
Vish Singh
Lemire's art is also the best he's ever done, with Jose Villarrubia adding vibrant colours to bring the world to life.
Sam Quixote

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 18, 2010
Format: Paperback
Gus or "Sweet Tooth", as he's nicknamed, is a young boy who lives in the woods with his father. Some sort of freak accident has mutated Sweet Tooth so that he has antlers on his head. When his father dies, he ventures out of the woods where he is ambushed by hunters and is saved by a mysterious, extremely tough man called Jepperd. With no choice but to follow his guardian, Sweet Tooth embarks on a journey out of the deep woods and into the wide world with Jepperd. But who is this man and why is he helping Sweet Tooth? What happened to the world where horses are now the sole mode of transport? Why does Sweet Tooth have antlers?

The excellent Jeff Lemire begins his first serial comic with an excellent start. The post-apocalyptic world he creates has shades of Mad Max and Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" but it's definitely Lemire's vision you see on the page. From the brothel where the women dress like mutants to the roving gangs of humans wearing animal masks, something very strange is going on here.

Lemire's art is also the best he's ever done, with Jose Villarrubia adding vibrant colours to bring the world to life.

Lemire keeps the reader guessing throughout the story, answering just enough to keep you going but allowing enough to remain unanswered so you'll come back for Book 2, especially with a cliffhanger like the one at the end.

A promising start to an original series.
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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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