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Trillium Paperback – August 12, 2014
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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2014 EISNER AWARD NOMINEE FOR BEST LIMITED SERIES
"This book represents a challenge to other creators: the bar for creativity in comics continues to be raised."—Publishers Weekly Starred Review
“For writer/artist Jeff Lemire, his new Vertigo series TRILLIUM isn’t just an exercise in stretching his sci-fi muscles; it’s an exercise in stretching the boundaries of his creativity and artistic talent."—Nerdist
"When you get to the last page of TRILLIUM, you can't help but think "wow." This is an exciting and original work that deserves your attention and your dollars. Buy TRILLIUM."—IGN
“TRILLIUM is a confident, unique debut that exemplifies why Lemire has become one of DC’s top creators, but he remains at his best when he’s doing his own thing away from superheroes.”—A.V. Club/The Onion
"Once again Lemire shows why he's a master storyteller. Trillium is exciting, visceral and cerebral at the same time."—CraveOnline
“If Lemire has adopted the quicker pacing of his recent works, he still knows when to pan the camera back and let his layouts project the vivid imagination bustling inside of him. And that’s what makes TRILLIUM such a special work: this is a piece of an artist pulled from a deep place nobody’s ever seen before. And for Lemire to share that, all we can say is thank you.”—Paste Magazine
"Lovely and terribly enjoyable."—Comic Book Resources
"This is sci-fi at its finest, an amalgam of everything we love—time travel, space, alien races and of course the most important element of how humans process these stirring events."—Aint' It Cool News
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. In 2013 Lemire published the graphic novel THE UNDERWATER WELDER (Top Shelf). He currently lives and works in Toronto with his wife and son.
Top customer reviews
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The artwork is really interesting, and I think that was part of the reason that I kept reading even when the plot failed to hold my attention. The colors are often bold and eye-catching, and everything looks like a sketch. There are no really defined lines, and I think that that led to a really interesting effect. Especially since quite a bit of the store takes place in the jungle and space, which are typically pretty undefined spaces. I would be interested in looking in to more of Lemire's work just for the art.
But then there's the plot. And if I hadn't read the synopsis, I honestly would have had very little idea about what was happening. It's not especially clear that Nika is a botanist - she just goes to this place on this planet and eats a flower and then things get crazy. I mean, she doesn't even understand half of what these strange blue people say, but she eats their flowers anyway! Didn't anyone ever tell you not to eat things handed to you by strangers?
I also was no feeling the romance and the star-crossed lovers at all. There's a point somewhere near the end where there's a mention about only knowing each other a few hours, but somehow we're still supposed to believe that Nika and William are in love and that their fates are intertwined? They're not even from the same time or place! I just couldn't get behind their love story, and I was really disappointed by that.
Another thing that kind of bothered me, and maybe it's just because I was reading it on a computer, was that the frames were all over the place sometimes. Some would be sideways and others were upside down and it was really hard to read on my computer screen. There were also some frames that had SO many words. I felt like it was one of those bad PowerPoint presentations that have paragraphs of text on one slide and make everyone sitting through the presentation hate the whole thing. I think the art should tell the majority of the story in a comic book, and it was just so hard to get through all of the text.
I'm not really sure who to recommend this comic book too since I didn't really enjoy it. Maybe someone looking for interesting artwork? Or someone who enjoys stories about star-crossed lovers and space? Because even though this story wasn't for me, that's not to say that someone else - maybe you! - would enjoy it immensely. I think it had potential but just fell short, so I'd give it a 2/5
Just as The Caul begins to make it’s way to their spacelab, Nika’s gets a break and the Atabithians invite her in to sample Trillium - with unexpected results. Suddenly Nika discovers herself transported to 1921 where she meets William Pike, a former soldier suffering from PTSD, on a exploration mission to South America where he and his group are hunting for a flower that could potentially grant immortality. But, as both Nika and William are going to discover, there’s much more to Trillium than that...
Barring his work-for-hire New 52 comics which are uniformly terrible, I’m a big fan of Jeff Lemire’s work. Essex County was a masterpiece, The Underwater Welder, The Nobody, and Lost Dogs were all fantastic, and Sweet Tooth, though it had its ups and downs, had plenty of good moments to recommend it. So it’s disappointing for me to say that Trillium is the first of his “indie” comics that I really disliked.
Definitely the biggest problem was the love story. Trillium sets itself up as a romance/sci-fi comic though the romance is much more heavily emphasised, being the motivation behind both main character’s actions. And it’s so unconvincing! Two strangers randomly meet in the middle of nowhere, they’re together - at most - a couple hours, they eat the Trillium petals which transfers their memories to each other, and suddenly they’re deeply in love and their whole reason for being is finding each other again.
That’s not some “epic star-crossed lovers romance” - strangers meeting, doing drugs together, and trying to get off with one another is called clubbing!
The sci-fi elements are cliched and ripped off from other, better sci-fi stories. Native blue aliens who live like primitive Earth cultures - that’s never been done before, right? Oh, except in Avatar, the highest grossing movie of all time! Steampunk Victorian London? Never seen that before except in a million other things! And how about that ending where the spaceship crashes into the other spaceship to save the main characters? You mean the exact same ending in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus? Yup! We don’t know what happens in black holes so maybe anything is possible? Like in Kubrick’s 2001? YUP!!! Is anything in this story original!? Nope!
Lemire tries out upside down panels in this book to show the parallels between Nika and William’s stories but let’s just call this what it is: gimmicky. There’s no reason you should have to be turning the book upside down to read some sequences. It’s the visual equivalent of the forced romance to make it seem like the book has a heart: the flimsiest of veneers to make it seem like what he’s doing is creatively different and important - and it’s not.
Nika’s mother’s death was laughable. We’ve mastered intergalactic space travel in the future but don’t have the tech to know when a massive meteor shower is on the way to warn us when it’s probably not a good idea to go out for a space walk? Ditto William’s brother’s death which was shocking because of how little I cared when I saw him blown up. Oh - was that meant to be emotional for me? Because I honestly didn’t know who he was most of the time - he was a talking moustache who yelled at William every now and then. He was a “character”?
I’m not really sure why William’s past as a soldier in WW1 was mentioned besides giving him a backstory that seemed interesting. I think Lemire was going for a “is this really happening or is it in William’s messed up PTSD head” idea but it was so half-assed, there was no question that it was really happening.
I’ll give Lemire this: his art in Trillium is his best work that I’ve seen so far - I’m one of those who enjoys his art. I know it’s quite divisive, and I can appreciate that it’s unusual, but it’s certainly his own art style and I really like it. Lemire and Jose Villarrubia’s colours are very strong too.
But that’s about all I can say I enjoyed about Trillium. It’s a boring, unimaginative - yes, despite it’s time-travel/role reversals, I didn’t see anything here that I haven’t seen before - comic that never goes beneath the surface of its shallow story. It’s really surprising actually that Trillium is from the same creator who gave us Essex County - a raw, powerful story about small town Canadian townspeople - that shows, while his art has improved, his storytelling and writing have gotten much, much worse, almost as if this were his first effort rather than his most recent.
Most recent customer reviews
It starts out with Nika, as she tries to figure out how to stop a virus called The Caul, which has...Read more
Jeff Lemire seems to never miss, and once again he crafts a graphic novel that I will cherish and recommend for all time.Read more