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Review: Sweet Tooth #11

I get the feeling this is an acquired taste.

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Jepperd "rages in the cage" as he's kept from Louise during her most unnatural and painful labor. When he does finally break free, his captors have got hell to pay... but his vengeance comes at a terrible cost.

The Good

Saying that a horror story is frustrating is a compliment, because that's the effect the author's going for, of course. To that end, I compliment Lemire for really putting you in the mindset of Jepperd as he's fast with this claustrophobic, confining situation. You're maddened as he's confined and trying to get to Louise, you're furious when he's finally unleashed to get his revenge and then you're crushed when he's thwarted. The distinct, real voices of his jailers - - particularly the hippy guarding him - - go a long way to establish the (good) frustration you feel. You want them to shut up (in a good way.) Even though I had some issues with his rendering, I'll say that I was quite impressed with Lemire's storytelling sense. The layouts, negative space and angle choices all work so well to convey the sense of claustrophobia, unease and horror Sweet Tooth's trying to get across. Even when I wasn't quite caught up on the plot, I could still latch on to all of that.

The Bad

I'm not usually a fan of brush stroke line work like this. Lemire's pushing for a lot of intentional grotesqueness with these characters, but I wonder if he might've pushed a little too far for the art in general. Then again, I get the feeling that this is a style that might grow on me if I kept reading this comic.

The Verdict - 4/5

This is the last part of an arc and, thus, really the worst place for anybody to try to start reading this title. I still enjoyed it, though, even if I haven't been reading Sweet Tooth from the beginning. I had some qualms about the art (even though I thought the storytelling was superb) but I feel like I would've gotten used to it if I'd entered this from the beginning. Still, the quality level is good enough that I'd recommend either picking up the first trade or maybe starting this title with the next issue, which begins a new story arc.