Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sweet Tooth Coming to an End

I received a piece of sad news yesterday when I discovered that one of my most favorite comic series is coming to an end in only 7 short issues.  

From it's earliest issues, I have been a big fan of Sweet Tooth and for the past couple of years it has been a mainstay on my year-end best comic series lists.  Simply put, there's never been a bad issue of Sweet Tooth and pretty much every issue writer/artist Jeff Lemire has created has been excellent. 

When I read the headline at The Beat, I instantly wondered if the decision to wrap up Sweet Tooth has something to do with Lemire's increased workload on DC titles. I've personally wondedered if Lemire's increased workload led to less time for Sweet Tooth?

In my mind there's been a few shreds of evidence: There was a three issie arc where Lemire didn't do the art, and when he has done the art, sometimes, on a few occasions, panels and pages have looked a bit rushed.  But my own paranoid wonderings aside, the quality has still been better than most, and the overall story has never suffered. In fact, the Taxidermist story arc where Matt Kindt did the art for three issues was some of the best Sweet Tooth stuff yet. Also, if you read the whole article, or the orignal at the Vertigo site, you'll see that I'm probably just suffering from an over active case of paranoia. 

Here's what Lemire had to say about the series coming to an end:

"So why end it now? I want to make one thing really clear…Sweet Tooth is not being cancelled. The decision to end it at #40 is entirely my choice. Truth is, I always knew what the ending of Sweet Tooth would be. It was one of the first ideas I came up with when writing the pitch for the book. The beginning and the end of this story were always pretty much written in stone, it was the middle bit that was fluid, and grew and changed as I went along. So, for me it’s incredibly gratifying to finally get to the end of the journey with Gus and Jepperd. Everything I’ve done with the series so far, everything I’ve built month after month, has all been about this, the final story.
I suppose I could have stretched it out a bit longer. I could have had a few more obstacles pop up along the way to Alaska to lengthen the journey (and the series), but it just felt like it was time. Gus wanted to get to Alaska now…and who am I to argue? I’ll miss my little antlered friend. But I owe it to him to finish his story properly. To “leave it all on the ice” as they like to say up here in Canada. And that means not prolonging the series just because I can.
But don’t give up on me. I really feel the best is still to come. The final arc, THE WILD KINGDOM, will be full of everything you’ve loved about Sweet Tooth as well asmany new surprises, new characters and new revelations. And it all builds to one final double sized, fully painted final issue with #40 this December."
It'll be pretty sad to see this one go, but hopefully the ending will do justice to what has been a truly wonderful and powerful comic. My fingers are crossed that Lemire has some more creator-owned ideas up his sleeve and that he wont just become a full-time DC writer. 

Each of the remaining seven issues will likely be bitter-sweet reads for me...but I can't wait to see how this one ends!

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