I’m not quite positive, but I do believe that this isn’t the best known comic book series… but it should be damn it! There’s just something about a half deer / half boy named Gus who loves sweets that just makes you want to read it. First of all, it has that gritty feel to it that you get when you read the Walking Dead or Preacher. Second, post apocalyptic stories get me every time. Third, and last I really enjoy the art work. The style is… how do I put this? It’s just enough. It has a unique edge to it. It is rough and unrefined, but that is not a derogatory statement by any means. It actually works to reinforce the story’s tone. Gus lives in a world that is brutal and without the charms of our modern-day, comfy quarters. The harder lines and loose rendering finish what the story itself is trying to motivate you to feel, which is a little unsettled, a little dreamy, and a whole lot of oh my God, I need the next issue. It honestly makes you want to know what happens to Gus when he leaves the sanctuary of his birth-woods to see what a world ravaged by an biological epidemic holds for him.
For those of you snobs (and yes I mean snobs) who think that comics are not real books, let me tell you something. I have always been a firm believe that graphic novels are a wonderful blend of two artistic styles: that of the writer and that of the illustrator. They form this deeply bonded relationship that plays on multiple senses while you are engrossed in the story. You feel the story grow as your brain eats up the words, but at the same time your eyes are translating just as much of the storyline’s nuances through the visuals that were tenderly created for you, and specifically for the story. Sure, some of you might say that it’s for children, but that’s because you haven’t read a big boy comic. You might also say that you like the fact that you can dream up what the characters and their world looks like yourself. To those people I would say that they ned to dive into their past a little more. As children, all of our stories contained pictures. It was the best part! Why should that joy stop with puberty? I don’t know about you, but some of my most vivid visual memories are from book illustrations. I can remember loving Steven Kellogg’s books, and how he came to my school once and drew a dragon and a rabbit for us. I remember being in awe of the fact that those stories sprang forth from his hand, and that with each stroke of the pen, they awoke from the page, and were given to my imagination like a gift. I can also honestly say that is was book illustrations that made me love art to begin with, and were the founding reason as to why I received my BFA. If you’re still not convinced, look at the Sistine Chapel. That is nothing but a giant comic strip which tells biblical stores such as:
BAM! Creation of Adam. This is where he give’s Adam the gift of intelligence.
Here is even a little diagram to show you that each panel leads you through the creation of man, and onward:
Even the back wall and panels are all illustrations of biblical stories. Yes, folks, the Sistine Chapel is one giant fresco of comic book goodness c. 1508-1545. All of this:
And if that didn’t convince you that comics deserve some recognition, well then I don’t know what will. Read “Sweet Tooth”. It’s good for your brain.