It takes all sorts of people to make the world go ’round. This applies threefold to the world of comics, which makes me appreciate the beautifully eccentric work of Jeff Lemire even more. As awesome as he’s done on DC titles like Animal Man and JLA (soon to be the JLC or as he’s dubbed them, the JL, eh?), the place that Lemire truly shines is in his original works like Sweet Tooth, Trillium, and The Underwater Welder.
In an industry filled with creative teams leaving books, artists switching out in the middle of issues, and writers being strong-armed in to telling stories the publishers want, Lemire is the proverbial one man band…he writes AND draws. His amazingly twisted stories are always accented by his very unique, but always gorgeous art style.
If I had to compare Lemire’s work to any creator in popular culture, I’d have to call him the Tim Burton of comics. Each of his stories are fresh, original, and are beautifully dark. It’s a style of storytelling that I admittedly didn’t love at first, but I’ve grown to love. It’s hard for me to put my finger on, but it seems like every time I read an issue of Lemire’s original work I feel like I’m reading something important to comics.
As I write this I’m looking over at my big rack of comics and the first thing that catches my eye is Trillium #2. (If you haven’t been reading Trillium, let my fellow contributor Julz give you a few reasons why here. Each Lemire cover I’ve seen is worthy of being framed and hung over someone’s fireplace. It doesn’t end with the covers, you can see in every panel the TLC that Lemire puts in to his work.
As I said before, I wasn’t always such a big Lemire supporter. When I first saw some of his worked, it seemed a bit too ‘out there’ for my taste. (Though I thought the art was beautiful even then, maybe I SHOULD’VE judged a book by its cover!) He’s telling some of, if not the most fresh and original stories in comics. I’ve loved Trillium, Sweet Tooth, and even his work for DC in the New 52. (Animal Man & the upcoming JLC) If you haven’t checked out his stuff yet because you think what I did, don’t. Lemire’s work is brilliant and beautiful from cover to cover and it’s something we’ll still be talking about years from now. Witness it for yourself so you, like those that came before us, can say, ‘I was there for that, and it was even more incredible then!’