I think "Sweet Tooth" is about Gus and Jepperd. It's about Gus coming of age, and it's about Jepperd learning to love again and opening his heart again. That's what the book is about, so that's what the ending should be about. To throw in a big twist would be false. As far as the idea that someone might make it that didn't or vice versa, I pretty much stuck with everything that I had planned.
The only thing, and this is a spoiler, but my original plan was that Gus would end up with Becky, the human girl, and not Wendy. But I realized as I got closer to the end that people really wanted to see Gus and Wendy together. Plus, I really wanted to draw little kids with pig noses and antlers. But it feels like you gave us our cake and let us eat it, too, because there is this moment where he's asked, "Are you going to tell them about Becky? They really only have one mom.
I wanted to make sure that you had that moment where you know he had this thing with Becky, but in the long run, it was about this new race of creatures and humans were going away. Is it the idea that his older son, Tommy, is his son with Wendy and his younger son, Richard, is his and Becky's? They're fun for a while until somebody gets really, really angry about it! But I stand by your decision. Sorry, I can't help but put my fanboy cap on and speculate. Just to get off-plot for a second, because I think we'll weave in and out of that, one of the things that was sort of a recurring talking point for, whenever I heard you talking about "Sweet Tooth" or read you speaking about it, is this idea of Gus' journey and this notion of innocence.
Starting him in this very innocent, literally sheltered place, and we are going to take him out of this place as he's exposed to Jepperd. What was always really cool about Jepperd, in the Joseph Campbellian myth-making style, is that he is the mentor. He's Obi-Wan. He's the one that shows Gus how the world works. But he's not Obi-Wan. He's not Mr. It saves Gus a number of times. In "Sweet Tooth" 40, there is a time lapse, and we are reintroduced to Gus and he is very Jepperd-like in many ways.
But there are a couple of turns in the issue where we learn that he hasn't become totally and completely savage like Jepperd. There is still compassion there. I'm curious if you're saying -- when we meet him at the beginning of the story in "Sweet Tooth" 1, Gus is totally innocent, he's tabula rasa. Where is he at the end? To me, at the outset, Gus is a total innocent and Jepperd is a total savage. As the book goes on, as they're exposed to one another, they both start going the other way. At the end, Gus becomes the best of both of them.
He becomes a hybrid of what he was at the beginning and what Jepperd was. He's just enough of each to survive, and he's better than each of them on their own. He has the parts of Jepperd he needs to survive and he needs to lead this new breed and help them survive, but he also has those important things that he's always had that make him better than mankind, which is his innocence and his heart -- an ability to love people and let them in, which Jepperd couldn't always do.
I feel like you articulated that really beautifully with Buddy.
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Taking these ideas, it's easy for characters to espouse philosophy, but you have to choose representatives to carry the water of different ideas and that was one of the big surprises of the book for me, was Buddy. I think, clearly, that he was resenting Gus for that because Gus got the father that he was supposed to have. Sure, and then there is this very powerful moment where Buddy is about to be killed for going to war, for taking on this group of humans, and Gus comes riding in to save him. And it says, something along the line of, "But they were brothers. Like I said, Gus is the best of everything, so he would be so forgiving of that.
With everything that happened to Buddy, he would see a reason why. And he would overlook that. He would always be there. And also he would be because that's what Jepperd asked him to do in "Sweet Tooth" That's good that you thought that and bought that cover. When you first started talking about the ending of "Sweet Tooth," you were asked if you were going to give it a happy ending. And your answer was some version of: "No comment.
Terrible, terrible things are going to happen. It is a yes or no question but can you answer it now? For me, it's a very happy ending. At least to me it is. When I was writing it, it was very joyous kind of ending.
I felt like all the bad things that happened and the ringer that you put the characters through for 39 issues, it would be pointless and just cruel to have that be the way that it ends without a reason, without a greater purpose. To me, it's probably the happiest ending I've ever put on a book. Speaking of unhappy, you've said you've always known where this was going, you've known what this last issue was, and again, circling back to the inevitability idea, it always felt like Jepperd was not going to make it.
It always felt like he had to die in order for Gus to sort evolve to sort of move forward. Even knowing, from the word go, that Jepperd is not going to make it, can you just talk about, a little bit, what it was like emotionally to draw those specific pages from the story when he died? It's tough. I always knew he was going to die but I also always knew I was going to miss that character -- drawing him and being with him on a day-to-day basis. It's pretty emotional when you draw things like that. When you draw that last page, it's really hard and really weird thinking that would be the last time I draw Jepperd in any meaningful way other than pinups or commissions for people at shows.
For me, I worried a bit at the end that I'd made Jepperd too soft. I didn't know if I went too far. There is always that worry.
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We'll see. One thing that did change in the last issue was that in the last couple pages of "Sweet Tooth" 40, Jepperd was never going to be on those pages until right before I did them but I realized that he needed to have a presence in that last issue. The book needed to end in some way with Gus and Jepperd together, even in a symbolic way. We'll get to that choice because obviously, I found it incredibly moving.
It's similar to the kind of spiritual inevitability of a life and what happens when a life ends, reuniting with other lives that impacted it, etc. But I will say that when I went into the comic book store and saw the cover of "Sweet Tooth" 39, and kind of knowing you and knowing the kind of story teller that you are, and it has Jepperd clutching a piece of Gus' shirt and there is blood all around -- the feeling in my heart was that this had to be a mislead -- I thought you actually had the balls to kill Gus.
As inevitable as it felt to me that Jepperd was going to die, I was so sure but when I saw that cover, I felt like, "Oh my god. This could go the other way entirely. I guess I want to make sure that everyone reading this doesn't think that I had it all figured out. That was never really an option for me. I did consider killing Bobby at one point, but I thought everyone would have hated me. Come back soon for the second part of Lemire and Lindelof's discussion of all things "Sweet Tooth," the series finale of "Six Feet Under," the existence of a Lemire Universe and much more.
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Please contact us at data valnetinc. This Website does not target people below the age of Add to Wish List. On sale Dec 10, Pages Add to cart Add to list Exam Copies. Eisner Award-winning writer Jeff Lemire's 1 New York Times best-selling Animal Man series is collected in one giant hardcover omnibus edition for the first time! He also won the American Library Association's prestigious Alex Award, recognizing books for adults with specific teen appeal. In Lemire published the graphic novel The Underwater Welder. He currently lives and works in Toronto with his wife and son.
Learn more about Jeff Lemire. Learn more about and and Travel Foreman. Available for sale exclusive:. Learn more about and and and Travel Foreman.
Other books by this author. The Terrifics Vol. Jeff Lemire , Dale Eaglesham. Jeff Lemire , Andrea Sorrentino. Sweet Tooth Book Three. Jeff Lemire.