Jeff Lemire’s next big project for Vertigo, following his run on Sweet Tooth, kicked off this week. Trillium #1 sees Lemire return to both writing and art duties after a few months of focusing just on the writing half of the equation with comics like Green Arrow and Animal Man. Reuniting with colorist Jose Villarrubia, who worked with him on Sweet Tooth, Lemire “combines rich historical adventure and mind-bending science fiction into a sprawling, unconventional love story.” Plus, it’s a flipbook!
What did people think of the first issue? Here are a few thoughts from around the web.
Kelly Thompson, Comic Book Resources: “Jeff Lemire’s mini-series Trillium from Vertigo is a strong, if not perfect, start with a killer hook. Lemire’s almost-one-man show (José Villarrubia assists on colors and Carlos M. Mangual on letters) falters in places, but the concept alone makes it worth a read.” (4/5)
Minhquan Nguyen, Weekly Comic Book Review: Even though Lemire has relatively few major works to his name, he’s already revealed certain patterns in his storytelling. That he enjoys spending his time on the purer side of science-fiction is quite obvious. Trillium, involving a plot which traverses not only the far reaches of space, but also between the expanses of time, certainly fits the bill. There’s even a bit of conceptual ingenuity reminiscent of Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. in Lemire’s notion of a sentient virus with a particular vendetta for Earthlings, wherever they may reside.” (B+)
Zak Edwards, Comic Book Bin: “The first issue is a flip book with the individual stories of how main characters William and Nika come to meet each other. But more than just the covers match: every single page follows an identical panel layout, moving these stories closer than their generic borrowings at first would suggest. Each character is suffering from trauma, Nika’s loss of her mother and the swiftly dwindling human population and William’s WWI shell shock. The physical experience of these two stories merging, while seemingly gimicky, works well and I particularly enjoy the metafictional quality of the reading experience, a sort of reclamation of the digital takeover of how we read comics. In all honesty, Lemire has made a something that Comixology will have a hard time reproducing and the traditionalist in me is just excited to see an experiment that shows why and how print media is still important and relevant.” (9.5/10)
Matt D. Wilson, ComicsAlliance: “What’s amazing is that Lemire does all this in just 28 pages. This is easily two issues’ worth of story jammed into one comic that’s split into two 14-page parts. It’s assuredly why so many pages have so many panels, but I don’t think the art suffers for it. Look at the opening pages of both stories, both of which have 12-panel grids, and you’ll notice a pretty astonishing level of detail. One of the two has no dialogue at all, and doesn’t need it. Everything is clear.”
Sean Edgar, Paste Magazine: “And Lemire’s pencils aren’t afraid to show how flawed and broken his characters are. Like stop-motion animation, the visuals groan and crease with small fractures and stress lines, most noticeably in the wrinkles of Pike’s forehead or the gaunt outline of his cheeks. Conversely, Nika’s steadfast resolve comes across in her confident body language and assertive gaze. These aren’t characters who will inspire action figures, but they do inspire emotion. And enough can’t be said for the water coloring; much like Matt Kindt’s work in MIND MGMT, these warm, craggy stains provide a texture that makes these worlds that much more tangible.” (8.4/10)
Benjamin Bailey, IGN: “Lemire’s art in this issue is some of the best he has ever produced. The separate stories make for dynamically different landscapes, both of which Lemire renders in glorious detail. He has a knack for producing characters who carry their struggles on their face. You can see it in their eyes, the horror, the broken search for something more. This is an exciting and original work that deserves your attention and your dollars. Buy Trillium.”