“Sweet Tooth” an adaptation of the Vertigo series from writer/artist Jeff Lemire, debuted on Netflix earlier this month and has been accumulating positive reviews and word of mouth.
The series’ debut caused me to realize it was almost exactly a year ago I first encountered the comics it’s based on.
In summer 2011, Voce Communications, where I worked at the time, had just been signed as social media agency for DC Entertainment, an account I was going to be daily lead on. Leading up to that I flew out to Voce’s Sunnyvale, CA headquarters to discuss how we were going to kick things off. San Diego Comic-Con, a couple short months away in July, was our primary focus, as was the launch of DC Comics The New 52, scheduled for the end of August.
Sitting in my boss’ office was a box of graphic novels and merch DCE had sent to help us become familiar with the various properties we’d be encountering. Sitting there among the Batman, Superman and Green Lantern items was the first trade paperback collection of Sweet Tooth, something I knew nothing about. Lemire’s cover, though, immediately grabbed my attention and I pulled the softcover trade out.
The story Lemire wove through the first several issues had me hooked, and I later went on to read the rest of the original run, anxious to see how the gentle hybrid Gus would fare through his various travels and travails. It’s highly recommended and I look forward to reading his new comic series and watching the Netflix show in the near future.
But there are two Sweet Tooth-specific memories I’m compelled to share:
First: Lemire was always one of the nicest writers/artists to work with at the various conventions I staffed on behalf of DC and Vertigo. Always accommodating to the sometimes odd and almost always specific requests my team and I would make for social media. Watching him interact with fans — whether it was on a panel, in the show booth or just on the floor — was also fun as he was clearly having fun and was humbly appreciative of their enthusiasm.
Second: Speaking of those fans, it was at New York Comic-Con in October 2011 that I was walking the show floor between events and saw a couple cosplayers, one with big deer horns and the other with a pig snout. I probably passed them at least twice and looked at them for a while, trying to place why their costumes looked familiar. Finally I realized they were dressed as Gus and Wendy from Sweet Tooth and approached them, hoping to take their picture and share it on social.
There’s no big lesson to share here, no takeaways that will guarantee you make your content marketing program a success. It’s simply a fond memory I come back to often and share here as a reminder gentle, original art that inspires people is a powerful force in the world, something that should be celebrated.