Review: Trillium #1 – Jeff Lemire

trilliumcover-195x300I’m just going to come right out and say it. Jeff Lemire is one of the best writers/artists on the comic market today. Each of his creator-owned works – Sweet Tooth, The Underwater Welder – have been some of my favourite stories in the past few years, so I know that when a new series comes around, you pay attention.Thankfully, my want for the next big Lemire-story has paid off, because not only does his new sci-fi epic Trillium hit a home-run, it hits it right out of the park.

Trillium – billed as the “last love story ever told” – tells the story of two different people, from two different places in both time and space. In fact, this first issue is told in two parts – one set in the year 3797, following scientist Nika Temsmith, and the other set in 1921, following William Pike, as he searches for the Lost Temple of the Incas. How these two meet is the crux of this tale, so I won’t spoil it here, but it is safe to say the mystery behind the why/how/who of this event is going to be a great one.

Lemire does more work in 14 pages than most writers do in 23, as he splits the issue right down the middle and they meet in the centre. Each story and world is well fleshed out, and Lemrie never seems to waste any space, proving that this is a man who most definitely knows his craft. Pike’s half of the issue is easier to digest, because of his more earthly origins, but it doesn’t make it any worse. In fact, it is a smart move to have half the tale grounded in a closer reality to our own, as it becomes easier to identify with Pike, as he battles his own war-time demons.

That’s not to say Nika’s part of the tale is too hard to digest – a mysterious virus is slowly wiping out the human race and they find themselves more and more on the run. There is a true sense of the end of the world in her half of the story, that is both poignant and interesting, and it extends further than a lot of similar fiction does.

As always, I am a huge fan of Lemire’s art style, and combined with his old collaborator of colouring Jose Villarrubia from Sweet Tooth, it really nails it here. The people are wonderfully expressive and the watercolours make for a beautiful read. While, again, Lemire’s surreal art style isn’t for everyone, it really helps set the mood, and Lemire knows how to tailor a story to his own work.

Trillium is, to no surprise to anyone, brilliant. I don’t feel I have to say anymore than Jeff Lemire’s name these days to pique anyone’s interest, but if you’re looking for a story that feels unique and from a man who knows his craft, look no further than this book.