For those of you keeping up with Vertigo's must-read Sweet Tooth only in the modestly priced collected editions, you may be delighted to learn that writer-artist Jeff Lemire has completed more than 20 issues of the dystopian saga. The author of Essex County is prolific indeed, but even Lemire needs a break from the monthly grind. Not being the sort of creator to follow convention and ship late or use a fill-in artist, Lemire has packed the next issue of Sweet Tooth with a roster of all-star indie cartoonists who write and draw their own contributions. On sale next week, Sweet Tooth #19 features short stories by Matt Kindt (Revolver, Superspy), Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole) and Emi Lenox (Emitown) that spotlight the series' female characters.The story of an apparently mutated young boy called Gus, who's got antlers growing out of his head, Sweet Tooth is a post-apocalyptic road trip that's as compelling and heartbreaking as Lemire's award-winning Essex County trilogy. The Vertigo series takes a heavily character-centric approach to the dystopian concept, and revelations about the mysterious plague that decimated humanity are gleaned only when in service to the increasingly emotional stories of Gus and his co-stars. Among them, Lucy, Becky and Wendy, whose Sweet Tooth #19 vignettes unfold as each of them collects firewood for another cold night in an almost lifeless America.

In an interview given to Comic Book Resources, Lemire said that Kindt, Powell and Lenox are among his favorite cartoonists, with Kindt and Powell being especially attractive to Sweet Tooth fans. Lenox, he added, "is a really fresh new voice who was just perfect for the story that I had in mind."

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