Post-apocalyptic comics that have influenced SWEET TOOTH by Jeff Lemire
With my Vertigo monthly SWEET TOOTH coming up in just a few days, I've been hunting down and/or re-reading as much post-apocalyptic fiction as I can for inspiration. In addition to Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and films like The Road Warrior, I’ve also been hunting down as many post-apocalyptic comics as I can. Here are some of my favorite comics in the genre:
SCOUT--Tim Truman's overlooked masterpiece from the 1980's. A hard traveling Apache warrior hunting down the "Four Monsters" of Native lore, who have taken the form of politicians and war mongers in this post-apocalyptic America. Truman's storytelling is incredible. The first series ran for 24 issues, and the sequel, SCOUT: WAR SHAMAN ran for 16, and is even better. It follows a wiser older Scout, ten years later as he treks across America with his two young sons in tow. It was a huge impact on me when I read it as a kid, and is now a huge influence on SWEET TOOTH.
WINTERWORLD--A three issue mini-series from Truman's "4-Winds" imprint at Eclipse Comics. The same imprint under which he produced Scout. This 1987 story by Chuck Dixon and Jorge Zaffino, follows a scavenger in a world frozen over. He uncovers shopping malls long buried in the snow and ice, and trades the goods he finds. It might have been Zaffino's first American comics work, and the art is simply stunning.
BOY AND HIS DOG--Harlan Elllison and Richard Corben. This is a total classic which my partner in crime, and colorist on SWEET TOOTH Jose Villarrubia recommended. I love Corben, and he is in peak form here adapting Ellison's short stories about a young post-nuke survivor and his highly intelligent telepathic dog. Apparently it was made into a film in the 70's or 80's with Don Johnson, but I haven't found that yet.
PUNISHER THE END--Garth Ennis and Richard Corben. Another Corben gem. This is my favorite Punisher story. Frank Castle breaks out of prison after decades inside to find a world demolished by a holocaust. He immediately sets out to punish those responsible. Corben's aging gray-haired Frank is an unstoppable force of nature and amazing to behold. This character design ended up being a huge influence on the design of Jepperd, the big bad ass in SWEET TOOTH.
As a bonus, here are a few pencils of a particularly “post-apocalyptical” sequence from SWEET TOOTH #3!