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Jeff Lemire (Author and Illustrator)

Vertigo (DC Comics), 2014

> Review by Carloyn Marcille

The story of two characters meeting across time and space through an alien portal in a rush to save the last of humanity from a sentient virus, Trillium is jam-packed with story, and as a result both the characters and Lemire’s world-building feel a bit rushed. In addition, the racist trope of spear-throwing, vaguely cannibalistic tribesperson employed by Lemire is a stereotype that gets trotted out far too often when white characters require peril for plot development. And I am OVER the “indigenous people as aliens” shortcut. That being said, Trillium takes a big story that we’ve heard a thousand times and tries to tell it in a small way; by focusing on the two time-crossed lovers. I was a fan of the strong female protagonist, and there are a few tricks scattered throughout the text; Trillium literally asks you to turn it upside down for a time as the two main characters experience each other’s timelines. The formatting of Trillium is interesting as well; instead of the shiny, smooth pages that modern graphic novel readers may be accustomed to, Trillium’s rough, newsprint paper recall adventure comics of yore. That texture, combined with Trillium’s coarse but detailed drawings, creates a text that manages to be both retro and futuristic.

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