Trillium

Trillium 8 (June 2014)

Trillium #8Lemire has a great device in this issue–lots of small panels full of conversation to show a rapid-fire exchange. Not sure if it's his own creation but it's a wonderful tool for pacing the reader while still having visually dynamic panels. They're just smaller panels.

The good composition and pacing continues until about halfway through the comic, when it all goes to pot.

Lemire goes for a really cheap ending to Trillium; really obvious, really self-indulgent (he changes styles at one point and I think photoshops in panels from earlier issues, regardless where the panels are from–he photoshops badly). The ending reveals how the series's pacing problems disabled it too much. The characters have changed too much, too quickly and the ending Lemire goes after needs a lot of thorough work.

Lemire ignores the series's finest qualities for its finish.

Oddly, I liked his art here more than anywhere else.

D 

CREDITS

Two Stars Become One; writer and artist, Jeff Lemire; colorists, José Villarrubia and Lemire; letterer, Carlos M. Mangual; editors, Sara Miller and Mark Doyle; publisher, Vertigo

Trillium 7 (May 2014)

297641 20140305122523 largeUntil the hard cliffhanger, which is just too jarring both in the narrative and visually, Lemire finally gets back to fulfilling Trillium’s potential.

He makes a decision about his characters too. He’s been wishy-washy on assigning a protagonist lately–not just for issues, but for the whole series; letting his time and star crossed lovers share the position wasn’t working. He decides well.

What’s most impressive is how he lets himself go with the sci-fi spectacular visuals. Lemire’s been doing a lot with trying to dictate how the reader approaches the book (the vertically flipped pages, reading back to forth, practically choose your own adventure). This issue had grandiose visuals (many tying to previous issues’ imagery). It works beautifully without any artificial attempts to control how the reader digests it.

Lemire does well with the B plot too.

As far as penultimate issues go, this one’s outstanding.

A- 

CREDITS

All the Shadows Have Stars in Them…; writer and artist, Jeff Lemire; colorists, José Villarrubia and Lemire; letterer, Carlos M. Mangual; editors, Sara Miller and Mark Doyle; publisher, Vertigo.

Trillium 6 (April 2014)

295147 20140205151633 largeThe pace is a mess. Lemire blows six pages or so on a flashback to Nika’s childhood. She’s the future lady, stuck in an alternate reality past–or who knows, maybe the whole thing has a different history and Lemire is just messing with the reader. But opening with a tragic flashback and burning about a third of the issue? And not giving Nika’s counterpart William a flashback? Padding.

There’s a lot of talking this issue, another sign of padding. The conversations are all about what a character’s going to do or what the character has just done. It’s not exactly a bridging issue because Lemire does take his characters on a journey… he just skips the most interesting part. He skips the journey.

Instead there’s talking.

There are also a lot of the flipped pages, which are losing their effectiveness.

Lemire’s winding Trillium up; shame the plotting isn’t holding.

B- 

CREDITS

Escape Velocity; writer and artist, Jeff Lemire; colorists, José Villarrubia and Lemire; letterer, Carlos M. Mangual; editors, Sara Miller and Mark Doyle; publisher, Vertigo.

Trillium 5 (February 2014)

290462 20131204201050 largeWhat a strange issue. Not because Lemire splits it between his two characters–literally, one gets the top, one gets the bottom, reversed so the reader goes through the comic twice. Rather because it’s just a bridging issue.

It’s a neat concept. Lemire throws the characters into each other’s lives and recreates the worlds around them to make it fit. For instance, the future girl is living in a post-World War I Britain where women are military officers and the men are the cannon fodder. Strangely the art in this part isn’t as thorough as in the guy’s future adventure.

Lemire has been pacing the series really well until this point, but the concept seems like it grabbed him and he forced the story to make it fit.

It’s good, to be sure, but it doesn’t go anywhere really. And the whole split issue design is cute but unnecessary.

B- 

CREDITS

Starcrossed; writer and artist, Jeff Lemire; colorists, José Villarrubia and Lemire; letterer, Carlos M. Mangual; editors, Sara Miller and Mark Doyle; publisher, Vertigo.

Trillium 4 (January 2014)

288500 20131106161945 largeI really hope DC didn’t cancel Trillium. The issue ends with a very final note, but Lemire is playing with time travel and black holes so hopefully it’s not some unannounced cancellation.

It’s a good issue, even if the finish is a little rushed. That rushed feeling again seems like Lemire wanted to get a few things done before he lost the series. Something about how the supporting casts resolve… it feels abbreviated and final.

Lemire gives somewhat equal time to both his future scientist and her past explorer love interest. Lemire never goes for the kiss; he moves around it in intense scenes, which is kind of nice. He also lets them have cultural arguments, also nice.

The art continues to underwhelm and the reveals are never particularly original, but the core relationship Lemire has between his time travelers keeps the book going.

I mean, if it isn’t canceled.

CREDITS

Entropy; writer and artist, Jeff Lemire; colorists, José Villarrubia and Lemire; letterer, Carlos M. Mangual; editors, Sara Miller and Mark Doyle; publisher, Vertigo.

Trillium 1 (October 2013)

Skitched 20130811 150526Trillium might be a lot more innovative if it weren’t for, you know, Stargate.

Jeff Lemire starts out with some really boring sci-fi with a female scientist lead who is trying to stop the spread of a sentient virus. It’s unclear why a thinking disease would eradicate its possible hosts, but it’s an emergency.

She goes to meet with this alien race who have magic flowers to stop the disease. Only she ends up going through the aliens’ star gate to reach Earth in the past.

Lemire splits between the scientist and the explorer in the past. The past stuff is far better. Lemire writes exaggerated twenties dialogue a lot better than his future dialogue.

The art is gorgeous when Lemire’s not drawing people. He’s rough with all the people; it’s just not interesting. The sketchy, watercolor alien landscapes? Nice.

But Trillium’s a lot of work for nothing.

CREDITS

The Scientist/The Soldier; writer and artist, Jeff Lemire; colorists, José Villarrubia and Lemire; letterer, Carlos M. Mangual; editors, Sara Miller and Mark Doyle; publisher, Vertigo.

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