Sweet Tooth creator Jeff Lemire shares the inspiration behind his latest Dark Horse Comics miniseries, Mazebook, and its unexpected twists and turns.

Whether you’re creating comics in a shared superhero universe or in the stories of its creator, Eisner award-winning comic book artist and writer Jeff Lemire always weaves emotional catharsis and nuanced protagonists into his stories. This remains especially true for his upcoming comic book miniseries, Mazebook. Written and illustrated by Lemire, the five-issue miniseries launches in September from Dark Horse Comics. MazebookThe story begins with a grieving building inspector named Will who receives a call from his deceased daughter. She claims to be trapped inside the labyrinth, and so the mind-blowing father-daughter adventure begins.

In an exclusive interview with CBR, Lemire shared his inspirations behind the story, joked about how the narrative premise sets up interesting visual storytelling possibilities as you go along, and reflected on how Mazebook it compares with some of his previous work. Also included in this interview is the standard cover of the first issue, illustrated by Lemire, and the variant cover of the first issue illustrated by Lemire’s longtime collaborating partner, Andrea Sorrentino.

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Jeff, how did the inspiration for Mazebook and its protagonist Will Warren be produced?

Jeff Lemire: He had this vague idea about a father who had lost a son and who descended to the underworld to find her. The idea was pretty dark and a typical revenge kind of thing and it didn’t really fit. But some time later I got locked into this idea about highs and how graphically beautiful they can be and also how symbolic they can be and somehow I fused that with my earlier idea of ​​this dad looking for his list kid and things really started to fall into place. .

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The new direction freed me from the darkness and gender tropes of the first idea and set me on a new path to create a story about a man who had cut himself off from the world on this metaphysical journey and slowly reconnected with humanity.

Given the general premise of the book, Will has a unique perspective on the environment. How do you bring that to life visually?

The idea of ​​the labyrinth opened up all kinds of graphic and narrative possibilities. It was really exciting to experiment with that and play around with my layouts and page layout to incorporate the idea of ​​mazes directly into the narrative. Sometimes I do this in a subtle way, sometimes in a very open way.

For example, there are entire pages that, if removed from the book and laid out, would all connect and the panels would form a large maze-like shape. Doing things like that to increase the emotional journey of the character was really rewarding and fun to do.

I also especially enjoy the use of color in this book. How did you want to implement that with the story?

I wanted a very restricted color palette. Instead of just going in full color like it had in previous books like real cityI wanted to use a limited color palette to create the more surreal otherworldly feel that is a bit out of the way.

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From his previous work, this book reminds me more of Underwater welder, with these lonely professions assumed by the protagonist. Why make Will a building inspector?

I’m glad you mentioned Underwater welder. While it wasn’t intentional, as soon as I got involved, it really reminded me of when I was doing Welder too. This lonely man and his journey through his past and a surreal landscape. Of many ways, Mazebook is the other side of Welder. Welder It was about a young man who felt the pressure of fatherhood while Mazebook It is about a middle-aged man who has lost a son. They act well as bookends to each other.

As someone who writes and illustrates, how soon do you know what titles you want to take on as an artist or when are you preparing the story for another contributor?

I tend to develop stories with specific artists in mind, myself included. So from the beginning, I look for ideas and stories that fit the strengths of each artist I work with. In terms of me, that also implies. I have a very specific style in my art. I have things that I am good at drawing and other things that would not fit with my art. So I develop stories to draw myself that play on those strengths and weaknesses.

In general, my own stuff tends to be more grounded and character-based, not always, but generally.

What final provocation can you offer readers with Mazebook?

The maze leads to a place no one will see coming!

Written and illustrated by Jeff Lemire, Mazebook # 1 is out September 8 from Dark Horse Comics.

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