REVIEW: TRILLIUM / AUTHOR: JEFF LEMIRE / ARTIST: JEFF LEMIRE / PUBLISHER : VERTIGO / RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 12TH
Trillium is a complex science fiction epic. Vast in scale and yet incredibly personal at the same time, it follows two different people separated by time and space. One is a scientist and diplomat from the far-flung future who’s desperately trying to discover a cure for an intergalactic plague that is wiping out mankind. The other protagonist is a 1920s explorer, searching Peru for a temple said to have remarkable healing properties.
Spanning light-years and centuries, Trillium is a love story between these two very different people. The writing is clever and fairly heavy in places, this is a tale that deals with themes such as isolation, self-discovery, man’s inhumanity to man and mental health. It contains some genuinely touching moments and can be both incredibly sweet and very dark, often at the same time.
The characterisation is superb, though the narrative is quite flawed in places. Certain events seem only to exist to present an obstacle to the main characters and don’t actually make a lot of sense. For example an important plot device is destroyed at one point simply to allow the author to explore different aspects of the narrative, rather than for any reason that actually makes sense. The tale is full of these imperfections and yet it doesn’t matter too much because what is central here are the star-crossed lovers, and they are brilliantly handled.
Lemire’s sketchy and distressed art-style adds an interesting depth to the work. Books written and drawn by a single creator tend to be more powerful because they look closer to how the artist originally envisaged them. On the other hand it would have been nice to see someone else handle the art duties, Lemire’s vision is so complete and complex that a cleaner and more crisp creative vision would have added new depth to the work. As it is, the art is functional but isn’t as exciting as the story itself.
If you enjoyed The Fountain but wished that it made more sense, or if you’re simply looking for an epic sci-fi romance tale then this is quite likely to make you smile.