Do you remember when comics were weird? When you were a young kid and just saw people in colorful costumes and were just really confused? Or when you first read an old Vertigo comic after a lifetime of super hero books and just realizing the scope and potential oddity of comics? That’s Sweetness #1. Earth has been to outer space, and met aliens, but thanks to some treaties, there is a strict no interaction rule between humans and extra-terrestrials. After a couple of aliens go to a restaurant in New Jersey to steal condiments, they are stopped by the police. It is then up to the IBS, the International Bounty Services (whose symbol is blatantly stealing from UPS) to return the frozen ETs back along with some Earthly prisoners.
Our three main characters are an uptight rookie pilot named Bachman who is nervous not only for the flight into space, but also the fact that he is helping smuggle something into space for a decent fee, Scout who is our resident strange/anything goes type, and Danielle, or Nelly as she prefers, a parolee who is the liaison with the penal colonies they are taking their cargo to.
The plot itself is really pretty straight forward: meet the crew and start the flight. So not much to talk about there, but there is the weirdness I spoke about above. As a whole the strangeness isn’t blatant. We do have Scout hooking up with a guy who has performed necrophilia with an alien, who insists his brother watches. His brother is also a Weeble version of himself.
No, the strangeness lingers kind of remains hidden underneath, I don’t know if I can quite pin point it. The art work is reminiscent of Frank Quitely, very emotive and personable. But sometimes it feels like the panel is frozen just a hair too late or too early. The pause button is just the slightest bit off. You can tell the face was where it should be or is going where it naturally would, but that frame is just the tiniest off. This isn’t a real criticism, the art work flows so well, it feels alive, authentic. Like a natural conversation is happening as you watch, just like in real life or in a film. But since that isn’t how comics normally work, it feels different.
Besides the artwork, there is just this kinetic feeling to the story, which is really the combination of art and writing. None of the characters truly gel, they are mostly doing their own thing. This isn’t a team book, this is three individuals forced to work together, which is an interesting dynamic. This never feels cliché because of the way everyone bounces off one another.
The Sweetness #1 has the feeling of weirdness, because it feels authentic. This is a true story of a world that isn’t our own with characters that are fake. Backman is in over his head but when provoked or questioned by someone he views lesser, he acts like he’s the greatest ever. Scout is weird and “quirky”, yet rolls her eyes and stupidity around her. She is excited about new things and oblivious to much around her that she deems “boring”. Nelly has more wisdom and knowledge then the other two, but is also invested in her own interests. She exudes leadership and preparedness while also being relegated to being the lowest class on a three person crew.
Sweetness is a strange and fun journey, one you should check out if you wish your comics were weirder.
[su_box title="Score: 4/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]