NYCC 2012: Jeff Lemire Chronicles a Quantum Romance in TRILLIUM

Just as Sweet Tooth draws to a close, Vertigo announces Jeff Lemire’s next creator-owned saga. Trillium is a timeless love story. Or is it a timeful love story? From the sound of it, Trillium practically overflows with time. Spanning from the dawn of the 20th century to the twilight of the 38th, it’s Lemire’s attempt at a comic book romance in the vein of Preacher or Blankets.

Meet Nika Temsmeth, botanist at the edge of known space.

Meet William Pike, World War vet turned relic hunter in darkest Peru.

Talk about star-crossed lovers. Which is just what we did with Jeff Lemire earlier this week.

iFanboy: What can you tell us about your new project Trillium?

Jeff Lemire: It’s a science fiction love story.  It’s two genres I really wanted to take a crack out.  Sci-Fi is something that ever since I did that Ultra: The Multi Alien story last year that I’ve been hungry to do something bigger. Something set in deep space and have fun designing space ships and space suits. I’ve also always wanted to do a compelling love story as well. That’s one genre the comics medium hasn’t really explored that much. There’s all the cheesy romance comics from the 1950s, but other than that , I can think of  Blankets and Preacher and a few other stories that have romance at their core. So I thought that if I could do this big sprawling Sci-Fi adventure but ground it with that at the emotional core, hopefully it can be something that’s pretty compelling. r

iF: It seems that one of the stories of 2012, aside from the creator owned boom, is that this year is turning out to be a big year for Science Fiction, what with Saga and other titles. Why do you think this year is big for Sci-Fi and what drew you to the genre?

JL: It’s weird, I don’t know what it is but there is a flurry of these great Sci-Fi books coming out.  For me, it’s something I’ve always really enjoyed.  Arthur C. Clarke is one of my favorite authors and my favorite movie of all time is probably 2001. It’s something I’ve always been fascinated with and the isolation of space and mankind going to the absolute limits.

iF: We agree with you in that romance is an under appreciated genre in comics, why do you think that’s the case?

JL: It’s something that’s actually really hard to do in any medium. A good love story is really tough. You either get cheesy romantic comedies which aren’t really…good. To do a really heartfelt love story can so easily turn into sentimental crap. It’s very hard to do and you really have to walk a fine line and that’s a real challenge for me and I’m keen to take on.

iF: When you dreamed up Trillium, was it intended to be a romance with Sci-Fi or the other way around, a Sci-Fi story with romantic overtones?

JL: It’s hard to remember the exact genesis now. I think he Sci-Fi plot elements were really…I wanted to do a Sci-Fi story that juxtaposed two periods of exploration and then the love story just sort of naturally came out of me working on the story and the characters came out of that.

iF: We’re huge fans of your indie work like Essex County and the recent Underwater Welder and the use of emotional storytelling in them. Can we expect Trillium to be similar to those works in terms of emotions?

JL: It should hopefully have all the things people like about my work but also be a chance for me to push myself in some new directions visually and as a storyteller and take some new challenges and get out of my comfort zone a bit.  It would be easy for me to fall back to doing another story like Sweet Tooth if I wasn’t careful and I wanted to try something that was as different from Sweet Tooth as I could just to keep it fresh for me and to not fall into any patterns. Hopefully it will be what everyone likes about my work but also new and fresh.

iF: After the experience of Sweet Tooth, what have you learned from that and what are you applying to Trillium?

JL: I’ve probably learned that I never want an ongoing book again because it’s really stressful [laughs] I really do like more close ended stories. I always seem to know my endings right away and it was really fun to do an open ended thing where I can experiment with the format and stuff. But I’m not eager to do another open ended story for a while. I’m going to stick to graphic novels and self contained minis like this for a bit because I’m more comfortable doing that.

iF: How long will Trillium be and when can we expect to see it?

JL: Trillium will be 10 issues. To be honest, I’m still drawing the last issue of Sweet Tooth right now. In terms of where I’m at with Trillium, it’s in the design stage. When I have free time, I’m working in sketch books, visually, trying to get a look for the book and the different eras. I’m going to take a couple months off after Sweet Tooth and then I’ll be starting sequentials in early 2013 and then from there stick to the monthly schedule.


  1. Lemire is a freaking machine, how he does all this and manages to draw his comics as well is astounding to me

    Also, gotta love the trend of more sci fi in comic books

  2. Take money money. I want this.

  3. This sounds ‘out of this world’!

  4. Sounds awesome!!!

  5. Cool.

  6. All I needed to read was the headline to know that I’ll be buying this.

    It’s cool he will be sticking to shorter stories for a while. That way we can see his style applied to a wider variety of stuff.

  7. Somehow Lemire will be able to put hockey into this story. It sounds impossible just from the short summary of the title, but I bet he’ll be able to do it.

    Anyways it sounds like a great idea for a comic and I’m down for more Lemire on Vertigo.

  8. To quote Phillip J. Fry, “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!”

  9. Sounds and looks amazing!