Essex County Collected (TPB)

by lucstclair on July 02, 2012

Follow the trials & tribulations of the people of Essex County, Ontario in 3 emotionally charged stories. In Tales From The Farm, a farmer raises his nephew who daydreams of being a super hero & writes comics. In Ghost Stories, country life meets the city life, as 2 brothers play for the local hockey team & the affection of one woman. In The Country Nurse, a lonely nurse & widow deals with her every day life with her estranged son and the poor souls she cares for.


The Pros

This is writer & artist Jeff Lemire’s interpretation of life in a farm town called Essex County, a town where he was born & raised. It’s a beautiful, but often heartbreaking look at people’s daily lives, as they deal with regrets, loss, growing old, friendship, family & it wouldn’t be a Canadian story without some good old hockey thrown in. All 3 stories kept me glued to this book, like little Lester writing his comics, I couldn’t stop. The cover speaks a thousand words, it’s about the roots of these individuals in a small community and the connections they share. There are moments of joy and the inevitable moments of gut-wrenching sorrow (Ghost Stories had me choked up).


Lemire’s stories jump from past to present in a haunting & poetic way. From a farmer, desperately trying to raise his nephew on his own to a old man living with the devastated effects of Alzheimer’s Disease and finally to a sad & lonely nurse to an orphanage ran by a nun with a secret. All illustrated in breathtaking black & white. I love Lemire’s artwork, you can see & feel the sadness of the characters, written all over their faces. Panels of Lester’s imagination as a super hero & Lou Lebeuf’s memories fading in & out like seasons are absolutely stunning. There’s also some bonus material included, like a heart-warming story about 2 best friends who start a semi-famous boxing club & the sad tale of Eddie Elephant-Ears.


The Cons

Absolutely no negative comments here.


The Outcome

This charming & moving collection is Jeff Lemire’s opus. If you’re only into super hero comics, than you’re reading the wrong review. But believe me you’re missing out. I can’t recommend this one enough. For more on Jeff Lemire’s work, check out Dave’s fantastic review of Lost Dogs & my reviews of Sweet Tooth Vol. 1,2,3 & 4. Check in with us soon for a review of Jeff Lemire`s new graphic novel The Underwater Welder. Written & illustrated by Jeff Lemire. From Top Shelf Productions.

Our Score:


A Look Inside