I picked this up while on vacation in Ohio, and sat down and read it one night when I was the only one awake. By now everyone knows Lemire for Sweet Tooth, The Nobody, and his upcoming work on a title, but he’s probably best known for the collection of comics that are called Essex County.
A collection of stories about the inhabitants of a small town in Canada (similar to the town Lemire grew up in), it’s a heartbreakingly quiet universe, one not of massive tragedy, but everyday life that manages to still have profound influences on the people it touches.
Lemire’s art is pretty one-of-a-kind, a stark black-and-white, almost-ugly/almost-sketchpad style that manages to be amazingly beautiful. I absolutely love it, it reminds me oddly enough (or not so oddly) a bit of Bill Watterson’s backgrounds.
I don’t wanna say too much, but while all of the stories and characters in Essex County intertwine and interact throughout the collection, the stories basically break down to;
-A kid grappling with the loss of his family and the blurred line between imagination and reality.
-The paths of two brothers who start out strong but end up drifting apart until there’s no going back.
-A caretaker struggling to stay confident and positive as she seemingly holds a good chunk of the whole community together.
Anyway, have I mentioned how great this is?