Review: Jeff Lemire is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I first came across him via the DC Comics series Animal Man and Justice League Dark. I will have to review his excellent graphic novel Underwater Welder later, but for now we’ll look at his earlier work Essex County.
Unlike his writing for DC Comics, Lemire’s personal works are drawn and written by himself. And rather than focusing on superheroes and end of the world scenarios, Essex County is a slice of life in a rural community that spans several generations.
His artwork is simple, but emotive. The stories are moving, often causing tears to well up in my eyes, but avoid sentimentality in exchange for realism.
The stories he tells are real stories about people who make mistakes, become vulgar when backed into a corner, and ultimately move through life with a mixture of joys and regrets.
And this might sound bizarre, but I enjoyed the smell of the black ink on the pages during this read. It’s very distinct and an essential part of the reading experience.
Essex County is a very realistic story. It is a beautiful story.
Rating: 5/5 (I loved it)
Find it here on Amazon.