Friday, 14 June 2013

"The Complete Essex County" or a story of the tree of life and some crows in between

The Complete Essex County
Graphic Novel
by Jeff Lemire 

Art: 4
Story: 5
Overall rating: 5

BEWARE! It might not look that way, but this book will emotionally damage you beyond repair.

The Complete Essex County” gathers the Essex County Trilogy “Tales from the Farm”, “Ghost Stories” (my favourite) and “The Country Nurse” (which actually includes a couple of extra stories). And let it be know, I will read anything from the hands of Jeff Lemire from now on.

Some people will find the art off-putting, but truth is, I quite like it. Yeah, at the beginning it might look a little odd, and some people will confuse that with lack of talent. But there’s boldness to those lines, drawn with confidence that comes with years of practice and anyone who draws will notice that. It’s a whole other thing that THIS exact way of portrayal sets the mood, something I believe could never be accomplished if done in some generic drawing style. Also, I couldn’t help notice how the landscapes were impeccable and you can’t help like the characters, not for their beauty or design but for the human qualities they represent.

The story itself starts with introducing just one character, a boy named Lester living at a farm, and throughout the three volumes we meet people and see thing that are connected to this boy and how he got there. A storytelling method that gives the reader a trill of discovering bits and piece, putting a giant, exciting, even if sad, puzzle. I’m tempted to start talking about each volume individually, but I’m afraid of reveling too much and spoiling your own experience.
And the thing is…it’s a story about family; about loneliness and regrets and fears and mistakes. Wishes.
And home.
It’s oddly realistic and painfully human; a little bittersweet like life itself. It is told in a different, and I stay my ground, unique way and I would be happy to have it on my bookshelf 20, 40 years from now.
If you are one of those people that didn’t read it because they didn’t like the art, brave it.
It’s a book worth reading.

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