This Week's Read: Essex County / by Jaz Malone


For a multitude of unimportant reasons (laziness), I'd put off reading Jeff Lemire's collection of tales dedicated to his hometown. I'm all about his other works, like Underwater Welder and Descender, but when I saw EC at my local library, I figured it was time to round out my Jeff Lemire knowledge.

Essex County is quite lovely. The art style is simple - black ink on white pages - but perfectly fits the stories told. The tales are snippets of life among the young and the old living in a small town. One man, a former hockey star, now works at a gas station due to a head injury that ruined his career. One boy dreams of being a superhero, while his father dreams that one day his son will want to spend time with him. A nurse does her best to care for the elderly in a home, as they are the closest relationships she has.

I'm a big fan of nostalgia. I repeat that a lot, but I do love it. Even though I didn't grow up on a farm, the book's setting feels familiar.

It's a big collection, but a quick read. I knocked it out in several hours, in between snacks. You'll want to stop and look at the artwork, and details put in and left out. I definitely recommend taking a day to fully enjoy Lemire's signature work.

Go read.