Essex County by Jeff Lemire


What a fragile lovely book. What beautiful art. This Canadian graphic novel about family, and hockey, and superheroes, has so much ambiance. It draws spidery lines in all sorts of different directions, making connections. The different characters tie back together, creating a whole. It’s saying something about the interconnectedness of family; how family can make us strong, but also be our weakness. It’s saying something about nation, and identity, and the heroes we watch on tv.

I’ve been trying to write about this for a while now. I read it months ago. It was incredible, and I don’t know what to say. I could read it again — it’s still sitting on the floor outside my bedroom due, long past due back to the library. It isn’t a long book at all, I could reread it in an afternoon, or just page through it for inspiration about what to say. I don’t want to crack the cover open. I want to leave it sit. I’m not ready to come back to it yet.

That I can’t quite pin down what’s in it’s magic is part of the appeal. It’s full of hidden things, about hidden stories, half forgotten histories. Really, you should read it for yourself and tell me what you think.


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