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The Collected Essex County Paperback – September 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Top Shelf Productions; 1St Edition edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160309038X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603090384
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

New York Times Bestselling author Jeff Lemire has built a unique career as both the writer and artist of acclaimed literary graphic novels like Essex County, The Underwater Welder, Sweet Tooth and Trillium and also as one of the most popular writers of mainstream superhero comics with acclaimed runs on such titles as Green Arrow, Animal Man, Justice League and Hawkeye for Marvel and DC Comics.

Current projects include the original graphic novel ROUGHNECK to be published by Simon and Schuster in 2016, as well as the science fiction series DESCENDER with Dustin Nguyen and A.D. with Scott Snyder.

In 2008 and in 2013 Jeff won the Schuster Award for Best Canadian Cartoonist. He has also received The Doug Wright Award for Best Emerging Talent and the American Library Association's prestigious Alex Award, recognizing books for adults with specific teen appeal. He has also been nominated for 8 Eisner awards, 7 Harvey Awards and 8 Shuster Awards.
In 2010 Essex County became the first graphic novel to be included in the prestigious Canada Reads contest making it to the final five and winning the people's choice vote as best Canadian novel of the decade.

He lives in Toronto with his wife and son.

Customer Reviews

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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By K. W. Schreiter VINE VOICE on September 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This hardcover collects Jeff Lemire's trilogy of graphic novels (plus some bonus stories) set in rural Essex County in Ontario, Canada. Lemire provides both the story and black-and-white artwork in this fictionalized account of life in his hometown. The first book "Tales From The Farm" centers on middle-school age Lester who lives on his uncle's farm after his mother's death. Unhappy with home and school, Lester develops a friendship with gentle, childlike ex-hockey player Jimmy who now runs the local gas station. This first segment sometimes seems slow, but contains plot seeds that blossom by the third book. I enjoyed the references to the 1979 Topps hockey card set.
The second and longest book "Ghost Stories" tells of the relationship between brothers Lou and Vince, primarily through a series of an aging and regretful Lou's flashbacks. This was the most interesting and powerful of the three graphic novels. The third book "The Country Nurse" follows the titular nurse on a few workdays around the county meeting characters from the first two books, as well as some history of Essex County. A common theme is undying love for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The book ends with a delightful genealogic chart that maps the trilogy's characters. I had a lukewarm reaction to the first book but enjoyed it more as I kept reading and would recommend this hardcover, especially to hockey fans.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Andrew H. Marinkovich on July 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
I've been thoroughly enjoying Jeff Lemire's SWEET TOOTH series from DC Comics' Vertigo imprint, and had been interested in reading his collected ESSEX COUNTY book for awhile now. I finally purchased a copy at this year's (2010) San Diego Comic Con (from the publisher's booth) and devoured the thing in one reading. To put it simply, this is one of the best graphic novels I've ever read (and I've been a comic book reader for over 30 years). I was truly moved by the simple yet poignant stories in this volume. I especially love Lemire's unconventional and sparse artwork that still manages to convey so much depth and emotion in each panel. I hate reading comics that are cluttered with so many word balloons that it's an effort to read through a page. Lemire has a wonderful knack for creating stories with a minimum of dialogue but that are still complex and full of intersting characters. There are not many writer/artists who can do this as effectively as Lemire shows here (and as he also does in SWEET TOOTH, and his other Vertigo graphic novel THE NOBODY). Lemire is clearly a huge talent, both as a writer and an artist, and I look forward to enjoying his new works for years to come.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ama Su Nilia on November 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Collected Essex County compiles three different separated volumes revolving about the lives, present and past, of the same characters living in Essex County (Ontario) Canada: Vince, an ex-hockey player and his brother of Lou Lebeuf, also an ex-hockey player and tram driver who is in a age care asylum; Lester, a weird orphan kid and her uncle farmer Mr Kenny, and nurse Annie Quenneville.

Book 1 (Tales from the Farm), follows the friendship of Lester with Vince and his alienation from his uncle. Book 2 (Ghost Stories) tells the story of demented deaf Lou, who mixes past and present in his head; most of the story is set in Toronto in the 1950s. Book 3 (The Country Nurse) tells us the story of the nurse's grandma, and of the nurse's daily life. The book ends with some bonuses, the graphic story of the Essex Country Boxing Club, the mini-biography of The Sand and Lonely Life of Eddie Elephant-Ears and other scrap drawings.

Lemire's talent shines bright in Essex Country for many reasons. This graphic novel has the masterly of a talented painter, the atmosphere of classic movies, a good character creation (both in imagery and psychology), engaging narrative and stories, undeniable and genuinely Canadian themes, but also a universal way of depicting the human heart.

There is something in the characters that speaks to all of us, because they are not heroes, not even anti-heroes - just "normal". It is their humanity and loneliness but their willingness to connect. They are all lonely struggling people, alienated from their families, emotionally depleted or starved, hard working, down to earth. They are not handsome characters, they are tough looking, edged and angular in their bodies and facial features.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Walsh on January 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am relatively new to reading this genre. I bought it for my partner but partially because of the regional location of it. I grew up in Cleveland area, but anywhere around Great Lakes region always grabs my interest. The stories were stark and moving. Sad but reality based, just life as life is for many people. Nothing extraordinary or glamorous, but the book exudes plenty of emotion. Sadness, growth, independence, love and loss, caring, regret, deception. I loved the regional feel of it, the hockey, the snow, the bird that appears throughout, and I got reminded of CKLW- the radio station I remember hearing in Cleve-back in the day. Search it on goog and it's still a station- news out of Windsor- it had been a top 40 radio station- pioneering the top 40 format back when I was a listener (mid60s-70s). I will surely check out more of Jeff Lemire's work.
-thanks Jeff!
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