Essex County, Volume 1: Tales from the Farm

Overview

Xeric Award-winning cartoonist Jeff Lemire (Lost Dogs) illustrates the tale of Lester, an orphaned 10-year-old who goes to live on his Uncle's farm. Their relationship grows increasingly strained and Lester befriends the town's gas station owner, and damaged former hockey star Jimmy Lebeuf. The two escape into a private fantasy world of super-heroes, alien invaders and good old-fashioned pond Hockey. Tales from the Farm is the first volume in a trilogy of graphic novels set in a fictionalized version of Lemire's ...

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Overview

Xeric Award-winning cartoonist Jeff Lemire (Lost Dogs) illustrates the tale of Lester, an orphaned 10-year-old who goes to live on his Uncle's farm. Their relationship grows increasingly strained and Lester befriends the town's gas station owner, and damaged former hockey star Jimmy Lebeuf. The two escape into a private fantasy world of super-heroes, alien invaders and good old-fashioned pond Hockey. Tales from the Farm is the first volume in a trilogy of graphic novels set in a fictionalized version of Lemire's hometown of Essex County, Ontario.

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - George Galuschak
Lester is 10 years old. His mother just died, so now he lives on a farm with his uncle Ken. Lester is crazy about superheroes: he reads cool titles like The Flash; writes and draws a comic called Heroes and Villains; and even has a superhero outfit that he wears pretty much all the time, especially when he's defending the Earth from space aliens. Lester befriends Jimmy Lebeuf, who works at the Esso station. Jimmy is a grown up who used to be a hockey player; for some reason he takes an interest in Lester. They read superhero comics, play ice hockey and build a fort together. Unfortunately, Uncle Ken doesn't approve of this friendship and tells Jimmy to knock it off. This is the first volume of a trilogy set in the author's hometown of Essex County, Ontario. One of the interesting things about this graphic novel is the setting: for a place that's in the middle of nowhere, there's a lot happening here. Although it's not explicitly stated, it's pretty obvious that Jimmy is Lester's father. I'm not sure what to make of the ending—does Jimmy really die or is the entire episode part of Lester's fantasy life? The b/w art is gritty and choppy and does a great job of illustrating the emptiness (both physical and emotional) of the landscape. This graphic novel contains bad language (f-bombs galore) and is recommended for adults and older high school collections that emphasize avant-garde/independent/art-house comics.
School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up After losing his mother to cancer, 10-year-old Lester moves in with his Uncle Ken, a gruff and solitary bachelor who owns a small farm in rural Ontario. Ken tries his best to reach out to his nephew but can't relate to this boy who wears a superhero cape and prefers reading comics to watching hockey on television. Lester spends most of his time by himself until he makes a friend with the least likely of characters: Jimmy, a disgraced pro hockey player who now runs the convenience store at the local gas station. Jimmy enters Lester's imaginary world by helping him build a fort to stave off an alien invasion and encouraging him to write and draw his own comic book. The bond that grows between the two helps both Lester and Jimmy move beyond the tragedies life gave them. Lemire's writing nails that complicated mixture of anger and sadness that comes with losing a loved one. His black-and-white illustrations work equally well, using rough and chunky lines to powerfully re-create the solitary nature of farm life and Lester's vivid imagination. Teens will love the humor in Lester's odd imagination and will be touched by the heart of a book that delivers a compelling look at tragedy and how to move on after it strikes.-Matthew L. Moffett, Pohick Regional Library, Burke, VA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781891830884
  • Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
  • Publication date: 3/7/2007
  • Series: Essex County Series , #1
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2008

    A reviewer

    The story is all set in a fictionalized version of Jeff Lemire's hometown. The character of Lester is not directly based on the author's childhood , but the themes are the same. Jeff Lemire grew up on a farm just like the character did, but was raised by parents. He added the death of character's mother only to heighten the character¿s isolation.

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