Super-Fly Reads: Jeff Lemire

We have a lot of great stuff at Super-Fly from well established comic creators, but every once in awhile, a relatively new talent gains some well-deserved notoriety. One such hot comics writer/artist on the rise is Canadian Jeff Lemire. Lemire may be best known for the current Vertigo ongoing Sweet Tooth, which is a phenomenal series, and he has a few other works that are definitely worth checking out too.

Lemire’s masterpiece Essex County released by Top Shelf Productions is a large volume containing three short stories that stand alone, yet interlock at the same time—all centered around the small farming community of Essex County in Canada. Each story is beautiful and moving in its own way, and the whole book is quite an experience to read. While stories deal with a man recounting his life and the mistakes he’s made and a nursing home nurse who touches many in the community, my favorite one is the first story of the book. In it, a young boy named Lester, (who is so committed to fantasy that he wears a cape and mask everywhere he goes,) befriends the local tough guy, Jimmy and they forge a friendship based on their love of hockey and comics. Will Lester ever grow out of the fantasy? You’ll have to read to find out. The great thing about the collected Essex County is that it comes with good bonus material including reproductions of things given away at cons and a separate bonus story that was not originally included.

Lemire’s The Nobody released by Vertigo is a small tourist town take on the Invisible Man, but it is unique with more focus on intolerance and the true meaning of friendship rather than being a horror story. Much like Essex County, Lemire nails the small town feeling with the community of Large Mouth. When a stranger named John Griffen comes to town, how will the townspeople react to his presence? Especially after he keeps to himself, refusing to see anyone save for his making friends with a teenage girl, Vickie. There’s mysteries, love, sorrow, friendship and remorse in a wonderfully conceived story that definitely belongs in your graphic novel collection.

Finally is the ongoing Sweet Tooth being currently released by Vertigo every month. Sweet Tooth is the story of a post-apocalyptic world in which a virus has wiped out most of mankind, and children born after the virus were animal-human hybrids. Gus is one of these children and has antlers, and after his father dies, he is aided by a man named Jepperd. Before you get “post-apocalyptic world” fatigue on me, I have to say that Sweet Tooth is different, and better, than most. I don’t want to give much of anything else away here, but rest assured, their journey is not an easy one. I will tell you though if I could only buy a couple comics a month, one of them would be Sweet Tooth. It’s that good. Sweet Tooth just released issue #11, but if you need to catch up, don’t worry! A trade paperback of the first five issues has just been released, making it a perfect place for you to start. Don’t miss the boat on this incredible critically acclaimed series!

All of the above are written and drawn by Jeff Lemire, and his art is very excellent as well. Lemire has his own style that blurs reality and cartoon elements and comes up somewhere very pleasant in between. Some of his art is beautiful, some of it haunting and all of it is the perfect accompaniment to his words.

Jeff has just entered the realm of super hero comics, writing the Brightest Day The Atom Special released recently and will soon write the Atom co-feature in DC’s Adventure Comics. Lemire will also be bringing his small town sensibility when he writes the adventures of Conner Kent in Smallville in the upcoming Superboy comic.

We should have much of Jeff Lemire’s work in stock, but if not, we’re always happy to special order it for you! So come on in and check out the works of Jeff Lemire, you won’t regret it!

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