Thursday, July 12, 2012

Essex County by Jeff Lemire


http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bZ5CuJjjBTA/TbLY1JeZxVI/AAAAAAAAAck/EV0vlZu9MLY/s1600/essexcounty.jpgHailed as one of the greatest pieces of Canadian literature by well, Canadians and by comics fans as emotionally resonant, Essex County had a lot to live up to.  Fortunately, it delivers on the most part and delivers a trio of interconnected stories in a style that recollects Thompson's Blankets.  Here are the discussion questions: 

1.  What do you think Jeff Lemire set out to do in writing Essex County?

2.  Jeff Lemire writes both traditional superhero comics and these independent autobiographical comics.  Most authors only do one or the other.  Why?

3.  What is the significance of the bird?

4.  How do the characters in Essex County deal with grief and loss?

5.  What is a superhero to Lester?

6.  How does Essex County differ from other similar graphic novels such as Blankets?

7.  Critics applaud Lemire's subtlety and his ability to set a mood.  How does he accomplish this?

8.  Like Concrete, Lemire revels in the mundane.  What differences are there in his prose that makes for more or less riveting storytelling?

9.  The stick-tapping scene is often cited as an example of Lemire's talents.  What does this scene accomplish? 

10.  Lemire creates conflict between characters by having them communicate poorly or in some cases, not communicate at all.  Is this a contrived way of creating conflict or does it ring true to the way people behave?

11.  What is the importance of the setting?  Could the same story take place elsewhere?

12.  How did you feel about the loose line art style?  What mood or visual feel does it give in comparison to Habibi's intricate page designs and mosaics?

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