Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Reader's Diary #533- Jeff Lemire: The Nobody

Earlier this year I read and reviewed Lemire's Tales From The Farm. This is probably the first time since I began this blog that I've read the same author twice in a year.

But, it's Halloween season, I really enjoyed Tales From The Farm, and The Nobody, which you could classify as horror, was just sitting there on my bookshelf.

I enjoyed it, probably not as much as TFTF, but I'm still a Jeff Lemire fan for sure. The Nobody is an adaptation of H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man, set in modern small town USA (hey, why not Canada?). I think I read the original years ago, but if so, I've remembered little and so I can't say how loose or rigid Lemire's interpretation was.

I enjoy stories like this that look at the underbelly of rural life. Living most of my life in small towns, I can relate. Not, of course, that small towns are without perks, but let the tourism bureaus focus on that. Large Mouth, the small town of The Nobody, is afflicted with the most common ailment of small towns: gossip and especially gossip about those that are different. It was refreshing to see that Lemire didn't point fingers at the women, but at the men. Not that Lemire, flipped the stereotypes entirely on their heads: the men did want to solve their problems with violence.

I didn't feel as connected with these characters as I did with TFTF, but John Griffin (i.e., the Nobody himself) and narrator Vickie did become more complex and sympathetic characters as the book went on.

As for the art, I quite enjoyed the scratchy style even if a couple character faces looked too similar to characters from TFTF. In The Nobody, Lemire also used a pale blue for shading that added a whole new depth. As well, in all of Griffin's flashbacks the style changes a great deal and the scratches are softened out but the lines and shading are more detailed. It captured beautifully how the world has changed for Griffin, the scientist who turned himself invisible and couldn't return to his normal life.

1 comment:

Teddy Rose said...

I love how you pointed out that it was the men who were the gossips. Thanks for that! I don't know why that didn't click with me. I get so annoyed that is always the women who are called gossips while men do it just as much.

I don't think I could handle a small town "gossip mill." However, there is plenty of gossip in the city as well. Especially at every employer you work for here. LOL!