The Nobody by Jeff Lemire

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The Nobody
By Jeff Lemire
Vertigo

jefflemirethenobodycoverThere are only five stories in the world—or maybe six or seven. The number varies slightly between tellings, sure, but the adage remains more or less the same. When boiled down to their purest essence, mankind has, in a sense, been reliving the same basic conceits since the dawn of storytelling. The moral, of course, is that the skill ultimately lies not in the story itself so much as the way it’s told. It’s one of the first lessons a low-level instructor will impart on you toward the beginning of nearly any creative writing course.

The concept is embraced to its fullest when artists opt to eschew the illusion of fresh storytelling in favor of an open retelling of some much-loved piece of art. Upon wrapping up his oft-lauded Essex County trilogy for Top Shelf, that’s precisely where Jeff Lemire went, choosing as his jumping off point H.G. Wells’s beloved science fiction allegory, The Invisible Man.

In adapting (or perhaps more appropriately, reimagining) the story, Lemire embraced yet another bit of creative writing 101: write what you know. For a backdrop, the artist provides us with Large Mouth, a small, rural town though ought prove rather familiar to those acquainted with the streets and farms of Essex County.

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