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Top Shelf Goes to the Farm

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Xeric Award winning cartoonist Jeff Lemire returns to his roots with "Essex County", a trilogy of graphic novels set in an imaginary version of his hometown, the eccentric farming community of Essex County Ontario, Canada.  With Essex County, Lemire's expressive, painterly ink work reaches a new level of refinement and control, without sacrificing any of the verve and energy of his early anthology comic Ashtray (2003) or his dark Xeric winning fable Lost Dogs (2005).

In Essex County Vol. 1: Tales From The Farm, Lemire illustrates the story 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 former damaged hockey star, Jimmy Lebeuf.  The two escape into a fantasy world of Superheroes, alien invaders and good old fashioned pond hockey.

In later volumes Lemire will delve deeper into the mythology and rural legends of Essex County. Jeff's most ambitious project yet, Essex County will span seven decades over three full size graphic novels and combine his two great passions; ice hockey and comics to quilt a dark and strange portrait of how loss and betrayal push and pull at the fabric of family in small town life.

The books will also serve as Lemire's love letter to great European expressionists like Munoz and Breccia, as well as his own childhood superheroes George Perez, Kieth Giffen and Wayne Gretzky.

For more and previews see Top Shelf Comix: Essex County and Jeff Lemire.com

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