Essex County Vol. 1: Tales from the Farm (Essex County, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Essex County Vol. 1: Tales from the Farm (Essex County #1)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  1,730 ratings  ·  166 reviews
Xeric Award-winning cartoonist Jeff Lemire (Lost Dogs) illustrates the tale 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 damaged former hockey star Jimmy Lebeuf. The two escape into a private fantasy world of super-heroes, alien invaders and goo...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published March 20th 2007 by Top Shelf Productions
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Essex County Vol. 1, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Essex County Vol. 1

Watchmen by Alan MooreThe Complete Maus by Art SpiegelmanV for Vendetta by Alan MooreThe Sandman, Vol. 1 by Neil GaimanThe Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Best Graphic Novels
209th out of 1,693 books — 4,068 voters
The Complete Maus by Art SpiegelmanAmerican Born Chinese by Gene Luen YangStitches by David SmallThe Arrival by Shaun TanFun Home by Alison Bechdel
DCPL's Teen Graphic Novel Booklist
37th out of 65 books — 36 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Sam Quixote
Lester, a young boy, is sent to live with his Uncle Ken, a farmer, when his mother dies of cancer. Both are struggling with grief and are awkward around each other, not knowing what their relationship is yet. Lester strikes up a friendship with a lonely gas station clerk called Jimmy who once played hockey for the Toronto Maple Leafs before an accident brought his hockey career to an end. Lester sometimes dresses up as a superhero and draws comics, while he and Jimmy play hockey and prepare for...more
Tales from the Farm was interesting, and enjoyable because it was simple. It really did give meaning and was a sad story. Tales from the Farm is about a young boy, age 10, named lester whom lives on a farm with his uncle Ken. His mother recently passed away from cancer, and he never knew his father, so his uncle offered to take him in. Lester is a quiet and shy child, who becomes friend with an ex-famous hockey player where they both have fun times together and its the happiest Lester has been i...more
Richard Van Camp
Every once in a while, a graphic novel is published that is so tender, so magical, so magnificent that readers are moved in the heart forever. This is what happened when I read, "Tales from the Farm" by Jeff Lemire. (Grades 8 and up)

This is a story about a young boy named Lester who wears a cape and a Zoro mask and does his chores at his uncle's farm and dreams. Lester dreams and has visions of grandeur as he grieves the loss of his mother to cancer and accepts that he never knew his father. Thi...more
Jan Ebelt
Tales from the Farm was a unique graphic novel about a boy named Lester, who after his mother's death from cancer, lives with his Uncle Ken on a farm. Lester has a fascination with superheroes and makes sure he buys all the new comics from Jimmy Lebeuf. Jimmy Lebeuf becomes his friend and as he argues with his uncle more and more he becomes closer to Jimmy. Jimmy tells Lester of his past in professional hockey and is with Lester as he plays out his superhero fantasies. This graphic novel's story...more
Simple, relatively familiar story: Boy's mother dies, goes to live with farmer uncle. Befriended by former pro hockey player.
I liked the roughness of this - the illustration style is rustic (although I did enjoy the relative finesse of showing flashbacks in grayer tones), there are typos in the lettering. I (!!) actually thought the lack of female characters in the present was a strength here. It was a quiet reflection of male relationships and dynamics. What is creepy? What content is real vs....more
Nicola Mansfield
Divided into the four seasons, this tells a simple story of the first year of a ten year-old boy's life living with his bachelor Uncle Ken in rural Ontario after his mum dies of cancer. I wasn't too impressed with the first "chapter" but by the second had become engrossed in the simple, yet taught and tragic story. Life is often a melancholy affair with a series of events that may bring a slight spark to the daily hum-drum and that love is present but not always shown with feeling but rather wit...more
This was a sweet, moody little story. I personally related to the main character coping with the loss of his mother. I liked the relationship of the boy protagonist with his two father-figures. The artwork took a little getting-used-to, as I tend to go for more Gil-Kane-ish comic art, but I ultimately enjoyed it.
Ryan Moore
A touching story about Les, a 9 year old who had to go live with his uncle after his mother dies. Fun story as Les evolves into a "superhero" with some help of a sidekick to help him cope with his new reality. Lemire does his classic, almost sketch-like drawing with only black and white coloring.
Short (30-min read max) and spare and sad. I feel like this book is about silence more than anything. I do like the art style, and I'm interested to read the next volumes of Essex County. My favorite image by far is Jimmy Lebeuf's Viking-esque creek "funeral" (or was it a real funeral?).
This book is about a 10-year-old orphan who lives with his uncle who he does not understand. He becomes friends with an ex-hockey player in his town who relates to him on his level, but his uncle does not approve of this friendship. The most obvious developmental asset in this book is Other Adult Relationships because the boy gets something from the ex-hockey player that he can not get from his uncle. Perhaps because his uncle is so closely tied to and involved with the life changing event of hi...more
Lemire is my favorite cartoonist working today. His sporadic lines and inks give a weight to his work that is carried through the emotions of the stories. Lester is stuck in his fantasy world of comics and super heroes, still reeling from the death of his mother and his placement with his less than parental uncle. Enter an outcasted adult to whom Lester relates and whom joins Lester in his fantasy world that he is constantly told is wrong and childish (how dare a 10 year old be imaginative). The...more
If you shovel half of the super-heroics of the comic world aside, one can find a surprising amount of work that is worthy of the best in contemporary fictional prose. In these volumes of Lemire’s Essex County series, which essentially form a triptych of interconnected stories set in the titular county in southern Ontario, the best visuals of auteur cinema and the stark realism of writers like Raymond Carver are played out to heart-breaking effect.

In Tales from the Farm, Lemire introduces us to...more
Essex County, Ontario, Canada. La plaine, une ferme, une famille, deux frères plus précisément, une traversée du XXème siècle. Au-delà de l’admirable étude humaine, Jeff Lemire raconte, à sa façon, un pan de l’âme canadienne.

Première BD majeure de l’auteur, Essex County brille autant sur le plan graphique que celui du scénario. Ce titre, salué par plusieurs prix en Amérique du Nord, a, malgré un très fort ancrage régional, rencontré un très beau succès en librairie. Son talent révélé, Jeff Lemir...more
L- Lisa
Lester becomes orphaned at 10 years old when his mother dies of cancer. He dons his super hero cape and mask as he moving in with his uncle Ken, a farmer in Ontario, Canada. Uncle Ken attempts to give Lester room for his obsession with warding off space aliens and comic books, but is clearly unsure of how to relate to Lester. When Lester meets Jimmy, the gas station attendant in town, they become unlikely friends. Jimmy was a professional hockey player whose serious injury ended his hockey caree...more
Lemire illustrates the tale of Lester, a ten year old who is recently orphaned and now lives with his uncle in Ontario. Lester is a daydreamer, who pretends he is a superhero and avoids the chores imposed upon him by his rather dour uncle. Lester goes to the local store with his uncle one day and meets Jimmy, a former hockey star who was injured and is now mentally handicapped. Jimmy and Lester become friends and the two enjoy escaping into their own fantasy worlds where they conquer aliens.

Dylan Stetkiewicz
Tales from the farm was a weird book and I don't normally like graphic novels but I tried it anyways and it wasn't good at all. I recommend this book for someone who likes graphic novels and cartoons. I gave it a one star rating because it was difficult to read with everything happening at once with all the pictures and such.
Jigme Datse
Feb 10, 2011 Jigme Datse rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Robert, Talia, Merinda, Christopher
This is the first graphic novel that I have read that really was originally a graphic novel. I've read "comic book series" that have later become graphic novels, but most of that reading was done as individual comic books, though sometimes the entire series in short order.

I went through this book quite quickly. I could have done more savouring of the graphic portion of the book, and not just scanning the pictures quickly with my eyes. Visually this book is stunning, and I'd also say that the wri...more
Lester recently lost his mom to her struggle with cancer and is now living with his uncle on the farm. He dresses as a superhero everyday and reads comic books voraciously; he even authors his own. Uncle Kenny has never had a child and has difficulty connecting with his nephew. Jim Lebeauf, former NHL player for the Toronto Maple Leafs, works at the local gas station/mini mart and shares in Lester's enthusiasm for comic books and make believe. The two grow closer and this makes things even rocki...more
I read it in one quick sitting and it was over like a long sigh. I don't know if I missed something, but I'm almost sure I did. I read between the lines and still came up with something that read like an airy web comic. It didn't offer me much, it didn't develop much and it didn't ask very much of me. It just wasn't much. I wasn't bored or disappointed. It was like reading a news blurb with no real information. I finished it with a satisfying "huh."

I admit that I was impressed with how much was...more
Okay, this is weird - I have recently read THREE stories that all have to do with children coping with their mother's cancer. All three have had to do with retreating into a fantasy world of some kind to help them make sense of the adult world and how their lives have changed since the parent's sickness and/or death.

Tales from the Farm was heart-breaking, even if I had a pretty good idea how it would all end, it was well written and well drawn. Lemire made good use of the graphic novel format, t...more
Essex County is a bittersweet tale of Lester, a young boy who lives with his uncle after losing his mother to Cancer. Lester and his uncle have a strained relationship, neither really understanding what the other is going through. Then Lester meets Jimmy, the gas station attendant who used to play in the NHL until a suffering a brain injury. And while Lemire doesn't say it, it is heavily implied that Jimmy is Lester's father.

Jimmy's childlike mind makes him a perfect playmate for Lester. They pr...more
The language is so sparse, yet conveys so much. The panel work does wonders as well. This was a very moving volume - emotionally and visually. Can't wait to pick up the next few.
Yes, this is a slim little volume and yes, I probably would have preferred reading all three volumes at once, but Tales from the Farm is beautifully drawn, and the characters and dialogue are achingly honest. I loved the strained relationship between Lester and his Uncle Kenny and I love how the landscape was such a crucial part of the story. Some reviewers here have mentioned that the Canadian setting and the hockey might be a potential stumbling block for young American readers. To me this was...more
Premier volume d'une trilogie d'albums ancrée dans la région agricole d'Essex County, en Ontario. Lester a dix ans & habite chez son oncle depuis peu, depuis qu'il a perdu sa mère. L'oncle en question essaie maladroitement de se rapprocher de son neveu, mais Lester s'enveloppe dans une solitude tenace, doublée d'une cape de super-héros. Avec Jimmy Lebeuf, très éphémère star de hockey maintenant propriétaire d'une station-service, il construira tout un monde intérieur où se côtoient invasions...more
I picked this up after reading and enjoying Lemire's The Nobody. There is something attractive to me about Lemire's illustrations, possibly their sketch-like quality and strong faces. I'm pretty bad at getting to the root of my opinions on art and understanding aesthetics.

The characters in Essex County (and in The Nobody) contradict the storytelling paradigm of average people wanting to be great. Lemire instead highlights the tension of ordinary people trying to live ordinary lives, but wrestlin...more
For me graphic novels are much like short stories, but, in which, the descriptive text is visual, not textual. As such, I do not expect "novel" depth. On the other hand, I do expect some resolution. This first in a three-volume series barely introduces the characters and leaves much unexplained and unanswered. My initial intent was to read the entire series as The Complete Essex County. Unfortunately, that "complete" work was not available to me to read and review as a total entity, so I feel ob...more
Nicole West
A superhero/alien story.
I love it. This poor boy though,
I felt so bad for him losing his mom like that.
I can sympathize since I lost my Dad at 11
Oct 30, 2010 Teddy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Graphic novel lovers
Shelves: read-in-2010
Winner of the Alex Award, Essex County Vol. 1 is a graphic novel that takes place in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.

Lester is a ten year old boy recently orphaned, who is taken in by his uncle, who owns a farm. Lester wants nothing more than to be a super hero. His life with his uncle is strained, even though his uncle is doing his best. Lester doesn't have much to do on the farm and is bored.

One day he meets the gas station owner, Jimmy. He is a former hockey star and seems a little off to Lester...more
Maria Martella
This is the first in a trilogy and I can't wait to read the second one. Even though the dialogue is quite simple, I felt very moved by the three characters in this story. When 10yr old Lester's mom dies, his uncle is the only family left to take care of him. Their relationship is awkward and they both seem to withdraw from each other at times. Then Lester befriends Jimmy,an old hockey star who now owns a gas station. Everyone thinks Jimmy is slow because his career ended when he was hit in the h...more
Bill English
I enjoyed this book, but it was not stellar. The art is very rough. It's not my style of art. It's good - in it's own way. I really enjoyed the story. It's about a 10 year old boy living with his uncle because he doesn't have a dad and his mom recently died of cancer. He's just trying to live life as a 10 year old, but he has some inner struggles with some real issues. The book doesn't touch on those much, but there are dark undertones. I enjoyed it, but it's not the best book I've read this wee...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Monsters
  • Local
  • Hicksville
  • Jamilti and Other Stories
  • Low Moon
  • Chiggers
  • Paul Has a Summer Job
  • Pop Gun War Volume 1
  • Garage Band
  • Super Spy
  • One Soul
  • Demo: The Collected Edition
  • I Never Liked You
  • Too Cool to Be Forgotten
  • Bottomless Belly Button
  • Token
  • It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken: A Picture Novella
  • The Nightly News
Jeff Lemire is an award-winning Canadian cartoonist, and the author of the Essex County Trilogy, Sweet Tooth and The Nobody. Lemire is known for a his moody, humanistic stories and sketchy, cinematic, black-and-white art.
More about Jeff Lemire...
Sweet Tooth, Vol. 1: Out of the Deep Woods Sweet Tooth, Vol. 2: In Captivity Animal Man, Vol. 1: The Hunt The Complete Essex County The Underwater Welder

Share This Book