Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Nobody by Jeff Lemire (2009)

The Nobody by Jeff Lemire (2009) is my next pick from the St. Denis lending library of graphic novels.

This is a modern retelling of H.G. Wells' novel The Invisible Man (which I read almost 10 years ago! Also, wow, I've had this blog for a long time). In Lemire's version, a mysterious bandaged stranger comes to the town of Large Mouth (population 754). He soon gets the attention of pretty much everyone who lives there, but strikes a particular nerve with the teenage Vickie, our narrator, who waitresses at her dad's diner. Vickie befriends the stranger and often visits him in his hotel room but doesn't get any closer to finding out his many secrets. When a local woman goes missing, the small town anger lashes out at the mysterious stranger (who isn't really so innocent, although not for the reasons they suspect), and it all comes to a satisfying and slightly ambiguous conclusion.

This is a nice combination of a coming of age story, a cathartic look at small town life, and a modernization of a classic sci-fi/horror novel. The drawings have an angular life to them that highlights the dissatisfaction, mystery, and occasional anger in the text. This is a tightly told story and one worth seeking out regardless of how familiar you are with Wells' original.

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