Sunday, October 3, 2010

Review: The Nobody

Not a lot goes down in the small fishing town of Large Mouth, especially in the off season, so it is pretty exciting when a stranger drifts into town covered from head to toe in bandages, and wearing weird goggles. The stranger, John Griffin takes residence at a small motel in the town and attempts to go about his business. Believing the man was injured in some strange accident, the townsfolk allow John his privacy, but remain skeptical. Eventually a young teen, Vickie, befriends John and starts to unravel the mystery surrounding him. The friendship and bond between John and Vickie grows, but when some crimes crop up, the town suspects John and everything begins to unravel.

The Nobody is a haunting reimagining of H.G. Wells' Invisible Man story. The writer and artist, Jeff Lemire does a great job of creating a creepily realistic small town setting. The characters he introduces have great depth and sport motives that are complex and somewhat difficult to grasp. That's not a bad thing though, I think it is that elusiveness that makes this a winner. The story pacing is also interesting. This is definitely a slow burn. Lemire likes to tease out the events slowly, and bring things to a powerful climax.

This book has an almost noir feel to it. Which brings me to the art. Lemire takes a stripped down approach, using sparse amounts of text, and using his artwork to tell much of the story and set the tone for the graphic novel. Another aspect that makes the art stand out is the color, or lack there of. Only three colors are sen in The Nobody. Black, white, and a pale blue. The color palette creates an eerie feel that goes nicely with the story.

The Nobody is a great story written and drawn by one of comic's most unique story-tellers. After reading this, I fully enshrined Lemire as one of my favorite comic creators. His work really resonates with me, and his stories tend to stick with me for awhile after I read them. You can't go wrong here.

Grade: B+

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