When last we left Jeff Lemire’s acclaimed Essex County Trilogy, it had been named as one of the five finalists for the CBC’s prestigious Canada Reads program, the first time a graphic novel has received the distinction. The next step is a series of debates, set to air on CBC Radio One on Feb. 7-9, in which celebrity panelists defend their choices on the way to determining the essential Canadian novel of the decade.
Lemire also recounts the book’s creation: “At the time I was still working a day job as a line cook at La Hacienda restaurant on Queen Street West in Toronto. I’d work the night shift, which left me with my days free to draw. Generally I’d try to get a page a day drawn. Some days I’d do more, some days less. Doing comics is a marathon, rather than a sprint. It takes time…hours upon hours to render the same fictional moment that a prose writer might dash off in a few minutes. But to be consumed by something as big as Essex County was full of rewards as well.”