Writer/Artist: Jeff Lemire

Without any superpowers or fantasy elements, Jeff Lemire’s Essex County is an honest, real world drama about a small Canadian community and the families that inhabit it. This twisting character study is more like an indie film than a typical comic book. Lemire brings a visual flare to the whole thing that reminds us why this story could have only been told in this format.

These are stories of sibling rivalry, father issues, lost loves, and compassion as Lemire ties the seemingly separate lives of these characters together through a sprawling history of real human emotion. Whether it's a young child masquerading as a superhero, the dreams of two siblings on a pro hockey team, or the struggles of a middle-aged nurse, Essex County delivers a collection of characters so genuine that by the end you'll swear they're real. 

It's as warm as it is devastating—there are plenty of moments that should move you to tears throughout. No matter how somber it becomes, Essex County never feels too sappy.