The Nobody by Jeff Lemire
Genre: Fiction, Graphic Novel
Publication Date: 2009
The Short Version:
Inspired the classic The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells this graphic novel tells a similar yet different story that is a haunting tale.
Why I Read It:
After reading the Sweet Tooth Series I just had to read more of Jeff Lemire’s work.
From the publisher:
The tiny, isolated fishing village of Large Mouth never saw much excitement — until the arrival of the stranger, that is. Wrapped from head to toe in bandages and wearing weird goggles, he quietly took up residence in the sleepy town’s motel. Driven by curiosity, the townfolk quickly learn the tragic story of his past, and of the terrible accident that left him horribly disfigured. Eventually, the town embraces the stranger as one of their own — but do his bandages hide more than just scars? Inspired by H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man, THE NOBODY explores themes of identity, fear and paranoia in a small community.
When I picked this up at the library I didn’t realize is was a retelling of The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells so I decided to wait to read this until I read the original. I’m glad I did.
When a strange bandaged man arrives in the small community of Large Mouth the locals are suspicious, then welcoming, then suspicious, then angry.
I liked the way that Lemire told this. He used The Invisible Man as a starting point but this story is different. There are similar characters with the same or similar names as in the Wells book but there are also characters and pieces of the story that vary widely. Vickie, the daughter of the owner of the local diner befriends the mysterious man and become the primary narrator. It’s told mostly from her perspective.
If you haven’t read The Invisible Man this is still an interesting and well told story. I was glad that I read them both close together. I think it helped me appreciate the similarities as well as the differences.
Lemire’s art is like his story telling. Minimalist in many ways but packed with emotion. It’s all in black and white and his rough hewn drawing style works well to convey the parts of the story that isn’t told by the words.