The Nobody by Jeff Lemire

nobodyBibliographic Information:

Lemire, J., & Wells, H. G. (2009). The nobody. New York: Vertigo. (978-1-4012-2081-5)

Plot Summary:

John Griffen comes to Large Mouth looking for a place to hide while he tries to reverse the side effects of an experiment that led to the death of his wife. His attempts to disappear from his old life and blend into his new are complicated by a teenage girl who is also feeling lost and the suspicious townspeople who have decided that he must be hiding something more sinister than some scars.

Critical Evaluation:

Lemire has successfully blended the graphic elements with the sparse text to create a moody and tragic tale. Loosely based on the H.G. Well’s classic of the same name, Lermire has taken the elements of the original and has woven in a theme of losing one’s identity; how does a person become invisible?

The bleak theme is represented in the black and white panels. Blue and white are used with the scenes depicting Griffen’s flashbacks with softer lines and shading to give these scenes a dream-like quality. Otherwise, the use of blue makes the images colder and more distant.
Reader’s Annotation:

When a mysterious man moves into the small town of Large Mouth, Vickie’s life changed forever when she decides to learn his secrets.

jeff%20lemireInformation About the Author:

Jeff Lemire is a Canadian cartoonist who has won a number of awards. In 2008 he won the Schuster Award for Best Canadian Cartoonist and The Dough Wright Award for Best Emerging Talent. He also won ALA’s Alex Award in 2008 for Essex’s County and has been nominated for an Eisner Award. In 2010 Essex County was named as one of the five Essential Canadian Novels on the Decade.

Lemire is the creator of the monthly comic book series, Sweet Tooth (see the official Sweet Tooth blog).

Jeff Lemire was born in Woodslee Ontario on March 21, 1976. Although he took art classes in high school, he really is a self-taught graphic artist.


  • Graphic novels
  • Science fiction

Curriculum Ties:

  • English
    • Themes of prejudice or self-awareness
    • Adaptations H.G. Wells or accumulative nature of literature
    • Visual impact in graphic novels

Booktalk Ideas:

Reading Level/Interest Age:

  • Ages 12 and up

Challenge Issues:

  • N/A

Why did you include this book?:


  • The Nobody. (2009). Kirkus Reviews, 77(10), 28.
  • Abbott, A. (2009). The Nobody. School Library Journal, 55(11), 139.
  • Olson, R. (2009). The Nobody. Booklist, 105(17), 71.


Jeff Lemire. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Jeff Lemire. (2013) Retrieved from

Jeff Lemire’s blog (2013). Retrieved from

Moran, R. J. (2012). Jeff Lemire. In Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved from


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