Jeff Lemire’s Essex County is at once sentimental, melancholy and adventurous. The book is composed of three interconnected graphic novels that each hit an emotional nerve, beautifully conveying, through stark but powerful black and white imagery, the evolving nature of relationships in a South-western Ontario rural community. A top 5 spot (and the People's Choice Award) on Canada Reads' Essential Canadian Novels of the Decade and a slew of recognition from other top critics from around the country has catapulted the trilogy into the limelight. It’s no real surprise, then, that the first story, Tales from the Farm, is now in development to become a film.
"I've been so involved in films that are primarily based on the action sequences and over-the-top visuals that this to me was incredibly attractive just based on the depth of the characters and the evocative nature of the story," admits visual effects designer, Oscar-winner and first time filmmaker John Dykstra of the reason for signing onto the project, tentatively titled “Super Zero”, set to begin casting this summer.
The film will adapt the story of a 10-year-old boy coping with the death of his parents while isolated on his uncle's farm. At the local gas station he meets retired hockey pro Jimmy Lebeuf and the two form a tight knit friendship, escaping to imaginary landscapes to deal with the harshness of reality. “I’m excited about the news and optimistic that John Dykstra will make an entertaining film that stays true to the heart of Essex County,” Jeff Lemire said to the National Post.
Tales from the Farm, has won numerous awards including the Joe Shuster Award for Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Cartoonist and sold out of its first printing, so expect the film and the book to make a lot of noise at this year’s Comic-Con!