Friday, November 26, 2010


Sweet Tooth Vol.2: In Captivity ships to bookstores and comic book shops everywhere on DECEMBER 8th and to celebrate I'm offering a contest to ANY COMIC BOOK OR BOOK RETAILER:

The shop that creates the BEST IN STORE DISPLAY promoting Sweet Tooth and/or Sweet Tooth Vol.2 will win this piece of original artwork (the cover from Sweet Tooth #15), as well as a complete signed set of all of my books, and any other goodies I can dig up.

To enter the shop owner need to send me pictures of the display via email no later than MONDAY DECEMBER 6, along with an exterior shot of your shop and the address of the store. All entries will be featured on this blog on Dec. 8. My wife and I will determine the winner based on both the creativity and impact of the overall presentation.

-Contest open internationally to any comic book or book retailer
-This contest is being put on solely by me, and is in no way connected to DC Comics or Vertigo.
-The contest is completely subjective, and the winner my wife and I choose will be final, and not subject to debate.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Meet the Canada Reads 2011 contenders

Canada Reads Final Five

Canada Reads unveils 2011 panel, books

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 | 2:59 PM ET

Singer Sara Quin will defend graphic novel Essex County by Jeff Lemire. (CBC)Singer Sara Quin will defend graphic novel Essex County by Jeff Lemire. (CBC)

CBC's 2011 Canada Reads book panel will for the first time consider a graphic novel, after panellist Sara Quin chose Essex County by Jeff Lemire.

Quin, who is part of the music duo Tegan and Sara, is defending the graphic novel about the trials of a Canadian rural community.

Quin said she knows the graphic novel genre well and believes Essex County can be considered literature because of its "incredible characters and wonderful stories."

"The illustrations are so beautiful and so profound and tell a story all on their own," she said, speaking via video link at a press conference Wednesday.

Canada Reads announced its panellists and their choice of books for 2011 at the press conference.

The other panellists are:

  • Actor Lorne Cardinal, who will defend Unless by Carol Shields.
  • Former hockey pro Georges Laraque, who will defend The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou.
  • TV personality Debbie Travis, who will champion The Birth House by Ami McKay.
  • CNN journalist Ali Velshi, who will argue in favour of The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis.

Each of the 2011 panellists chose books from a list of 10 created after Canadians weighed in on the most significant Canadian books of the last 10 years.

Read more:

Monday, November 15, 2010


SWEET TOOTH #18 Written by JEFF LEMIRE Art and cover by JEFF LEMIRE After the explosive conclusion of “Animal Armies,” Jepperd and his new traveling companions begin a long trek north in search of answers in this stand-alone issue. But as the first snowfall of the year hits, mistrust and fear threaten to tear the group apart before they even get started! This story will be presented in a special, horizontal storytelling format. On sale FEBRUARY 2 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US MATURE READERS

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sweet Tooth Cover Being Auctioned!

The Cover Art for Sweet Tooth #10 will be auctioned tomorrow night at The Gladstone Hotel in Toronto as part of a charity fund-raiser for JUSTICE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH. Details below. Any non-Toronto residents who are serious about placing a bid on the art contact me via email and we can arrange to place a bid for you and have the work shipped. Bidding will start at 200, but covers generally sell for 1000, so this is a chance to get one for a good price!

JFCY is a non-profit, legal clinic that provides legal assistance, advice and information to low-income children and youth in Toronto and across the province. We pursue the rights of children and youth through outreach and education, community development, policy and law reform, and test case litigation. Since 1978, JFCY has been empowering children and youth to obtain fair and equal access to legal, educational, medical and social resources.

We also run a specialty program, Street Youth Legal Services (SYLS), the only organization in Toronto reaching out to street-involved and homeless youth on their own “turf” – at drop-ins, shelters and health clinics – to make legal information, advice and referrals readily available. SYLS also conducts regular training sessions at some 25 youth agencies to educate the frontline staff who interact with street-involved youth every day.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Bookmark and Share

Meet your Canada Reads Top 10

Our Top 40 is now a Top 10. We asked you to vote for the books you most wanted to see on Canada Reads — the Essential Top 10 Canadian Novels of the Decade, if you will. What you gave us, from the original 40 (which was a fabulous list, by the way, and should keep book clubs across the country rich in options for years to come), is 10 titles that represent the richness and diversity this entire campaign has offered. There are former Canada Reads contenders, a formerly self-published novel, a graphic novel, some titles from big publishers and others from smaller presses. There's a humorous book and a heartbreaking one, and everything in between. We think this list represents what Canada is reading and what Canada wants to read. So without further ado, Canada, meet your Top 10!

Canada Reads Top 10

The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis

The Birth House by Ami McKay

The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou

The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

Bottle Rocket Hearts by Zoe Whittall

Essex County by Jeff Lemire

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Pattern Recognition by William Gibson

Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden

Unless by Carol Shields

It's out of your hands now, Canada. Five of these titles will be selected by our five celebrity panelists to defend during the Canada Reads debates in February. The books and panelists will be revealed on Wednesday, November 24!

In the meantime, we've got the biggest and best contest yet for you! Correctly guess the final five titles and you could win a chance to see the final round of debates and meet Jian Ghomeshi and the panelists! To enter, all you have to do is send in your prediction for the final five using this form. As with every contest, there are rules and regulations, so be sure to read those here! The deadline for the contest is Sunday, November 21, at midnight ET. Jian will randomly draw a name from all the correct entries on November 24. Good luck!

So, what do you think of your Top 10? Any surprises? Who do you think will move on to the final five? Share your thoughts onFacebook, Twitter or in the comments below!

Erin Balser is an associate producer with Canada Reads.

Superboy Fan Art!

Some awesome new Superboy art by my niece Abby and my nephew Cole!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010



So here I am. Superboy #1 is out today! It feels like a long time coming. Pier Gallo and I have already been working on the book for the better part of 2010. So let me tell you a bit about what I have planned for Conner Kent and Smallville…


As of typing this I have six full scripts done with a seventh in the outline stage. And, I have the first fifteen issues plotted out. So, this will be a BIG story. A Big story made up of a lot of smaller stories. Most of the run will be only 1 or 2 part arcs that add up to a bigger, badder story I’m weaving in that will culminate around Issue 12 or 13. I don’t want to say too much about it yet, but the first issue has some pretty good clues and teases. It also has THE PHANTOM STRANGER! one of my favorite comic book characters. Seems like an odd fit? Well Smallville really is the ideal American small town. But all small towns have a dark side. And Smallville’s dark side will be slowly creeping to the surface, making Kon-el’s attempts at a “normal life” harder and harder to achieve. What you see in the first two issues will only be the tip of the iceberg. (If you’re interested I suggest picking up THE PHANTOM STRANGER showcase editions…they too will hold clues to coming events!)


Astute readers of my past work will also notice an “homage’ of sorts to Essex County in the first issues opening sequence. It pretty much mirrors the opening pages of Tales From The Farm, with the young character of Lester dreaming of flying away and leaving his troubles behind.

(PS…One more thing. Just a side note…my past work is obviously very Canadian. I’m a proud Canuck, what can I say. But it’s kind of interesting how Canadians have played a big part in Superboy’s life so far. Tom Grummet a fellow Canuck was the Superboy artist through the 90’s. maybe we’ll have to team up for an all Canadian issue?)


One thing I love to do in all my comics is use visual motifs. Re-occurring imagery that slowly reveals a metaphor or draws attention to certain aspects of the plot. I did it a lot in Essex and I do it a lot in Sweet Tooth. But It’s also fun to use these motifs as a way of drawing links, thematic or otherwise between some of my different books. It’s why I made Jepperd a hockey player in Sweet Tooth and had him being followed by crows as he trekked across the post-apocalyptic world. And it’s why I used this opening sequence to Superboy. Kon-el and Lester have a lot in common, and at the same time, they’re very different. Lester used his imagination to escape the small town he was stuck in and the hard realities f his life. He dreamed of being a superhero and flying away to great adventure. Conner is trying to use the normalcy of small town life to escape being a superhero. But he can’t. Like Lester he is who he is, and he’ll have to accept it sooner or later.


Now all this talk about my past work and hoe Essex County led to Superboy is probably a bit misleading. Any of my readers expecting to pick up Superboy and read “Essex County with Capes” will be disappointed. EC was a indie book through and through, both aesthetically and in its pacing and execution. Superboy is not Essex County. It can never be that kind of book. It’s a superhero comic. A DC superhero comic, and it celebrates it. It’s big and fun and full of action. But if I do my job right, all of that action a will mean something. And it will be balanced with real characters…real people living in small town America trying to figure themselves, and their lives out. And finding the answers within each other.

What else can I tell you about the book? Let’s see…There is a great first issue cover by Rafael Albequerque (American Vampire) and great covers to issues 2-5 by the awesome Phil Noto. There are a few new characters like Psionic Lad and The Spawn of Smallville. And of course there’s always KRYPTO! So that’s about it for now. That’s all I got. I hope you like the first issue. If you do, stick around and come back for more. If not, that’s cool too. Thanks for trying it out.

I can’t wait for #2 and #3 and beyond to come out, to share the stories I’ve been cooking up with Pier Gallo and the rest of Superman team up at DC! Thanks for reading.

Monday, November 1, 2010


This Wednesday, Nov.3, my first issue of DC Comic's new SUPERBOY series launches. In a way the release of Superboy marks a sort of milestone in my career, one I never saw coming. But, when I look back at how I got here, the path seems clear and natural.

It's been quite a journey for me both creatively and personally over the last 3 or 4 years. Four years ago...2006. I was still working full-time as a line cook at La Hacienda restaurant on Queen Street West in Toronto. I'd work night shifts and then get up early to draw all day before I had to go back in for my next shift.

I'd finished my first long-form comics work, the self-published LOST DOGS about a year and a half earlier and I'd been struggling with what to do next. There were a few aborted projects in there, but none of them really seemed to stick. I can't remember exactly how the idea for Tales From The Farm came about. But I do recall the original idea for that book was much more sci-fi heavy. It was a full-on genre book about a little kid living on a farm who dressed up as a superhero, and a big ex-hockey player. The two were the sole survivors in a small town after a plague wiped everyone else out (Sweet Tooth fans might find this concept eerily familiar).

But as I worked on that idea, I ended up dropping the overt genre elements and simplified it. It became a love letter to the small town where I grew up and to my own childhood on the farm. Tales From The Farm was meant as a stand-alone work. But it took off and the idea expanded into a series of books that would eventually be the Essex County Trilogy. It became a sweeping multi-generational epic about small town life and family, all filtered through the central metaphor of hockey.

The success of Essex County led to work at Vertigo, thanks to then editor Bob Schreck and the great Karen Berger. I did a book called The Nobody, another rumination on small town life, and then launched my current monthly book SWEET TOOTH, which oddly enough re-purposed some of my original ideas for Tales From The Farm and mashed them up with a bunch of other fun sci-fi and horror ideas I had floating around in my sketchbooks. I finally got to quit my kitchen job and work at comics full time. Life was good. But then it got better...

I never thought I'd ever write mainstream superhero comics. I just thought my style was a bit to personal and idiosyncratic to translate. And I never thought editors at DC or Marvel would be interested. I was wrong. Within a few months of Sweet Tooth's release I had offers to write superhero books for both Marvel and DC. It's no secret that I grew up reading superhero comics. Anyone who read Tales From The Farm can pretty clearly see young Lester's love of comics as a nod to my own childhood obsession. I loved them as a kid and still do now. So the opportunity to take on a superhero book of my own was really exciting, if not a bit unexpected.

DC offered me a chance to write an ATOM story in Adventure comics. I took it, and it was going pretty well. I admit, in hindsight that there was a pretty steep learning curve going from writing and drawing everything myself to trying to filter my "voice" through another artist. But Mahmud Asrar, the Atom art-phenom made the transition in those early chapters go a lot smoother, and eventually I started to get the hang of it.

Then came the chance to write Superboy. At first I wasn't really interested. I actually didn't think the character or the book would be a good fit for me. Sometimes the most obvious things are the hardest to see. But then I took a step back and saw how perfect I was for the book after all. I saw how all of the themes that I loved exploring in Essex County and The Nobody could also be present in Superboy...small town life, community , was all there. Only this time instead of filtering it through the metaphor of hockey, I could filter it through the metaphor of the super hero.

And that's how I began working on Superboy. Where it would lead me was even more unexpected, but I'll pick that up tomorrow. I'll also explain a few homages to Essex County "hidden" within the first couple of issues, and tease some upcoming storylines. See you then!