Imagine Calvin without Hobbes. Hobbes has gone somewhere … died maybe … I don’t know. His folks too. Place him on a farm, feeding chickens for his chores. Uncle Ken is a good man, but he doesn’t really understand. Tales From the Farm is not about Calvin, but young Lester is about the same age. His imagination is equally fantastic, but missing the necessary props his situation is heart-rending and irresistible. Stark sketches and dialogue tell the story of the deep holes in Lester’s life, and the discoveries that help him along. This wonderful graphic novel by Jeff Lemire is the first volume in his Essex County series, a real county near my home. It is a work of art that will take a place of honour on my bookshelf.