ESSEX COUNTY wins People's Choice in Canada Reads, despite first day vote-off from panelists!
February 11, 2011
With millions of book-lovers tuning in, Jeff Lemire's award-winning graphic novel Essex County faced off this week against four other books in the CBC's annual Canada Reads competition! Just landing on this program was a big victory for Jeff, for us, and for the graphic novel artform, especially since the show's theme this year was "Essential Canadian Novel of the Decade."
Eloquently defended by "indie music darling" Sara Quin (of Tegan and Sara), Essex County was introduced to a huge number of new readers who fell in love with its characters, and with Jeff's amazing artwork. Several of the panelists said they were initially skeptical about reading a graphic novel, only to open the book and find Essex County extremely moving.
But it is a "battle of the books," after all, and at the end of the first day the panel voted to eliminate Essex County from Canada Reads.
The audience had other ideas, though! In enthusiastic debates in the studio, on the CBC's liveblogs, on Twitter, and all over Canada, they made their voices heard -- and many felt that Essex County deserved a second look. When the CBC held the Canada Reads 2011 People's Choice Poll, Essex County took the top spot with a whopping 53.15% of all votes: a landslide victory!
So to recap: Essex County is officially the 5th most essential Canadian novel of the decade, it's the #1 People's Choice, and millions of people are now looking at a graphic novel with fresh eyes. Not a bad week!
Congratulations to all the nominated books and authors, and many thanks to those who made it all possible: host Jian Ghomeshi, Sara Quin and the other panelists, everyone at CBC Books, and YOU the fans.