The Nobody

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The Nobody
The Nobody cover11672 400x600.jpg
Date 2009
Page count 144 pages
Publisher Vertigo
Creative team
Writers Jeff Lemire
Artists Jeff Lemire
Pencillers Jeff Lemire
Letterers Sean Konot
Colourists Jeff Lemire
Original publication
Date of publication July 7, 2009
ISBN 1401220800

The Nobody is the first graphic novel by Eisner-nominated cartoonist Jeff Lemire that was published by Vertigo Comics, an imprint of DC Comics. It is a story inspired by the H.G. Wells novel The Invisible Man and recasts the iconic bandaged stranger as a modern-day drifter. His presence in a small-town American fishing village creates a frenzy that unwraps and exposes the scarred underside to their own secrets.


In 1994, the mysterious drifter John Griffen enters the small town of Large Mouth. As he walks through town, the passing townsfolk are shocked and somewhat disturbed by Griffens appearance, as he is wrapped head to toe in bandages and wears pitch-black goggles over his eyes. He eventually reaches the local motel and requests a room, his appearance scaring the inn keeper June Jaques. A few days later, June tells other locals at Big Reg's Diner of her encounter with Griffen, but is only met with skepticism. Reg, owner of the diner, and Teddy "Henfrey", another local, try to rationalize with her that Griffen can't be as bad as she claims, although she tries to explain that Griffen's secretive nature is very suspicious.


  • Victoria "Vickie": The narrator of the story and only friend of John Griffen.
  • John Griffen: The main protagonist, resembles "The Invisible Man" by H.G. Wells. Griffen is a mysterious scientist who claims that he was once a university professor in Chicago before suffering an accident, although many of the towns folks believes he is not who he claims.
  • "Reg" Reggie: Vickie's father and owner of the local diner Big Reg's who is one of few people who is sympathetic towards Griffen.
  • Mrs. June Jacques: Inn keeper of the motel where Griffen stays.
  • Teddy "Henfrey": A paranoid old man who is highly suspicious of Griffen and often try's to convince the townsfolk that Griffen is hiding something they don't want to see.
  • Bill: Bartender at King's Tavern who is suspicious of Griffen.
  • "Millie" Jeffers: A waitress at King's Tavern who later goes missing.
  • Jack "Jeffers": Millie's husband
  • Mr. Tommy Marvel: An old man by the lake and owner of Howie, Griffen meets Marvel by the lake while on a late night stroll and the two strike up a friendly conversation with each other until Marvel's dog attacks Griffen, prompting him to flee.
  • Howie: Tommy Marvel's dog who attacks Griffen.
  • Deputy Ayde: A lawman who ignores Teddy's outrageous claims against John Griffen.
  • John "Kemp": Griffen's partner in Chicago and a minor antagonist of the story.
  • "HER": The lady in Griffen's visions.
  • Anna: Vickie's alibi friend who she uses as an excuse to see Griffen.

Allusions to "The Invisible Man"[edit]

  • Both "Invisible men" stayed at an inn in a small town.
  • Both "Invisible men" stirred curiosity and fear within the inhabitants of the town.
  • The Invisible Man was only known as "Griffin", while the main character in The Nobody was named John "Griffen".
  • Dr. Kemp in The Invisible Man was the partner to "Griffin". The Nobody has a John "Kemp" serving a similar role.
  • In The Invisible Man the law enforcers name was Colonel Adye and in the Nobody he was simply Deputy Ayde.
  • Both books have a "Mr. Marvel" (Thomas Marvel and Tommy Marvel), both serve different purposes.
  • Both "Invisible men" are shot to flee badly injured.
  • Both "Invisible men" violently beat their "Kemp" and a police officer (Ayde)
  • The invisibility wears out when the person who is invisible dies.