Last time, in DC Comics And Beyond: “Jeff Lemire is certainly one of comics’ rising stars. Even with what I consider a ‘rough’ art style, he can write and draw compelling tales. Sadly, I didn’t get to the store in time to pick up The Underwater Welder.”
It’s rare that I talk about the same creator two weeks in a row, so take note! I finally found a store near me that had a copy of Mr. Lemire’s book, so I wanted to share my thoughts on it with you asap!
The Underwater Welder. Here’s the description: “As an underwater welder on an oilrig off the coast of Nova Scotia, Jack Joseph is used to the immense pressures of deep-sea work. Nothing, however, could prepare him for the pressures of impending fatherhood. As Jack dives deeper and deeper, he seems to pull further and further away from his young wife and their unborn son. Then one night, deep in the icy solitude of the ocean floor, something unexplainable happens. Jack has a mysterious and supernatural encounter that will change the course of his life forever. Equal parts blue-collar character study and mind-bending mystery, The Underwater Welder is a graphic novel about fathers and sons, birth and death, memory and reality, and the treasures we all bury deep below the surface.” This 224-page black-and-white softcover sells for $19.95, and it comes from Top Shelf Productions.
Family is often an important part of Mr. Lemire’s stories. In Animal Man, all of the Baker family are deeply involved. Lost Dogs, one of his earliest efforts, is about a family man who’s lost everything he values, including his wife and kids. In Sweet Tooth, Gus, a young boy with deer features, lives a quiet life deep in the woods until he has to venture out into the world. Eventually, he meets other children like him, and they bond into a new family.
With the birth of his son soon to take place, Jack still has unresolved issues with his own father, who disappeared on Halloween years ago. Then a strange event takes place while he’s diving that will change his life forever.
This book helped me understand something about Lemire’s art. He crafts interesting, expressive faces and eyes, and they pull me into the stories he draws. Check out some art below:
I hope finding your copy of The Underwater Welder won’t be as difficult as my search was, but keep at it until you get one, then dive in as quickly as you can (pun intended)! It’s a mysterious, powerful, engrossing, unpredictable experience I highly recommend!
You can listen to my interview with Mr. Lemire during a recent episode of my Wayne’s Comics podcast. He discusses Animal Man, Sweet Tooth and Justice League: Dark. Here’s the link! Look for new episodes here on ComicBooked.com soon!
This week’s New 52 reviews: Earth 2 has shot to the top of my list of favorites this week! If you aren’t reading it, I seriously suggest you pick it up! Detective Comics #12 features Tony Daniel‘s writing and art while telling more great stories before he leaves the book soon. Action Comics #12 is one of Grant Morrison’s better stories in this title. Animal Man and Swamp Thing begin the Rotworld crossover event, and weird and wonderful things happen, of course! World’s Finest is another great outing from Paul Levitz, George Perez and Kevin Maguire. In Justice League International #12, we prepare for the final issue in four weeks, sadly. Red Lanterns is about this Corps and how it will move into the future. Stormwatch focuses on Martian Manhunter making the rest of the team forget they ever worked with him. Batwing #12 wraps up one story and hints about what’s coming next. In the latest Green Arrow, Oliver Queen battles in China. GI Combat continues two interesting stories, the first scripted by JT Krul and the second from Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti. Also, the new Dial H continues its odd ways, and I felt this was the best issue so far. I want to see where this book will go in upcoming issues.
Out this week of note are Smallville Season 11 #4 and Mr. Lemire’s aforementioned Sweet Tooth #36 from DC; Garfield #4, Hypernaturals #2 and Planet of the Apes Annual #1 from BOOM! Studios; The Cape 1969 #2 from IDW; Avengers Academy #34 and Daredevil #16 from Marvel; Thief of Thieves #7 from Image; as well as The Shadow #4, The Spider #4 and Warlord of Mars #20 from Dynamite!