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The Underwater Welder Paperback – August 7, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Though his and Susan’s first baby is due within the month, Jack Joseph opts for another two weeks away at his welding job on the oil rig offshore from his Nova Scotia hometown. He feels compelled to be “down there”—his salvager father’s term for being in deep water—especially now, on Halloween, the day his dad disappeared more than 20 years earlier. On the first dive of his shift, however, Jack sees something and loses consciousness. After being hauled out and dry-docked, he insists on going back, surreptitiously. This time, he gets unstuck in time before, during, and, most portentously, after the dive. In an introductory note, TV producer Damon Lindelof (LOST) enthuses that The Underwater Welder is like a terrific Twilight Zone episode, but that’s just the half of it. Lemire combines his characteristic sketchy line work, deftly deployed small areas of pure black, plenty of moody watercolor shading (particularly when underwater), and a predominance of wider-than-high panels to realize a visually stunning analogue of the subtle, old-fashioned, black-and-white-movie creep show. --Ray Olson

About the Author

"New York Times" bestselling author Jeff Lemire is an award-winning writer and artist of the acclaimed literary graphic novels"Essex County, " "The Underwater Welder, The Nobody, Sweet Tooth, " and "Trillium", as well as the mainstream comic book series Green Arrow, Animal Man, Justice League, and Moon Knight. He is the writer of All-New Hawkeye, Extraordinary X-Men, and Old Man Logan for Marvel, Descender and Plutona for Image Comics, Black Hammer for Dark Horse, and Bloodshot Rebord for Valiant, as well as the artist for "A.D.: After Death" in collaboration with Scott Snyder. He lives with his family in Toronto.

"New York Times" bestselling author Jeff Lemire is an award-winning writer and artist of the acclaimed literary graphic novels"Essex County, " "The Underwater Welder, The Nobody, Sweet Tooth, " and "Trillium", as well as the mainstream comic book series Green Arrow, Animal Man, Justice League, and Moon Knight. He is the writer of All-New Hawkeye, Extraordinary X-Men, and Old Man Logan for Marvel, Descender and Plutona for Image Comics, Black Hammer for Dark Horse, and Bloodshot Rebord for Valiant, as well as the artist for "A.D.: After Death" in collaboration with Scott Snyder. He lives with his family in Toronto.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Top Shelf Productions (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603090746
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603090742
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.9 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Scott VINE VOICE on August 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jeff Lemire's The Underwater Welder plays out as the best Twilight Zone episode never produced. His best work yet, Lemire's subtle and powerful storytelling takes us from the rural Ontario of the Eisner and Harvey Award-nominated Essex County Trilogy to the hauntingly beautiful undersea world of Jack Joseph, an underwater welder on an oil rig off the coast of Nova Scotia Canada.

Jack moves back to his small Canadian hometown with his wife Suzie, who is 9 months pregnant. Things look fine with his exotic job as an underwater welder on an offshore oil rig until one day at work when Jack is visited by the ghost of his long dead father, a salvage diver in these same waters. As he struggles to come to grips with his visions, we gradually realize that Jack is a man haunted by his past. Through a series of very well done flashbacks, we learn about Jack's childhood, his divorced parents, and why Jack has a particularly difficult time with the holiday of Halloween.

Jeff Lemire captures the subtle mood and lonely feel of a small Canadian maritime town perfectly, and the underwater scenes are simply breathtaking. The eerie story drew me in immediately, and sweeps along with weird twists and turns coming at such a rate that I couldn't put it down. With The Underwater Welder, Jeff Lemire redefines the boundries of the graphic novel yet again. Rod Serling would be proud.
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Format: Paperback
Jack Joseph has a wife with a baby on the way and a job welding pipes underwater for an oil rig off the coast of Nova Scotia in the small town he grew up in. Things should be great - good job, happy family - but Jack's haunted by the disappearance of his father 20 years ago who went diving one night during Hallowe'en and never returned. His dreams have seeped over from the night into the daytime and under the sea, welding pipes, he begins to see and hear things from those dreams. And lately his dreams have seemed so real.

Jeff Lemire's impressive comics career has really taken off in the last couple years with his brilliant creator-owned "Sweet Tooth" series for Vertigo, his one-off book "The Nobody", and signing on to DC's New 52 reboot series "Animal Man" and "Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE", and he continues this successful streak with the excellent story of "The Underwater Welder". It reads a lot like a Twilight Zone episode with supernatural elements creeping into the story early on before totally submerging it (pun intended) and taking the reader with it.

Lemire's line-work in his art is perfectly suited to the ghostly story presented here with many disturbing elements such as Joseph's father's alcoholic face staring out of an obituary page to the reader or the surreal experiences Joseph experiences under the waves. The parallels between Joseph and his father's life is also haunting as Lemire merges the two into an intertwining and complex storyline that adds to the feeling of unease this reader felt as the story unfolded.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Underwater Welder is a black and white fiction graphic novel that focus in the strange circumstances surrounding the life of 33y.o. Jack Joseph --an underwater welder--, and her expecting wife Susie. The accidental finding of an old forgotten childhood watch and an accident happened during a rutinary shift will bring Jack to question reality, his present and his past. The isolated inhospitable rugged shores of Nova Scotia are a perfect setting for this intriguing novel.

The novel has many of Lemire's themes and characters archetypes also present in other of his works: the role of memory in your present life, the thin line separating past and present in people's memories and emotions, lonely alienated characters who want to connect emotionally but are progressive frustrated by their lack of success at doing so, the line the separates reality from non reality.

The novel also shows again Lemire's drawing mastery and graphic versatility to convey into images stories and situations that are far from easy or straight forward to depict. Also common to Lemire are his wonderful landscape composition, and the framing and composition of his vignettes.

The novel reads easily and with gusto, and is very intriguing. However, it has a predictable ending that you can sense from half way the novel. Perhaps the tempo of the novel should have been different and some of the information provided at the beginning omitted so the reader would have had less clues to unveil the mystery. Having said so, the story is intriguing enough and odd enough to keep you interested. The characters are well sketched psychologically, especially Jack, although sometimes the reader, or at least me, wanted to know more about Susie.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is another of Lemire's intimate stories of seemingly unexceptional people. The protagonist, about to become a father for the first time, is faced to confront his own troubled memories of his own late father, a well-meaning man who had failed in that role. As Jack Joseph's doubts about his own ability to be a father grow, he realizes he has allowed the unresolved relationship to stop him from becoming his own man. The story starts off with realism but eventually enters into surrealism as Jack falls deeper into his memory trap.

The story does not have the broad scope or multiple perspectives of the exceptional "Essex County" series, but it does have some of the best art in a Lemire work. It's well worth the read.
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