The Underwater Welder (Top Shelf) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The Underwater Welder

Top Shelf

Oct 01, 2012 Issue #42 - The Protest Issue Bookmark and Share

It seems like Jeff Lemire shouldn’t be successful. The artist and writer tells emotional stories, uses non-traditional art and watercolors to create impressionistic settings and characters, and seems obsessed with tales about family and fatherhood.

And yet, somehow, he’s become one of the comic book world’s most sought-after voices, with his acclaimed runs on Sweet Tooth and Animal Man making him one of the most popular writers in the industry.

With The Underwater Welder, Lemire has returned to the art form of the graphic novel. The novel, like his incredible Essex County (also published by Top Shelf), takes place in Canada, though this time in a seaport village instead of a rural community.

The plot centers on Jack, who works as an underwater welder on an oil rig and is about to become a father. He finds himself drawn to a mysterious stopwatch he discovers while diving. In his quest to find out what the watch means, he wrestles with his disappointment in his own father, what it means to be a responsible and good husband and dad, and how living in the past can destroy your future. The story veers into the supernatural, but in a very meaningful way. Like all of Lemire’s work, the story packs an emotional gut punch that hits you when you’re not expecting it. It’s sure to stand as one of the year’s best books in any medium. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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January 17th 2016

He’s got water in his welding mask.  That can’t be good.