Underwater Welder is a stand-alone, haunting graphic novel from Jeff Lemire, best know for his work on Sweet Tooth, a graphic novel I greatly admire (Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).
It's the story of Jack Joseph, a deep-sea welder who works on an oil-rig off the coast of Nova Scotia. He's about to become a father for the first time, but his joy is marred by the looming anniversary of his father's dive-accident death, 20 years before. This tragedy from Jack's boyhood haunts him, overshadowing his impending fatherhood, becoming an obsession. This comes to a head with a deep-sea reverie in which Jack hears a ghostly voice from the past, and passes out.
What unspools is a scary, sad, sweet story, the sort of thing you'd find in the very best Twilight Zone episodes (a comparison drawn by Lost producer Damon Lindelof in his introduction to the volume). Underwater Welder is a much more ethereal, otherworldly story that the fast-paced Sweet Tooth, much more like Lemire's earlier volume for Top Shelf, the critically acclaimed Essex County. But where Essex County left me a bit flat -- too abstract for me -- Underwater Welder is just the right blend of action and abstraction, and greatly enhanced by Lemire's ability to signal movement, time and distance through clever arrangement of his panels on the page.
It helps that this is a beautifully designed book, reasonably priced -- but even if it was a photocopied zine it would still haunt and amaze; and even at twice the price it would be a stone bargain.
When I was a kid, I was terrified of farting in class. At home, it was no big deal: it was a daily fart festival with my family. But at school? TOTAL FEAR OF FLATULENCE. But then it dawned on me: EVERYBODY FARTS. And that’s one of the reasons why I’ve decided to write a graphic novel about how our bodies work. It’s about all the stuff that goes on inside our bodies daily, or throughout our lives, and that this stuff – whether it’s digestion, or respiration, or defecation – is necessary for us to live. And it gives you excellent come-back material if anyone teases you for farting in school!
Alan Turing and the codebreakers of Bletchley Park invented modern crypto and computers in the course of breaking Enigma ciphers, the codes that Axis powers created with repurposed Enigma Machines — sophisticated (for the day) encryption tools invented for the banking industry — to keep the Allies from listening in on their communications.
In 1948, the Institute of Applied Science commissioned an unknown illustrator to depict a fistful of squirming, terrified criminals caught in an authoritative fist, under the headline “CAUGHT BY THEIR FINGERTIPS” — they were advertising a home Criminal Investigation and Identification course.
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image. But the Illum’s cutting-edge technology records the direction of these rays, generating […]
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