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.
Veteran reviewer/interviewer Rick Kleffel (previously) has just posted a long podcast interview (MP3) with Neal Stephenson, discussing his latest novel, Fall; or, Dodge in Hell ("a science fiction novel with a fantasy novel stuck inside of it").
A couple of weeks ago, I was thrilled to hear Subgenius founder, the Reverend Ivan Stang, interviewed on the Comedy on Vinyl podcast (previously) and to discover that the Church of the Subgenius was selling a $35 Salvation/Membership/Ordainment kit that was chock full of goodies.
[Randall Munroe traces the phenomenal success of his webcomic XKCD with this Boing Boing post; and I've avidly followed his career ever since (he's returned the favor), so I was delighted to learn in February that he had a new book coming out and I'm more delighted still to host the official announcement of his […]
With the quick-fix appeal of video games and their own cell phones, it can be tough to keep kids focused on supposedly “educational” toys. And while it may seem counter-intuitive to fight tech with more tech, we’re all in when it comes to the Toybox 3D Printer. We’re not sure if anyone had envisioned a […]
Whether you’re an artist, designer or just organizing a photo album, photo editing software is a must. And software designers know it: Platforms like Photoshop and Lightroom have a ton of helpful features, but you’ll pay for them in spades. Luckily, there’s some competition in the photo editing arena. Right now, Skylum’s Luminar software is […]
Who needs a holiday sale? Sometimes there’s no better time than the thick of summer to find deals. We should know – we’ve found ten deep discounts on some must-have items. Whether you’re searching for CBD edibles, exercise gear, chargers or other tech, take a look. But don’t look long – these prices aren’t likely […]