The Underwater Welder

underwater welder cover trade paperback jeff lemire
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Art: 9/10

Smart story, fun art


Comic Info

Comic Name:  The Underwater Welder

Publisher:  Top Shelf

Writer:  Jeff Lemire

Artist:  Jeff Lemire

Release Date:  August 7, 2012

underwater welder jeff lemire art

I’ve working underwater…all the live long day!

Jack Joseph is a welder on an oil rig off of Nova Scotia and specializes in diving. He and his wife Susan are expecting a child, but Jack is haunted by the death of his father when he was young. Jack finds (and loses) a pocket watch on his dive and feels something is wrong. Obsessed with returning to rig, Jack finds himself pulled into the past and experiences the final days he spent with his father. Will Jack be able to return to his life and his family?

Written and illustrated by Jeff Lemire, The Underwater Welder was published by Top Shelf and is a one-shot graphic novel. It was released on August 7, 2012 and met with positive reviews.

The Underwater Welder both in its introduction and reviews gets compared a lot to The Twilight Zone. Much like a “Last Stop Willoughby” or “Where Is Everybody?”, The Underwater Welder has a very surreal feel and look. It does look like what The Twilight Zone would do with a bigger more modern budget on visuals, but the story is almost more dramatic than surreal. The story obviously is much longer than a regular show episode.

underwater welder art jeff lemire

I’m working overtime!!!

Using a time travel, hallucination type basis for the story is good, but the story is really about relationships and Lemire does a great job with the characterizations. All the main characters (and minor ones) feel very real. Despite not being script heavy, you feel like you know the characters quickly and can relate to Rick’s fears and insecurity.

Lemire’s art also has a flow-y feel that works well with the style of the story. It is almost a watery blur at times and this is appropriate due to Jack’s employment. Despite being IN black-and-white, the story feels like it is in color.

The Underwater Welder is a fun read that is worth checking out. It is a solid non-superhero, non-mainstream comic. It is a good reminder that you don’t have to go Marvel, DC, or Image to get a good story and comics are a great way to present sci-fi. Take the dive with The Underwater Welder.


Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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