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The Underwater Welder

Jeff Lemire (Author and Illustrator)

Top Shelf Productions (Publisher)

> Review by Joe Miletto

The Underwater Welder tells an eerie tale of new life and sudden death. The narrative exposes the same deep emotional issues that we all contend with every day, but wraps them all up with an interesting, paranormal twist. The story explores dramatic themes such as child abandonment, growing up with an alcoholic father and the fragile relationship between a blue-collar husband and his homebound, pregnant wife. The story focuses on Jack, an underwater welder, who seems to be stuck in the memories of his past and unable to deal with his inevitable future. Jack and his wife are trying to deal with the pressures of being first-time, expectant parents. On top of that, the ghost of his father, who died mysteriously and unexpectedly, is seemingly haunting Jack. The ghostly apparition of Jack’s father appears to him when he is working underwater, as well as in his dreams. The dream sequences are spooky and surreal, very much like TV show The Twilight Zone. The black-and-white art is very unique and perfectly complements the suspenseful content of the story. All the tension and anxiety of the story is released with a great ending that is well worth the wait.

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