This Summer Jeff Lemire put out his latest original graphic novel The Underwater Welder, by Top Shelf Comix. The Beguiling put on a launch event for it where Jeff gave a presentation about his process in putting together the book, then sat down with Mark Askwith to discuss it.
Jeff is a friend and I've been a big admirer of his work for years now. Life is short and I like to support friends whenever I can, so Dave and I decided to make a weekend of it in Toronto, stayed in a hotel like grown-ups and attended the launch. It was a great evening. It's also a terrific book and makes my list of my favourite comics of 2012.
The black and white book takes place in Nova Scotia, and follows the story of an underwater welder named Jack. He and his wife are expecting a baby, and Jack is working through issues of his relationship with his father, as he prepares to become a father himself. Lemire's beautiful images of Jack alone underwater make a lovely contrast to his turbulent inner thoughts and secrets of his past.
Jeff is a master storyteller. His pacing (a very underrated skill in comics in my opinion), is second to none. He makes it seem effortless. I honestly marvel at it. The colour cover - divine! A gorgeous book.
Jeff is also a real inspiration to me in terms of his work ethic. He writes and draws the monthly "Sweet Tooth" comic for Vertigo (which is also excellent), writes a number of DC super-hero books, then every few years puts out a full original graphic novel like this one. Plus he's a doting Dad and husband. How does he do it?
>> The Underwater Welder is available at fine comic stores everywhere. You can also find it on Amazon.