Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Roughneck by Jeff Lemire, 272 pages

A few years removed from his job as an enforcer in the NHL, Derek Oulette is back in his hometown, drinking too much, and fighting the ghosts of his violent hockey career, which ended after a particularly brutal hit on another player. His anger is challenged when his little sister Beth comes home, beaten up by an ex-boyfriend and addicted to Oxycontin. It's a bleak tale, but beautifully told, exploring Derek and Beth's childhood, Derek's hockey career, and their current situation. Lemire's artwork (a mixture of rough sketches and watercolors) is perfect for this story. I liked this a lot, though its depiction of a hockey player as a thug on skates (they're not all like that!) put a bit of a damper on the playoff season in which I read it.

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