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Jeff Lemire, the award-winning creator of Essex County and Sweet Tooth — and one of DC Comics’ go-to writers — will follow his 2012 graphic novel The Underwater Welder with Roughneck, to be published in 2015 by Simon & Schuster and Simon & Schuster Canada.
The project represents somewhat of a return to a familiar setting, rural Canada, as it follows “a former hockey player forced to face his demons and reconnect with his Cree heritage when his troubled sister comes running home to the remote northern town where he now lives.” Here’s the official description:
Derek is a former hockey tough guy whose quick rise to the NHL was cut short when a brutal on-ice incident left him banned from professional hockey for life. Now, four years later, Derek has returned to Black River, his hometown in Northern Ontario, not far from the Moose Cree First Nation, where his mother grew up. Derek’s slide into alcoholism and depression is interrupted when his long-lost sister, Annie, returns home trailing a violent ex-boyfriend. Together, the two escape to the woods, where they struggle to reconnect with the traditions of their Cree ancestors in order to escape their past and gain redemption.
An Essex County, Ontario, native who now lives in Toronto, Lemire is a two-time Shuster Award winner who’s been nominated for eight Eisners. He and artist Mike McKone will introduce DC’s Justice League of Canada next spring.