Review: Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley
Seconds is a graphic novel that came out last year by canadian artist, Bryan Lee O’Malley, famous for the Scott Pilgrim series. This book is about a chef named Katie who started a restaurant with her friends a long time ago called “Seconds”. She sold the place and her ultimate goal is to start a brand new restaurant in the city. I’m going to do my best and make this review as spoiler free, but Katie ends up finding a mushroom along with a journal and a note that says that if you eat this mushroom and write your mistake in the journal, when you wake up you’ll get a second chance. She spends the comic trying to fix everything she felt like she messed up, a fling with a younger coworker, hurting a friend, how things went with her ex-boyfriend, etc. Its revealed that there is a spirit that lives in her house and by revising her life so much, she’s hurting the house spirit and ultimately hurting herself and at a certain point, it seems like there is no point in return.
There are so many things to love about this graphic novel, and one of the biggest things is the art style. Bryan Lee O’Malley is really inspired by 60s manga artist Osamu Tezuka, who drew Astroboy (and a bunch of other famous series) and you can really see that come out in this comic, but also with his own flavor of art. Unlike Scott Pilgrim, this comic is in color, which makes great use of his very simple art style and just looks crisp and great. The coloring changes depending on the scene, you can feel if the characters are are warm, cold, happy, scared or even sad.
Another thing Bryan is great doing is understanding how people work. I find it interesting that his first book “Lost at Sea” is about the struggles of a younger teenage girl, “Scott Pilgrim”, Scott is in his early 20’s, and our main character of this book is 30, and it is even written that she views 21 year olds almost like little kids. Makes you wonder if Bryan wrote these books a little from his own struggles and perspective. He does a wonderful job writing about the struggles we all deal with, heartbreak, work, dreams and goals, while adding a fun magical twist on it. Its a story we can all identify with, if we could get a second chance on specific events to fix it, how many of us would totally do that? I know I totally would.
Overall this was a really fun comic, and I highly recommend it to everyone, especially if you’re a fan of Scott Pilgrim. I think Bryan knows what people love about his previous works and even included a few references to it in this book, including a cameo of Scott and Ramona (and Stephen Stills and his boyfriend make a less obvious cameo). It doesn’t take very long to read so if you get the chance to pick it up or add it to your collection, do it!