Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Comic Review: Seconds

Seconds review by Joe David Thompson
Despite a new issue of The Wicked + The Divine dropping this past week (which is such a great book!), my top release was probably one of the most anticipated of this year: Seconds, the new graphic novel from Bryan Lee O'Malley. 

If that name sounds familiar, it should.  O'Malley is the mastermind behind the Scott Pilgrim books that went on to become a film at the hands of Edgar Wright.  With Seconds, O'Malley continues to explore the themes of those novels.  Seconds is the story of Katie, a superstar chef who lives upstairs at the titular restaurant.  After an accident in the kitchen, Katie discovers a secret notebook where she can write down her past mistakes, and after eating a mushroom and sleeping, awakes to discover the problem fixed.  Of course, anyone familiar with this kind of story knows, this creates more problems for Katie than it solves. 

Throughout Seconds, O'Malley examines our phobia of growing older and the mistakes we make along the way.  Katie, on the cusp of turning thirty, finds all her friends younger and difficult to understand.  She is trying to take a more grown up approach to life, ducking on her ex and struggling to open her own restaurant, when she meets Lis, the mysterious girl who disappears into a chest of drawers.  Katie wants a perfect life, so when she discovers the notebook and a trove of mushrooms, she begins the process to revising her life.  Only, Katie finds that each new path has its own set of complications. 

Seconds also finds O'Malley with a more focused wit and charm.  Seconds is party told through the eyes of the storyteller, which creates some wonderful moments of commentary between Katie and the author.  It makes reading Seconds a cute experience.  Only a few times does this device intrude on emotional moments that would carry a greater impact if left to the images alone.  Artistically speaking, Seconds finds O'Malley at the top of his game.  His trademark style is all over this book, but with less splashy action to cover, his facial expressions and backgrounds really shine. The colors of Seconds also pop vibrantly, complementing the tone of the book.  It's very clear O'Malley took his time crafting the work.

Seconds is a warm, fun, and highly recommended read.

Joe David Thompson has been doing media reviews for websites such as Red Carpet Crash and the 405 Music Blog. For any questions or comments for Joe David Thompson, you can email him at and follow him on twitter @jovid52