Seconds – Bryan Lee O’Malley (2014)


I was wandering the shelves at the library in the Graphic Novel section, and came across this title that rang a bell from a reccie from another blog out there. (Sorry – not sure who.) This was just a fun and more light-hearted read than a lot of other non-fiction graphic novels – some read as though they are a long therapy session sometimes. This one had more a philosophical ring and a mind-bending journey about space and time in the life of a young restaurateur, Katie.

Katie is in a partnership with a business man, and in love (she thinks) with a former employee of the restaurant that she co-owns. There is some friction between the two, and as the story progresses, Katie becomes to realize that the old building in which the restaurant is housed has a house spirit. (Bear with me a second more.)

As she becomes more aware of the house spirit (who’s a lot younger than Katie had thought), she learns the powers of the small sprite, one of which is the power of changing the past after she ingests a particular mushroom. Hijinks ensure, naturally, as Katie experiments with changing her past to affect her present and then, of course, her future.  She tries to change her mistakes in an effort to fix everything so the present (and future) would be perfect, and it was cringe-worthy to join Katie on these journeys and it was somewhat of a relief to get to the end of the book, TBH.

As for the end, it was one of PoMo’s nebulous endings, but in my case, I really wasn’t sure what was meant at the finish. Was it accepting your lot in life re: past mistakes? I’m not sure, and I know that’s part of PoMo – not having everything tied up in a bow – but this finale was very vague. Perhaps that was the point – that life is not something to be completely understood and manipulated, whether you can or not (or, to put an ethical stance on things, should or should not).

Either way, this was a fun read with excellent graphic illustrations in the sequential cartoon-like design. Katie reminded me just a little bit of Sonic the Hedgehog (similar hair, perhaps), but that’s not a bad thing. I enjoyed this read and am now tempted to get the author’s other works (including the Scott Pilgrim series). We’ll see how it goes.

3 thoughts on “Seconds – Bryan Lee O’Malley (2014)

  1. You should read the Scott Pilgrim books—they’re much better! I agree the ending in this one kind of negated the themes of the book up to that point. I was left feeling dissatisfied.

    • Oh good to know it wasn’t just me! And I’ll check out a Scott Pilgrim book. I looked in the library the other day, but #1 was out and I thought it was better to wait for that rather than start in the middle of the series. What do you think? Wait for No. 1?

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