Seconds is the eighth graphic novel from the Scott Pilgrim creator, Bryan Lee O’Malley. The plot involves a young woman named Katie who feels her life has been stuck in rut for a while. She’s been working at the restaurant “Seconds” for many years now and it has become less than fulfilling. Her life takes an interesting turn when she is woken up one night by a mysterious girl named Lis who offers her a fix to her problems. I was quite excited to get my hands on Seconds because I am a big fan of the Scott Pilgrim series. I was wondering if it would be too similar to Scott Pilgrim or a fun departure from that style. It has a very unique feel and I was pleasantly surprised.
The art style is wonderful, I’ve always been a fan of how O’Malley illustrates situations with emotion not found in a lot of other graphic novels. He has a way of making backgrounds and sets feel alive while also telling a story through those images. He really enjoys showing unique angles with clever reasoning. Nothing is on page for fluff, it all has a reason. There are moments in the comic that are very confusing, intentionally. For the clever reader, you will notice several hints at what is actually going on and call out what is happening. That is not a gripe, that is a major compliment, because it made the story more interactive.
Speaking of the story, I loved it to its wonderful conclusion. Every turn was a fun mystery that made me want to continue reading. The way he tells the story as an unfolding mystery from the eyes of the protagonist is what needs to happen in stories. The fact that you are figuring it out alongside her makes that connection even stronger. Katie is a very relatable character being that we’ve all felt stuck looking for a easy solution. Her journey is a fictional tale of what all late 20 somethings go through. That’s what really was so appreciative about it for me. I could easily see myself in her life and wanting her fantastic solution.
My gripes are few and far inbetween. Most of these are about how Bryan tries to casually add people who are repressed in our society into roles of non-exclusivity. It just comes off as too forced and not as casual as Wallace or other characters from his other works. As I stated before, the story structure can get very confusing and unfortunately, this can turn some away. I was fortunate enough to be invested enough to power through. The level needed for suspension of disbelief is pretty high in certain parts of the book.
My overall feelings on the graphic novel are that it is something you need to experience if you are a fan of Scott Pilgrim. Between the art and story, you will be enthralled from beginning to finish. Just be prepared for the supernatural. I give Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley an 8.5 outta 10.
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You can find Gregg in his other projects on this very website and YouTube with his Let’s Play series titled Guerilla Gaming.
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