Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley

*This Review is Spoiler Free*


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Seconds is an Adult Graphic Novel by the creator of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Bryan Lee O’Malley. I will admit that the purchase of this book was strongly influenced by the gorgeous hardcover with artwork. I had all the resolve in the world that regardless of whether I hated the story or not, it would become a permanent part of my collection, based on looks/presentation alone. Luckily for me, I absolutely loved the book. Seconds was one of the first graphic novels that I read, and that may have a good amount to do with why I enjoyed it as much as I did.

This graphic novels follows Katie, a Chef in a successful restaurant that is in the process of opening her own restaurant. Katie’s life isn’t perfect, as most peoples lives aren’t, and when she is approached by a mystery girl with a way to do-over the past and erase her previous mistakes in a form of a mushroom, Katie gladly takes them. The mushrooms come with four specific instructions in order for the do-over to be effective-instructions have a way of making things seem more legit-but Katie eventually overdoes it by trying to correct too many things in her life and things begin to go awry.

The actual story was well thought out and the artwork is absolutely stunning. I fell in love with so many things about these two aspects of this graphic novel. The writing was cheeky, sarcastic, humorous, engaging, and had a great flow to it. There are brilliant bits where Katie interacts with the Narrator of the story and the way that O’Malley works that into the panels is hilarious and enriches the story. The coloring is f’n amazing! Like…I mean…mind-blowing amazing! I loved the panels/pages where you get a wash of a particular color over everything in/on that panel/page (I’m sure there’s a technical term for that method, but it’s lost on me). I’ve grown to appreciate the skill of illustrators and colorists that are able to use variations of the same base color throughout a graphic novel. That is NOT the case in Seconds, although there are panels/pages with a strong overtone of a particular color, O’Malley and the Colorist for this book, Nathan Fairbairn are able to use color-and so many different colors-so effectively throughout this graphic novel.

I give Seconds a rating of 8-out of-10 Unicorn Horns! The story has aspects of mystery, sci-fi, and fantasy woven into it’s gorgeously colored pages. The story is intriguing and it’s incredibly easy to become engulfed in the storyline. Honestly, the ‘flow’ of this graphic novel is still one of my favorites up to today,two years after initially reading it! O’Malley is able to use both the text and art in a way that is so cohesive and purposeful. He is able to flesh out the characters and storylines in such a short amount of time/space and I have not come across very many graphic novels since reading Seconds that are able to accomplish this feat.



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