Monday, September 1, 2014

Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Seconds is a charming full-colour graphic novel stand-alone by Bryan Lee O'Malley, author of the Scott Pilgrim series.

Katie is a chef who started the restaurant Seconds four years earlier, along with some friends. It's owned by a gay couple who put up all the money and the place has come to be recognized as the best place to eat in town.

Now, Katie dreams of opening her own place. A house spirit and some magic mushrooms might be able to help... if Katie doesn't get too greedy.

Katie to Lis, the house spirit:
"...are you wearing an ironic t-shirt?"

Chef Katie is the star at Seconds.
Click to better see the food imagery.
Katie's new place seems to be a money pit.
Note the realistic background with cartoony figures.

Red is prominent in the art, and it's also the colour of Katie's hair. O'Malley's style has many elements of manga. Cartoony people with big eyes and exaggerated facial expressions are portrayed against highly realistic backgrounds. The food looks yummy! There are house spirits and multiple worlds. Katie is an independent young woman interacting with the spirit world in a way that reminds me of Hayao Miyazaki's animated films.

Seconds is a funny and heartwarming look at the pitfalls of perfectionism. Don't miss it.

Readalikes (and watchalike): RASL (Jeff Smith); Life after Life (Kate Atkinson); and the film Spirited Away (Miyazaki).
When a chef can't sleep...

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