After a brief break, I returned to the land of graphic novels, this time dropping in on Seconds, Bryan Lee O’Malley’s follow up to the Scott Pilgrim series. Seconds follows the trials and tribulations of the former chef of the eponymous Seconds restaurant, Katie.
Katie lives upstairs and is in the process of leaving Seconds to start her own restaurant.
It’s hard to go any further into detail without giving away plot points, so I’ll give the brief version before diving in a bit further with an appropriate spoiler alert to let you know when you reach the danger line.
Like Scott Pilgrim, Seconds exists in a realistic world with a bit of magic thrown in the middle. Seconds also features a discontented protagonist who spends most of their time getting in their own way, but Katie is at least ambitious where Pilgrim is lazy.
Seconds is cleaner than Pilgrim’s story, though that may be a product of being one big book instead of 6 smaller ones. Seconds is funny but not as funny, and the art work definitely isn’t as good as the Pilgrim series, but it’s not a huge drawback. If I didn’t know it was the same person, I probably wouldn’t care, but I noticed the differences in how the characters were drawn.
All in all, it was a good read. It gives a good journey of a character learning a lesson, though I don’t think I’ll ever revisit the story.
Ok, spoiler alert time so I can get a bit more in-depth before closing this post.
With me now?
That magic is that there is a house spirit and she gives Katie a magic mushroom to change a horrific accident. After that, Katie begins using the mushrooms all the time before it all goes to hell (because that’s what happens when you use magic to try to fix on your little problems).
In terms of an allegory, this story worked pretty well. You have a protagonist that likes to be untruthful to herself with an omniscient narrator that calls her out on it. You have her learning and people around her calling BS at appropriate times.
The story would be good for middle schoolers except for a few adult references. It’s not a bad book to visit, and would be an interesting study of moral dilemmas.