Posted July 13, 2014 by Hope Swann in Books


Seconds is a one-shot graphic novel, Bryan Lee O’Malley‘s newest release since Scott Pilgrim ended back in 2010. Katie, the former head chef of a successful restaurant, has decided to shake the dust off her life by opening a new restaurant and distancing herself from the wrong decisions of her past… and present. Unfortunately, she goes a bit too far (literally) and accidentally screws up almost everything in her life. As one does. This is possibly the simplest summary I can write without spoiling anything for you, reader.

Bryan Lee O’Malley gained notoriety after writing and publishing the Scott Pilgrim comics, a series so successful that it spawned a movie (directed by Edgar Wright of the Cornetto Trilogy fame), a short animated series, and a video game. The series is well-loved for many reasons, but most of them have to do with O’Malley’s unique, almost magically realistic, take on the familiar themes of love and loss.

It was almost impossible for me to not draw comparisons between Scott Pilgrim and Seconds during my initial read of the latter, but it was obvious during my subsequent readings that Seconds is a completely different animal. While Seconds still smacks of that unique blend of irony and nostalgia that struck a chord in O’Malley’s fans, it is a much more intimate story. Katie’s journey is a personal one, and readers are trapped in her head (and bad choices) just as much as she is.

As unqualified as I am to discuss the nature of O’Malley’s art in Seconds, I definitely did enjoy looking at it. Everything’s done in blasts of jewel tones, and O’Malley’s distinctive inking style is complemented by the colouring. The character designs are as interesting and diverse as they were in Scott Pilgrim, and they are all deliciously fashionable.

Fully Booked had the hardcover a week earlier than the release date shown on Amazon, and I was pretty jazzed to get it. The hardcover has a sort of mini-dust jacket that sets off the beautiful blue cover. I have no idea how they’re going to market the softcover, but I do recommend grabbing the hardcover while it’s available, as not only is it beautiful, but it has a really flexible binding.

Seconds was a wonderful read, and I (selfishly) hope that we’ll be getting more from O’Malley sooner in the future.

Hope Swann