How many times have you wished for a “reset” button – a chance to undo or tweak something that you had done or said? Well, Katie, the chef/restauranteur/protagonist of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s new book, Seconds, has found some magical mushrooms that allow her to do just that. One mushroom before bed, a little wishful notebooking, and she wakes up in a world in which she has exercised her editorial rights. The trouble is, she can’t stop.
It’s a gamble to open a new restaurant, and Katie is feeling the pressure. Seconds, where she’s been cutting her teeth and calling the shots for over a decade, is the best restaurant in town. What if her new place fails? Nothing seems to be going right, that’s for sure. And – all the magic and supernatural stuff aside – things are panning out to be “way past weird”.
In O’Malley’s unmistakeable Manga laced style, this adorably philosophical tale unfolds as a moralistic commentary on human nature and insatiability. It’s frustrating to watch Katie squandering away these mushrooms with such short-sighted caprice. But this story is about grace. Choice is really just the renunciation of choice, and perfection remains just out of reach. Katie gets to live out her if only’s, but repeatedly arrives at less than satisfactory ends.
At over three hundred art packed pages, this is O’Malley’s grandest effort to date. He’s penned another excellent story, of course. And with Jason Fischer’s drawing assistance and Nathan Fairbairn’s warm and vibrant color work, Seconds surpasses this fan’s very high expectations. If this is O’Malley’s new stride, we should be very excited.