Seconds will hopefully be the last of guilty pleasures I’ve been treating myself to after The Count of Monte Cristo. This is a graphic novel from the fecund imagination of Bryan Lee O’Malley, famous for the Scott Pilgrim series. The artwork in this is gorgeous: heavily borrowing from manga and pictures from Russian storybooks. (The latter were easily available in Indian libraries in the 80s.) The story revolves around Katie, who co-owns a restaurant and is planning to run her own one day. She discovers a house spirit, whose mushrooms can help change reality. Weird stuff starts happening once she goes overboard on having a perfect life by fixing everything using mushrooms.
I enjoyed Seconds so much that I’m highly tempted to read Scott Pilgrim next. I found the Westernized-manga character art incredibly cute and the colors are lush and dark. The story is very funny and there is always a peppy mood about the characters, especially Katie, who is just one cool gal. Bryan borrows very generously from manga, even the idea of a house spirit (kami), how its depicted and its central role in the story shows that. Finally, don’t be surprised if you get the urge to draw out some of the sketches in the book! 😊