by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Reviewed by Ealish Waddell
It seems like Katie’s life should be pretty great: She’s a celebrated chef at the most popular eatery in town, and she’s slowly moving forward on her dream of opening her own restaurant. But she’s currently having a really bad day: Her ex shows up out of nowhere, her fling just broke up with her, and worst of all, a co-worker is badly burned in an accident that was her fault.
And so, stressed and angst-ridden, when she wakes up in the middle of the night to find a set of cryptic instructions in her dresser — “write your mistake, ingest one mushroom, go to sleep” — she does. And in the morning none of the terrible things seem to have ever happened at all.
At first Katie is thrilled, if a little weirded out. Then she stumbles across more mushrooms, and new problems to use them on. Human nature being what it is, soon every complication leads to a mushroom and a brand new do-over.
But of course, trying to fix one thing often just makes two other things worse. As Katie rewrites her entire history one blunder at a time, the changes and consequences grow greater and reach farther. Her revisions are affecting more lives than just her own — and may even be changing all of reality itself.
“Seconds” is an enchanting graphic novel, a dreamy yet lively fairy tale about the irresistible appeal of second chances. O’Malley, author of the best-selling “Scott Pilgrim” comic series, imbues his signature bold, big-eyed style with a delicate magical realism, a blend that works with surprising power.
The story is reminiscent of ancient folktales but spiced with a uniquely modern sense of sass, as well as the warning that things that seem to magically appear just when you want them may not have anything to do with what you really need.