Sunday, September 18, 2011

Graphic Novel Review: LOST AT SEA, by Bryan Lee O'Malley

lost at sea cover

Raleigh is on a road trip back to Canada from California with a car full of people she barely knows who attend the same high school. To them she's just "the quiet girl" or a weirdo--depending on your viewpoint. What they don't know is that Raleigh believes she's lost her soul.

It's in a cat. And the cats are following her.

This is the first graphic novel by Bryan Lee O'Malley, of Scott Pilgrim fame. It's not as hip as Scott Pilgrim and, being only one volume, the story has a much narrower scope. But here's what I love about this book: I know these people. Seriously, Raleigh? I honest-to-god know someone who is exactly like her, even down to the hair. O'Malley's characters are so familiar, but not in a oh-I-recognize-that-trope sort of way; in a oh!-these-are-totally-people-I-know-IRL way. Which is good, because the plots tend to be bizarro.

excerpt from Lost at Sea

I also loved the story and the way it was told, which was very non-linear but perfect for the subject. It's a quieter story than Scott Pilgrim, with a gentler humor, but there are still some scenes that made me laugh, and I have to confess I got teary-eyed at the end. There were some loose ends left hanging, but overall the book was very touching without feeling manipulative or sappy in the slightest.*

As for the art, I love it. LOVE. Even more than Scott Pilgrim, the art in this book was totally delicious and contributed to the story so, so much. If my heart had a shelf I would this book on it.

If you like graphic novels or manga at all, you have to give Bryan Lee O'Malley a try. He is awesome and I'm officially fangrling him now.

*Note: I loaned this to my brother and he said he hated it because Raleigh was whiny. I guess you can't win them all!


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