Buckshot Reviews: Lost At Sea

This weekend, on my way to see the Green Lantern movie (more on that sometime later), I went into my local Hastings store and found that they had a copy of Lost At Sea, Bryan Lee O’Malleys’ precursor to the Scott Pilgrim series of books. This was one of those impulsive, “I like Bryan Lee O’Malley” moments, so I bought it on the spot.

I did not regret my decision. Spoilers ensue after the image.

Ignore the nondescript title. It's good.

Raleigh is a girl who is unsure of herself, has no idea how others perceive her, and, because of this, assumes the worst. In this, she is like every single one of us, or at least I’d like to imagine that. Raleigh thinks she’s lost her soul, that her mother sold it to the devil in order to ensure her success after her mother and father’s divorce, and that said soul now resides inside a cat. She gets an invite to road trip from San Francisco back to Canada by accident from Ian, Dave, and Stephanie, all of whom didn’t really hang out with Raleigh in high school and have only a passing acquaintance with her.

It’s a quick read, but it’s one I think I’ll be getting my money’s worth on with the whole re-read process. We get a lot of mysteries handed to us at once, all surrounding how we got in the situation with four teenagers in a car in the first place to mysteries about people from Raleigh’s (and to a much lesser extent, Dave’s) past. The book is very, very good, though, in that it never wastes time. The conversations that are had are often meaningless, but character-defining. Not every conversation moves the plot forward, but they all chisel out the characters unmistakably.

As always, BLO’s artwork is great. I got used to it on the Scott Pilgrim series, and here you can tell that he’s always just been pretty good. It’s not hyper-realistic in any way, shape, or form, but it was never intended to be. It’s expressive and it’s definitive. I like it, although I imagine it isn’t to everyone’s tastes.

There are questions we don’t get any answers to (Who was the Raleigh lookalike in the picture with those girls in that diner? What was in the unread letter?) but I think, by not answering them, O’Malley’s letting us know that the answers don’t matter. What matters is the journey Raleigh took over the course of the trip and the night spent chasing cats trying to find her soul.

So the real question is, “Did you like Scott Pilgrim?” If you did, you’ll probably like this, but you won’t find any of the same silliness and video game love in this volume. It’s a good done-in-one book, and I found it worth the $12. Check it out sometime.


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