The 10th Anniversary of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Lost at Sea hits us this year. This graphic novel takes a whole different look on adolescence compared to O’ Malley’s Scott Pilgrim. The obvious difference is the light heartedness of Scott Pilgrim vs. the serious issue that our main character deals with. I, never having reading this novel, was surprised with how drastic of a difference the books’ attitudes are. It really just shows the range that O’Malley has. We catch up with Raleigh, an awkward girl deciding to take a road trip. The novel is narrator by Raleigh with small conversations in between with the other characters. I liked the reflection the novel had right off the bat. It is a very teen angst novel that will appeal to teens and the troubles they go through. I would say that more females would enjoy the book because of Raleigh’s struggles, but males could it enjoy it just the same.
Raleigh’s friends include two nutjob boys, Dave and Ian. These guys provide the humor with their consistent fighting and non-macho-tendencies. Her other friend is Stephanie who is constantly smoking and sarcastically making fun of the boys. The weird part about this trip, through California, Oregon, and Canada, is that Raleigh was accidentally called by Stephanie for an invitation. Raleigh takes the invite hardly knowing these people.
The comic’s colors are mostly these dulled out blues and pinks. It fits right in with the mood of the comic. I never wondered what colors should have actually been in the novel, so that is always a plus when a reader is satisfied with color.
Raleigh has some real life issues though. Her parents are divorced, her best friend has moved away, and to top it off her soul has been stolen by a cat. The cats are throughout the comic representing different things at different times. Of course I love cats, but honestly I loved the use of the animal popping up at all times. It showed great symbolism and added this unique quality that the comic needed. So Raleigh takes us through this self-discovery with the novel. She explains her hardships that almost anyone can relate to. The thing of it was though, I felt like I was too old to read this book. Ah! Please don’t tell me I am too old, but seriously, if I had picked this book up in high school or even four years ago it would have read clearer to me. I suggest that this novel be read around those angst periods or soon after, otherwise, the points seemed missed. It was hard for me to go back to that place, but that could just be me.
I still enjoyed reading this novel though and will no doubt add it to my shelf for a good read. It offers a lot of questions for those of us who can’t seem to find any answers. I guess that is the point...right? I love the idea of Raleigh going on this road trip too. It is the perfect backdrop. And then being with new people allows the reader to see the characters open up in news ways. All in all, I was happy with my choice from Oni Press and hope that you guys enjoy rereading or for the first time opening Lost at Sea.
By the way, shout out to O’Malley for drawing adorable cats! Loved it.
Writer/Artist/Creator: Bryan Lee O’Malley Publisher: Oni Press Price: $24.99 Release Date: 1/29/14