Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Lost at Sea Gets Anniversary Reissue
I love Lost at Sea, Bryan Lee O’Malley’s first graphic novel. Before the Scott Pilgrim juggernaut, this was a weird (but affecting) story about a depressed girl on a road trip who wasn’t sure she had any friends and who was being followed by cats.
I reread it just now to be sure, and yes, it was still great. Quietly odd and slowly mood-changing, as you’re drawn into Raleigh’s confusion and mental uncertainty. Characters you want to spend time with, although they don’t do much. Feelings anyone who’d ever been an adolescent could identify with. The idea that the right love will change your life being shot down as unrealistic. How painful break-ups can be, and yet, how we all live through them. O’Malley’s big-eyed, Lego-figure-headed people who are both cute and oddly universal.
For the book’s 10th anniversary, Oni Press has issued a hardcover edition (at double the price of the softcover, which is available used if you just want to read the story) with some extras. For one thing, it’s a hardcover (good for re-reading and libraries). For another, the grey tones in the paperback have become peach-colored, providing a depth and warmth to the images.
The extras are short comics O’Malley did with the characters:
- “Smiling Is Something That Other People Do”, with a young Raleigh
- “Babyfood”, with Dave and Stephanie
- the two-page color strip from the 2002 Oni Summer Special
- and one of the comics O’Malley did for the Oni website back when they ran “Sunday Comics”. (The other four are kind of moot, since they explain the premise of the book, presumably to attract readers, but it would have been nice to have included them, for completeness.)