BY SEAN CLARK
2002, ONI Press
Filed Under: Graphic Novel.
You might have heard of Scott Pilgrim, the series of shōnen-like graphic novels brimming with nerdy allusions that was made into a movie with Michael Cera and Jason Scwartzman. I read and enjoyed those books, and so decided to pick up Lost at Sea, which O’Malley wrote prior the now famous Pilgrim series. Fast forward a couple years and I finally got around to reading it.
The style is very similar to Pilgrim. Not just the art is similar, but they both excel in characterization and derive from those strong characters a lot of heart. One of the things I really liked about Pilgrim was its use of geeky and often obscure pop-cultural references to deepen his characters in a unique way (a technique Ernest Cline used in Ready Player One with seemingly less success). The plot of the Pilgrim series was fairly bare-bones, but still they shined. While Lost at Sea goes about it differently, mostly eschewing Nintendo game references for more archetypal teenager experiences, it too proves to be deeper than it may appear on first glance. Continue reading