Author/Illustrator: Bryan Lee O’Malley
Raleigh finds herself on a long road trip from California to Vancouver with three other university students that she barely knows. Along the way she finds herself struggling with a feeling of lostness, of not knowing where she’s going, of not having any real friends. She even goes so far as to say she thinks she’s lost her soul, she feels so little. And maybe she’ll never really solve all of that, but just perhaps these people she’s traveling with will understand, just a bit. Just enough to help her keep going.
Lost at Sea is the most pensive, philosophical of O’Malley’s graphic novels that I’ve read to date. It really is largely a monologue of what goes on in Raleigh’s head, wondering about her existence, remembering the past. Interspersed are interactions with Stephanie, Ian, and Dave–all of whom are quite interesting characters. It’s the sort of story that could be A) boring, B) depressing, or C) so nihilistic that it’s incomprehensible. But O’Malley somehow avoids all of these pitfalls to create a graphic novel that is thoughtful, insightful, and oddly funny. I like it. The art is typical of his–kind of squared and expressively cartoonlike–but with a limited three-color style that suits uncannily well. I don’t think Lost at Sea is for everyone–certainly not for those seeking an action-packed battle story. But for those who are honestly working to make it through the confusion themselves, I think this graphic novel is a worthwhile read.