Bryan Lee O'Malley has largely maintained a veil of secrecy around Seconds, his follow-up to the bestselling Scott Pilgrim series, teasing fans with panel excerpts and the above limited-edition print while waving off questions about the graphic novel. "I don't want to tell anyone just yet," he writes in his Tumblr FAQ. "Please enjoy the mystery for now." But in a new interview on the Random House of Canada website, the cartoonist offers what may be the first significant details about the highly anticipated book.
"I came up with the general idea for Seconds right after completing the first volume of Scott Pilgrim," O'Malley says. "I worked in a restaurant in Toronto for a little while to pay the bills while writing the second volume and planning the rest of the series, and I had a few ideas for this other story, a story about a restaurant. So, Seconds is about a restaurant, and the restaurant is called Seconds, and 90 percent of the story takes place within it. Beyond that it’s really hard for me to explain and I’m going to have to work on that so I can talk about it properly when it comes out. But it’s funny and weird and kind of big and crazy despite the mundane setting."
Asked whether Seconds will be "realistic" like his 2003 graphic novel Lost at Sea, or feature more fantastical elements like Scott Pilgrim, O'Malley continued, "Seconds is grounded in the reality of this restaurant environment, and I did do plenty of research, so there’s that. It takes place in a town that is like a kinder, gentler fairy tale version of reality. Then it takes off into a story that is very strange, very mental. So it’s a little of both, I guess. The protagonist, Katie, is a loveable spaz, and she’s in practically every panel; her personality drives the story in a way that’s basically identical to my other work. They’re all very subjective worlds. But this is a new subject, so it’s got its own feeling."
Seconds will be published in 2013 by Random House’s Villard imprint.