It’s always a treat to get to see one of your favorite artists in person. In this case, we got a chance to listen to one of Seattle’s hottest bands, Tacocat, and we got an in depth conversation between The Stranger’s Paul Constant and cartoonist Bryan Lee O’Malley. It was a very special night at Seattle’s Town Hall that included most of the creative team behind the graphic novel, “Seconds.” (Read my review here) On hand were drawing assistant Jason Fischer and colorist Nathan Fairbairn. Letterer Dustin Harbin couldn’t make it. O’Malley explained his absence as having to do with him being in North Carolina. It came off as funny and that’s how he meant it. Of course, he expressed his undying gratitude to all his creative team. Overall, the tone of the event was lighthearted, a bit ironic, and just what you’d expect from the creator of one of the coolest comics around, Scott Pilgrim.
The idea behind last night’s event, matching a band with an author, is something that Paul Constant has been developing. Between interview segments, Tacocat entertained the audience with music, poppy and energetic, that would have felt right at home within the pages of a Bryan Lee O’Malley comic. It was a very satisfying combination of intelligent banter and no-holds-barred fun.
Generally, the questions from Constant and the audience played off the process of creating comics. O’Malley and his crew took each question in stride but also with respectful consideration. It was cool to find out, for instance, that the color scheme for the book was partly influenced by all the eye-popping sunbursty colors in the classic animation, “The Secret of NIMH.” Just something about that “mouse movie” got to O’Malley. Again with the hip irony, and still, heartfelt recognition. And that is the best way to read “Seconds.” You have a main character and a story that can be cool and detached but, if you let this book sneak up on you, it can also emit a nice warm glow.
“Seconds” is published by Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House. It is available as of July 15, 2014. You can find it right here, here, and here.