“This doesn’t bother me, the waiting. The meandering. The Not Getting Anywhere. Life is like that, right?”
Remember that? Remember the hours, days spent at not being yourself because you were that scared? Because someone, something held you and because the future was that dark? Because you didn’t know who the f*ck you were?
Lost At Sea, then. Raleigh is eighteen. She travels with people she knows, or maybe she doesn’t know. San Francisco to Canada. Her home. Or so we think. Why is she here? Why is she so quiet? We know one thing for sure, because she tells us, at some point : Raleigh has no soul. Gone. Stolen.
And that’s all for the story. I don’t want to tell you what happens because it’s a journey you have to do on your own. I could quote Raleigh for hours though. Her thoughts (the constant writing in this graphic novel, contrasting with the occasional dialogue with her travelling companions) are so pure, yet painful. She experiences what we all did at some point in our lives : the fear, the rejection, the thoughts driving you mad late at night…The connection you seem to share with someone and the pain that follows when it ends (I still remember).
I could have been Raleigh. Maybe I was. Maybe that’s why this story clicked so quickly with me. Wina recently talked about The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, the movie dealing with a teenager failing to find its own place. Lost At Sea brought the same storm inside me. The words, added to O’Malley’s typical art, were so powerful and echoed all that feelings I thought would be lost for ever.
Bryan Lee O’Malley was 24 when he first published Lost At Sea. He wasn’t the guy behind Scott Pilgrim yet. But he surely had something. He draws in black and white, which, to me, is a perfect transcription of Raleigh’s world : No unnecessary details, something simple, yet melancholic. It’s nice to see he really captures what teenagehood is : a constant battle to know who and where you are (Something he continued later with Scott Pilgrim, in my opinion, on a more humorous, “cartoonesque” vibe). Oh and, Scott Pilgrim‘s fans, one of Raleigh’s companions, a girl called Steph, reminds me of Kim Pine, for her “I don’t give a sh*t attitude”. You’ll see.
Lost At Sea is the bitter-sweet feeling you have when reading your teen self old conversations. It’s also the relief you have when you realise it’s over. Worth the memories, though.
“I guess I never have any answers. Just the same pointless question, over and over, everyday : why am I so fucked-up, why am I so fucked-up,why am I so fucked-up,why am I so fucked-up. Maybe that’s just mental. Maybe I should stop. Maybe I already have. Maybe it’s important to open up to people – people who are right there with you, not some thousands miles away in another universe. Or maybe it’s something else. (…)Maybe I should stop thinking.”