In an age where superhero antics are accelerating across all media, Bryan Lee O’Malley’s subtler tale of love, regret, dreams and nightmares is an all-too-human antidote to an overblown comic-book summer. This isn’t to say O’Malley’s story of Katie—a young chef on the brink of personal and professional success or failure who meets a mysterious house spirit capable of altering the past—is entirely rooted in reality. However, as with O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim series, the exaggerated animé-esque art, colorful character outbursts and supernatural sorcery that’s a step beyond reality’s limit all feels like an extension of the characters’ emotional intensity. The artistic flourishes add to our empathy for the flawed characters so that when Katie’s world-altering decisions devolve into terror, we not only buy the increasingly supernatural world, we’re also wrapped up in the dangers it poses—concerned for Katie’s happiness and our own hope for a better world. A good story with great storytelling woven into the art, Seconds will have you coming back for thirds.