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#8-10 – Scott Pilgrim Vol. 1-3

May 17, 2007

i’ve liked you for a thousand years, a thousand yearsI’m not a big comic book reader, although I’m all about webcomics I don’t look into print comics too often unless I hear that they’re exceptional. So I hope you won’t take it lightly when I say, you guys, I love these books so hard. I hope that will be a testament to how incredibly well-written they are, and not to the immaturity of my taste in reading material.

The Scott Pilgrim series will eventually contain six volumes, three of which have been released so far (Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and awesomely, Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness). Scott Pilgrim is 23 years old, lives in Toronto, and plays bass for the band Sex Bob-omb (all the band names in Scott Pilgrim are video game references). In the first book he starts dating Ramona Flowers, an Amazon.ca delivery girl from New York, which unfortunately means that he then must defeat Ramona’s Seven Evil Ex-Boyfriends in epic, Street Fighter-style battles. This synopsis sounds ridiculous, admittedly, but Bryan Lee O’Malley writes these books so well that it all feels perfectly natural. I’ve heard Scott Pilgrim described as being like a musical, except instead of breaking into song, the characters break into fight sequences. Also, sometimes they break into song.

The drawing here is great, and the stories are hilarious, but the dialogue blows my mind. There’s a huge cast of characters, and they all have their own identifiable voice, and the lines that O’Malley comes up with for them are among the best I’ve ever read. I’m going to have to steal Scott’s insult to his roommate, “You suck, surprising no-one!!!” Finally, music plays a huge part in Scott Pilgrim. Scott is named after a Plumtree song, and as you would expect he’s got hell of good taste: he wears a Plumtree shirt during a Sex Bob-omb show, a Thursh Hermit shirt during a high school flashback, and a New Pornographers shirt at his funeral in a fantasy sequence. The first book contains a “Play along with Sex Bob-omb!” sequence with chords and lyrics, and the characters at another point discuss the genius of Gord Downie. Just… just read Scott Pilgrim, I swear. They’re the first books I’ve read this summer that I feel the need to buy and then force on people.

Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together is due out sometime this fall, and I’ll be anxiously waiting for both it and the proposed film adaptation by Edgar Wright. If you’ve seen Shaun of the Dead, or Hot Fuzz, or especially the BBC sitcom Spaced, you will understand that this is going to be awesome, and Wright is a perfect match for the material.

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