Scott Pilgrim, Vols. 1-5
Writer & Artist: Bryan Lee O’Malley
I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Scott Pilgrim series (which will end this year with volume 6 before the movie’s release), so when I finally sat down to read it, I had high expectations going in. Scott Pilgrim lived up to every single one of those expectations, and then some.
It starts off as a slacker’s story at first, charming in every aspect – from Scott’s friends and family to the mystery behind the new girl in his life, Ramona. Then, almost out of nowhere, a scene turns into a video game fight, to which I told a friend I had no freaking clue what was going on but it was the GREATEST THING I’VE EVER READ.
The only downside of the story in the first volume is that you don’t really have any clue the video game/fantastical aspects will pop up, so they come as a complete surprise. But once you take it in and accept it, the rest of the volumes are easy to read and enjoy.
We’re told at the end of volume one that Scott must defeat seven of Ramona’s evil ex-boyfriends, and while this is the main story arc, what really makes Scott Pilgrim work is the personality in his friends, how he’s connected to them and they to each other, the little flashbacks detailing how Scott met them. There’s real emotion in everything (and hilarity in everything else) and that’s what elevates this from pure fanboy fantasy to appealing to everyone. There are strong female characters for women to enjoy (though I’m not saying girls need female characters to enjoy comics, it’s just nice to have some), Kim and Ramona among them. While the pair of them are defined mostly by their relationships to Scott, it’s in the later volumes that they begin to blossom as their own fully realized characters.
(Can I just say how confusing this review is getting? My middle name is Ramona and I have a friend named Scott.)
The art is the only thing I wasn’t one hundred percent in love with. O’Malley draws in an amateurish way, which, while it really works for this, is hard to get used to. I couldn’t tell most of the characters apart at first, and I had to rest my eyes after a while of black and white. (I guess this is partly the reason why I can never get into manga.) He gets better as the series goes on, but if the art bugs you at first, push through. The story is worth it.
Today the very first Scott Pilgrim vs The World trailer came out, and it almost feels like a reward for me finally sitting down to read this when I said I would last year. It amazing, fun, and captures everything about the graphic novels that makes Scott Pilgrim AWESOME.
I wasn’t so into Michael Cera as Scott at first, but he seems to work here. Mary Elizabeth Winstead looks JUST like Ramona, and oh my God I cannot wait to see Chris Evans (♥♥) fail at skateboarding and Brandon Routh (♥) use epic bass player VEGAN POWER. AHHHHHH!
Read Scott Pilgrim as soon as you can, guys. You won’t regret it.