Graphic Novel Review: Scott Pilgrim

Graphic Novel Review: Scott PilgrimScott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O'Malley
Published by Oni Press on August 24, 2004
Genres: Fantasy, Humor, Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

Scott Pilgrim's life is totally sweet. He's 23 years old, he's in a rockband, he's ""between jobs,"" and he's dating a cute high school girl. Nothingcould possibly go wrong, unless a seriously mind-blowing, dangerouslyfashionable, rollerblading delivery girl named Ramona Flowers starts cruisingthrough his dreams and sailing by him at parties. Will Scott's awesome life getturned upside-down? Will he have to face Ramona's seven evil ex-boyfriends inbattle? The short answer is yes. The long answer is Scott Pilgrim, Volume 1: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life

Most of you are probably familiar with Scott Pilgrim already from the movie that came out last year. I watched it with two of my good friends and it was pretty great. I highly recommend it to delightful, nerdy folk. The movie made me want to try the graphic novels again, which I confess I had not liked initially. My first attempt only made it through the first volume, Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life. I just didn’t get why it was funny. Sad, but true. Then the movie made it clear; the jokes are mostly from video games. This is a key thing to know.

With that knowledge in hand, I re-embarked on a journey through the six volumes of Scott Pilgrim’s rather intense/forgetful courtship of Ramona Flowers. The series is really funny, although not at all points. I love a lot of the little things thrown in on the side. For example, at one point in the final volume, Wallace Wells says “J’accuse!*” to Scott and the footnote reads “*frenched.” This is one of many such awesome things that made me laugh out loud.

The story line never really engaged me that much though. Scott and Ramona really aren’t very likable people, so I didn’t care too much about the progression of their relationship. I guess I wanted them to win, but mostly just because the ‘evil’ folks were so obnoxious that I couldn’t stand them winning. However, Scott and Ramona are not the only characters, and some of the supporting cast are freaking awesome. My favorites were Wallace Wells and Kim Pine, who are fantastic in totally different ways. I expected to like Knives Chau (who was pretty awesome in the movie version), but she was super lame and whiny and overly into a loser like Scott.

I really loved how realistic the friendships between a lot of the characters felt (not the evil exes stuff, but just the kids hanging around town). They really seemed to interact like aimless people on the edge of adulthood might. I also want to praise this series for not being heteronormative. Both gays and lesbians can be found here. This is a thing I really love to find in fiction, so props to O’Malley.

I highly recommend this. It’s a fun, super nerdy read.

One response to “Graphic Novel Review: Scott Pilgrim”

  1. Heidi says:

    My daughter is a huge Ramona Flowers fan…of course she also looks like Ramona Flowers..colored hair and all. Actually my whole nerdy family are huge Scott Pilgrim fans…

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