9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2010
I first encountered the Scott Pilgrim series a few years ago and, to be honest, didn't think much of them at the time: mostly because -- on the surface anyway -- it seemed like a story about rock-stars fighting evil exes. It wasn't something that really appealed to me at the time and I suspect that at that time, I wouldn't have gotten as much out of the series as I have now.
A few years later, the film came out and I heard that it was an "epic of epic epicness" from quite a few people. Then I was told that there were quite a few video game references in that world. This got my attention because while the books' references to popular and independent (or indie) music escaped me, classic and vintage style video games were and definitely something I can relate to: something I grew up with.
I watched the film and was very impressed, but I was told that the books were in some ways even better. I like to read the comics that comic book movies are inspired from, so I eventually picked up all six of these books on my own. So what can I tell you without spoilers?
Scott Pilgrim has a few things in it that I can really relate to. For one thing, I am Canadian and I live in Toronto so there were a lot of places and elements -- like the TTC subways, streetcars, and buses -- that I could really relate to and it was a blast to see a fantasy-adventure romantic comedy with video game references taking place in a city I've gotten to know.
I also feel like the books really appeal to a certain generation: both the generation that saw the rise of video games as we know them, and the people who grew up during the times of the Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega. There are a lot of in-jokes and references that I really appreciate, though no means do you have to have played or known the games to enjoy this story.
Scott Pilgrim also appeals to me on another level as well. I think that in addition to the video games and music of the latter part of the twentieth century, it also appeals to the twenty-something generation that exists in this contemporary 21st century. The story attempts to capture that feeling of being caught in-between adolescence and adulthood, of Scott Pilgrim still in the stages of growing up and finding maturity even during a point where many might believe he should already be an adult.
I like the fact that Scott and his friends deal with moments of epicness inter-dispersed through the uncertainty of keeping a job, keeping one's apartment, finding something to eat, finding and trusting the right romantic partner(s), and trying to find meaning and make it in a world that makes things relatively tough. There is also this tremendous feeling of ennui that is captured in the narrative -- of boredom and a need to live through and fix it somehow. This is an element that isn't so much seen in the film as it is in these books and I think it might say something about our generation at this time: though what it may say and if this generalization holds any water at all is another story entirely.
In a lot of ways, Scott Pilgrim is a bildungsroman -- a coming of age epic -- and the creator himself as said that this book is centred around Scott: even in his mind. This is the craft of Bryan Lee O'Malley. As quite a few people have pointed out, his illustration and panel-drawings are very deceptively simple. I would venture to say that his drawing style is very reminiscent of Tezuka Osamu's manga or manga itself with regards to the exaggerated eyes and cartoon figures of the characters, though at the same time I can definitely see his work to be not unlike a softer lines version of Genndy Tartakovsky's drawings and animation.
I really appreciate how throughout the graphic narrative, O'Malley manages to tell a story slowly and deliberately and reveal something of a character right to your face, while the protagonist Scott Pilgrim may not be entirely aware of it. O'Malley also knows how to pace his jokes and even manages to utilize some meta-narrative or fictional elements through his characters while still managing to have some fun. When the epic fight scenes occur, they are all the more very striking and have more meaning in complement to the difficulties of everyday life and heartbreak that Scott and his friends go through.
O'Malley manages to capture the spirit of a time, a city, some subcultures, and personalities well and in a way that can capture hearts in turn. I see Scott Pilgrim as a modern twenty-something year old Pilgrim's Progress into a semi-mythical world of video games, indie music, Toronto city life, epic adventure, love, and maturity ... and whole load of humour. I couldn't rate this series any higher.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2011
These books are a hilarious. If you like the movie, you'll like the books, and if you like the books, you'll love the movie. If you're not Canadian, a few of the references will fall short, but the comedy is still there.
I actually saw the movie first, and then read the series...I think the casting for the film is brilliant. It was easy to see the characters come to life in the comic after that. Only down side is the individual volumes are a quick read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
It's hard to think of a slacker more endearing than Scott Pilgrim -- he's funny, cool, unpretentious, and awkwardly romantic.
And you get to see all of that in "Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Boxset," which adds a rock'n'roll sci-fi twist to the usual boy-meets-girl story. Most of it ambles across the daily adventures of Scott's life as he falls in love, but Bryan Lee O'Malley carefully it into a tale of good vs. evil, enduring love, evil exes, subspace passages, and the struggle to overcome the past.
23-year-old Scott Pilgrim has everything: a cool rock band, a forgiving gay roommate, and a high school girlfriend (they just talk! Don't worry!). But lately his dreams have been full of a strange young woman on rollerblades, who usually announces that he IS dreaming -- and one day at the library, he actually sees her in the flesh.
Her name is Ramona Flowers, and while Scott's first attempts to talk to her bomb horribly, an order from amazon.ca brings her right to her door (and a date). But it turns out that to officially date Ramona, Scott must defeat her seven evil exes, the League Of Evil Ex-Boyfriends -- a guy with demon hipster chicks, a famous actor, a snotty vegan rocker, an insecure lesbian ninja, and a pair of Japanese twins using evil robots.
Along the way, Scott has some ex-girlfriend problems of his own, especially with the haughty musician Envy and the high-strung teenager Knives. And when Ramona vanishes, Scott is left to deal with the final and most dangerous boyfriend: Gideon! Can Ramona and Scott overcome their flaws and terrible pasts, or will Gideon end Scott Pilgrim's precious little life?
When you boil it down, the Scott Pilgrim series is really just a boy-meets-girl story. But "Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Boxset" establishes pretty quickly that Bryan Lee O'Malley has a rare talent for spicing up an ordinary story into a delightfully quirky, wacky little love story, and even adding a bittersweet quality in the first half of the last book. Subspace purses, ninjas, love dodecahedrons, love swords and rock concerts all come into play.
And O'Malley fills the story with amusing dialogue ("That must have caused my dad's brain to break in half, replaced by a purely mechanical engine of revenge!"), video-game-style level-ups ("Guts +2 Heart +3 Smarts +1 Will +1") and plenty of quirky characters (I wish I had a roommate like Wallace). He has an art style that makes me think of more rounded TV cartoon characters -- everybody looks rather childlike, with large dark eyes, round faces and cute hipster clothes.
As for Scott... what can you say about him? He's an even mix of of sweet, awkward boy and budding rock god, and even when he does questionable stuff you somehow can't blame him because he's so earnestly sweet and nice. And his love for Ramona is just so adorable. Ramona herself takes a little warming up to, but she's a fun butt-kicking hipster chick who can hold her own, but is afraid of being hurt again.
And there's a wide-ranging cast of supporting characters -- the evil boy (and girl) friends, the roommate with the wicked sense of humor, the fragile yet volatile teenager Knives Chau (and her scary dad), blunt Kim, nasty Julie, and the grumpy and unshaven Stephen Stills.
Be sure to get "Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Boxset" instead of purchasing the graphic novels one by one -- these delightful, quirky little books are addictive. Like a handful of cinnamon candies.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2010
These books were very creative and AWESOME. If anyone likes comic and video games (who doesn't these days), they will like these books. Most of the comic's video game references will not be recognized by a lot of younger people but that doesn't take away from the story. This is a must own.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2011
Well, how should I start this off. Well I guess I can start off by saying how I loved the movie and the Game. If your a fan of the Scott Pilgrim movie or Video game I highly recommend these books, or best known as Manga. There are a total of 6 books. All I can say is...awesome collection in a box and comes with a poster.