Over the summer, the Comic-Con hype for Scott Pilgrim vs The World inspired to see the feature film in theater and, man, was I blown away. I loved the characters, the plot, the concepts, the humor, and the graphics. Overall, I just thought it was sweet.
I liked it so much that it left me wondering if Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novels that inspired the film could be as good or perhaps even better. I’ve never been a big comic guy and I wasn’t sure if I would really find the experience as enjoyable. But I was wrong.
I decided to snag the first volume, Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life, off Amazon and I found it to be a lot fun. I was surprised at how closely the movie followed the graphic novel. A lot of the dialog was word for word. Unfortunately, that meant that my experience wasn’t particularly unique, but it was still enjoyable.
In fact, I enjoyed the first volume enough that I bought the next two, Scott Pilgrim vs The World and Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness. I think the second volume was even better than the first. There was much more variation between the second volume and the movie. In the film, the plot had to keep rolling and actually pick up steam, but in the graphic novels, O’Malley was able to take more time to develop the characters and really tell the story.
The third volume was also really well done and I really started to get excited about the series. My next purchase from Amazon included the final three volumes and I got them for a steal. Seriously, if you are thinking about reading the series, don’t hesitate. Just buy them individually from Amazon. I swear, every time I look, they are even cheaper. I’m guessing that the publisher ordered way too many copies assuming increased sales because of the movie, but, instead, I think there are just a ton of unsold copies in circulation and Amazon is selling them dirt cheap as of this writing.
It’s hard for me to really describe why I liked the series so much. I’m not really a hipster and I don’t really fall into the same social clique as the characters, but I’m pretty close in age and perhaps that is enough for me to relate to the characters and the story. Really, I think if you live in the world today, that’s enough for you to relate to the story.
Joss Whedon described it really well in a quote that was included on the back cover of the final novel, Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour:
“Scott Pilgrim is the best book ever. It is the chronicle of our time. With Kung Fu, so yeah: perfect.”
Seriously, the writing is amazingly witty, the characters are charming (each in his or her own way) and well-developed, and the story is a roller-coaster of action-packed battles, hilarious dialog, and innocent romance. I just don’t know how you could ask for more.
O’Malley is really creative about his used of space. There is content everywhere–on the back of the front cover and straight through to the back cover. He also has such a creative way of telling the story. For example, he includes the chords to one of Sex Bob Omb’s songs in the first volume and in another (second, I think) he actually includes the full instructions for a vegan dinner.
In the end, I found the entire series to be a blast. I wasn’t super amazed with the conclusion (I almost like the end to the movie a little best), but that barely detracts from the series. I’m pretty sure I’ll find myself reading these again and again, which will be easy, because they don’t take very long to read.