I don't know what took me so long, but I finally
got around to reading Bryan Lee O'Malley's inspired, hilarious, snarky, delicious graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim
(though I know how I got around to reading them finally: I ran into Scott McCloud at the Toronto Comic Arts Fest and he said, "You have to read 'Scott Pilgrim,' it's about a guy who can only date the love of his life after he defeats her seven evil ex-boyfriends!").
I sent away for a review set of the first five volumes -- I'm not sure, but I think there'll be six in all -- but they were promptly stolen by my wife, who wouldn't give them back, so I had to buy another set at Forbidden Planet in London and then drop pretty much everything to read them, at speed, howling with laughter and turning down corners on pages I wanted to save for posterity.
The premise is pretty much as McCloud described it: Scott Pilgrim is a 23-year-old Toronto slacker who falls in love with an Amazon delivery woman who's just moved from America, but in order to date her, he must defeat her seven evil ex-boyfriends, who have a variety of super powers (my favorite is the vegan, who has the vegan power of moving things with his mind). On the way, we find out about Scott's friends -- slackers, successes, screw-ups, beauty queens, lovelorn ninjas, a whole charming host of them -- and his history and run through a series of genuinely touching, ha-ha-only-serious flashbacks about Scott's life.
The setting is crack for me, since it's the Toronto of my young adulthood -- they have one epic battle at Casa Loma, the weird castle where I got married; they spend their nights drinking bad beer and eating terrible food at Sneaky Dees, where I practically lived for several years, especially when they were a 24-hour joint on Bloor Street; and there's a brilliant fight-scene at the magnificently kitschy monster five-and-dime Honest Eds -- rendered with sweet affection and a good eye.
But the best part are the little tossed-up popcult fillips, like the 8-bit "PEE" status-bar that slowly scrolls to empty over a couple panels as Scott stands at a urinal, or the One-Up face that pings into existence when Scott earns an extra life.
Reading this reminds me of the first time I read Generation X and discovered a creator who was funny, touching, smart and plugged into many of the same things that my life revolved around. The Globe and Mail called it "Canada's Tank Girl," and I think that's as good a strapline as any. I can't recommend it highly enough -- and hey, there's a pretty decent-looking film-adaptation in the works, too!
Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 1: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life
Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 2: Scott Pilgrim Versus The World
Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 3: Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness
Scott Pilgrim, Vol 4: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together
Scott Pilgrim Volume 5: Scott Pilgrim vs The Universe
Scott Pilgrim - Comics By Bryan Lee O'Malley
It’s Sysadmin Day, when we recognize the tireless, selfless, talented administrators who toil in obscurity and keep every part of our world running: for Boing Boing, that’s Mr Ken Snider, an extraordinarily skilled, patient, and upstanding fellow who has kept Boing Boing running for more than a decade, through thick and thin, and is our […]
Though Richard “Datamancer” Nagy died unexpectedly in 2013, his business partner and family continue to fabricate the extraordinary steampunk designs he pioneered.
MagicPeaceLove writes, “The word ‘inspiring’ gets thrown around a lot but my pal Mahdi Gilbert (previously) really deserves it.
Looks like all of your potential employers are hiring candidates with programming skills (which you don’t have). With all of the languages out there today, it’s tough to know where to start.With the Complete Front-End to Back-End Coding Bundle, you can beef your resume up in all the right places, no confusion necessary. This package of […]
Those of us who love music wish we could listen to it 24/7. But it’s impossible when we’re trying to converse with our friends, or when are swimming in the local pool.That is, until now. The KOAR Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headset, now 48% off, has changed the audio game.Made with lightweight titanium memory metal, this headset boasts patented bone conduction technology to transport sound […]
It’s one thing to enjoy dinner at home and a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with your best friend, Netflix, but it’s another thing entirely to make that meal from scratch and get that wine delivered right to your doorstep.But what if we told you there’s a way to make this possible? To keep your social life, […]