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
Old-school bOING bOING editor Jon Lebkowsky invites everyone to Cyberpunk2017, the Annual EFF/EFF-Austin SXSW Afterparty in Austin, Texas, Saturday, March 11, 2017, from 5pm to 1am! It’s free! Jon writes: Our latest EFF/EFF-Austin event takes a cyberpunk perspective on 2017, exploring how our vision of the future has changed over the last forty years of […]
The fully-funded Macchina project on Kickstarter is an Arduino-based, “open, versatile” gadget that bypasses the DRM in your car’s network, allowing you to configure it to work the way you want it to, so you can customize your car in all kinds of cool ways.
I’m touring 20 US cities (plus dates in Canada and the UK!) with my forthcoming novel Walkaway; the full tour hasn’t been announced yet, but I’m delighted to reveal that the NYC stop on May 3 will be at the New York Public Library, where my interlocutor will be the whistleblower Edward Snowden. Tickets are […]
DJI is the world’s leading designer and producer of easy-to-fly drones and aerial photography systems. If you’re a drone enthusiast, you want a DJI. If you know absolutely nothing about drones and think they’re weird, if you win a DJI you’re going to become a drone enthusiast.Enter this giveaway (for free, yes) and you’ll get a […]
Although there will never be a consensus about the best way to make coffee, any coffee connoisseur will agree that controlling the grind of your beans and balancing water temperature are the keys to a tasty cup. Since your plastic coffee pot doesn’t really allow for that kind of customization, going back to the French […]