Thursday, February 19, 2009

Scott Pilgrim Vols. 1 and 2 by Bryan Lee O'Malley

A couple of weeks ago I happened across an article on about the release of a new Scott Pilgrim volume. Scott Pilgrim has been on my radar for a while now, but only vaguely. So I decided to see what the excitement was about, and borrowed the first two volumes from my local library. I mean, how could I resist what Steven Padnick at Tor calls a "video game-inspired action-comedy-romance"?

It turns out I couldn't. It is some awesome.

The basic premise is that Scott Pilgrim is a 23-year-old slacker who lives in a basement bachelor apartment with his boy-crazy gay roommate, and at the beginning of the first volume, Scott is dating a seventeen-year-old named Knives Chau. He's in a crappy band, doesn't have a job, and is having dreams about an awesome delivery chick on rollerblades.

Up until now, you might be forgiven for thinking that this is any old hipster story set among the Toronto 20-somethings, and so on. But it turns into something stranger, and better. The delivery chick is none other than Ramona Flowers, who takes a subspace highway through Scott Pilgrim's head. We have ninjas, battle scenes, video games, Canadian indie music scene, and love stories. It is something of a perfect storm.

The dialogue is funny and even occasionally punny (which I find tremendously charming because it's not overdone). The art is simple, attractive, and easy to follow. It's set in Toronto and spends a surprising amount of time in recognizable Toronto libraries, so I would love it for that alone. But the story and the characters don't need any help. They've got me hooked.

It's not a difficult read (I read both volumes in a morning during which I was distracted by things like sun, sand, pool, and pina coladas). It's silly, fun, and clever, and highly recommended for anyone who likes video games, ninja delivery girls, Toronto Public Library, sarcasm, and/or comedic love triangles. Also good art and crappy bands.


Jill said...

One of the dangers of slow afternoons at work is reading posts like yours and realizing the book is mere feet I picked up #1. Like I needed another book on my library card, darn you! :-) Sounds like a fun one!

Unknown said...

Bwa ha ha! You have discovered my secret evil plan, to drive librarians all over the world mad... ;)

Really, it's only fair, since you put not one but two new series on my list!

Jill said...

Ha! Your plan is working!

I read a few pages at work and had to laugh. So far it reminds me a little of Diary of a Wimpy Kid for the older set. Quirky and fun! (Now I'm off to see if there's another series book I can review...heh heh)

Unknown said...

I actually haven't read Diary of a Wimpy Kid yet. I've skimmed through it, but it's pretty popular so I haven't had a chance to snatch it from some young boy's fingers....

Ana S. said...

This sounds like something I'd really, really enjoy. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

Unknown said...

You're welcome, Nymeth! (sorry, the system seems to have swallowed my earlier comment). I hope you do like it. It's quite fun. I haven't had the opportunity to get my hands on any of the other volumes yet, but I'm hoping my library will actually be able to get all five volumes ordered. The fourth (I think) has Scott Pilgrim as tanuki Mario on the cover!