A couple of weeks ago I happened across an article on tor.com 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.