Thursday, June 18, 2009

Scott Pilgrim Volume 3 by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Scott Pilgrim strikes again.

Mostly ineffectually.

This is why we love him.

I finally got tired of waiting for the book order to go through, and picked up Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness (Vol. 3) via interlibrary loan a few weeks ago. It took me a bit to get back into things, since it's been ages since I read volumes 1 and 2. But it didn't take that long, and then I went back and re-read the bits I'd read while being slightly confused. Then I continued re-reading because it is awesome.

For those new to my book crush on the Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series, the basic idea of the series is this: Scott is on his way to defeating ninja delivery girl Ramona Flowers' seven evil ex-boyfriends in street-fighter-esque combat, in a quest to be able to call her his girlfriend. It's set in an alternate Toronto (Ontario) and there are awesome references to all sorts of things I recognize. Where a Toronto Public Library branch was the scene of a battle in the second volume, both Honest Ed's (an iconic deep-discount department store) and Lee's Palace (a popular club and bar with great live shows) show up in volume 3. For those of you wondering (as Darla was) yes, Honest Ed's is a real place. I have never been in. It is impressively daunting enough from outside.

The storyline in volume 3, as might be guessed from the title, is a little more serious. There are some fairly painful moments, and tender moments, between different characters. The pacing was definitely slower and more introspective. I didn't mind it; I didn't think it was quite as good as the first two volumes, but it still kept my attention and my heart. My husband, who also reads these, found it dragged a bit too much for him -- spent too much time moping and not enough time moving the plot along -- and I can certainly see his point. I think some of O'Malley's characters also see his point. They're pretty aware of their graphic novel format, which I thought was cute (says Envy at one point: "Right. It's almost 3:30, and we've been here for a quarter of this book. Let's call it a night.")

But there is more depth to most of the characters now, and there's a bit more intrigue surrounding Ramona. Who is she really? What is she up to? Because she's up to something and one suspects it might be problematic for all concerned in future volumes. Which I've ordered from the library! No more waiting around for me. Up next: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together.


Anonymous said...

The first time I went into Honest Ed's I got lost about four times. It is giganto! -- and inadequately signed, at least in terms of signs that tell you where you're heading.

Fun, though. Good for a frugal date :)

Unknown said...

There's a gorilla, right? That's one of the things I remember... and the sign.

What a great date idea!

Phyl (kashicat) said...

Honest Ed's is fun fun fun! When I first moved here, I went there every two weeks when I got paid, and gradually got my kitchen set up while I was waiting to afford to ship all my stuff from Calgary. (Took a long time.)

I've never heard of this series, but if it's set in Toronto, I think I really must check it out.

Unknown said...

It's a ridiculously fun series, Phyl... I think you'd like it. It does not take itself seriously at all, and it's cool to see familiar landmarks in the art! There are five books so far, and I believe O'Malley's plan is to wrap the story up in the sixth, which should come out sometime next year. They don't take very long to read at all!