Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O'Malley
Title: Scott Pilgrim
Author: Bryan Lee O'Malley
Publisher: Oni Press
Length: ~170 pages each
Series: 6 Volumes
Audio or Book: Book
Reason for Discovery: Scott Pilgrim Versus the World movie

From GoodReads:

Scott Pilgrim's life is totally sweet. He's 23 years old, he's in a rockband, he's ""between jobs,"" and he's dating a cute high school girl. Nothing could possibly go wrong, unless a seriously mind-blowing, dangerously fashionable, rollerblading delivery girl named Ramona Flowers starts cruising through his dreams and sailing by him at parties. Will Scott's awesome life getturned upside-down? Will he have to face Ramona's seven evil ex-boyfriends inbattle? The short answer is yes. The long answer is Scott Pilgrim, Volume 1: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life.

I had heard about the Scott Pilgrim series in the past; however, the series really caught my eye when the movie came out a few years ago. I remember thinking it was pretty cute. It is a movie that I can re-watch over and over again when it is on television, because it has lots of little jokes hidden throughout the movie. When I got into my crazy-intense graphic novel reading binge, I knew I had to read the Scott Pilgrim series.

As you may know, Scott Pilgrim is a series about a slacker named Scott Pilgrim, the mysterious Ramona, and some of Scott's friends. The characters are in their 20s, and are dealing with typical 20-something issues: love, jobs, and friendships. At first, Scott's world seems very similar to our own world; however, after a few pages, you discover that is not exactly the case. Ramona travels through subspace to make her deliveries. Also, Scott Pilgrim quickly becomes tasked with fighting Ramona's evil ex-lovers. Unlike in our world, when Scott defeats an evil ex, the ex disappears and turns into coins, just like in a video game.

I had heard that there were a lot of changes when the graphic novel series was made into a movie. Although I definitely see the changes, the changes don't seem too way off base. At the same time, I'm glad that I saw the movie first. I probably would have been frustrated, if I had read the novels first.

There was a lot that I liked about this series. First, I loved, loved, loved all of the nerdy and geeky references scattered throughout the series. The Scott Pilgrim series is what life would look like, if life really was an RPG video game. There were all of these little jokes scattered throughout the series like Scott getting +2 to heart or wanting an extra life. Many of these jokes are not necessary for understanding the plot; they just add to the atmosphere of the series and the universe. Second, although I couldn't connect with the characters (more on that later), I thought that O'Malley did a great job of creating interesting characters that felt three-dimensional even though the video game universe aesthetic would suggest that these characters would be a bit flat. Third, I love that this series was nice and compact. I was in and out in six volumes. The series had great pacing. I have been reading a ton of long graphic novels series (Fables will have 21 volumes when it is completed), and I am loving the "shorter" graphic novels.

There was very little that I did not enjoy in this series. The only major gripe I have about the series is something that isn't the series' fault. I had a hard time appreciating the characters. In fact, there were several characters whom I did not like, including Scott Pilgrim. Although I definitely as someone who lives in the geek culture, I would never classify a period of time in my life during which I was a "slacker." Scott's lack of interest in getting a job and feeling comfortable mooching off his friends is fairly foreign to me. Granted, the reader is probably supposed to think that Scott is a bit of a jerk. At the same time though, I had a hard time appreciating why Scott (and sometimes his friends) was doing what he was doing. I spent most of my 20s in school (either college or graduate school), I think if I had spent more time in my 20s working (and finding jobs, etc), I think I would have liked this series more.

Overall, I did enjoy this series. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped that I would. I give this series a 3 out of 5. 

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