Today’s Graphic Novels post is going to highlight a series that I have fallen ass over teakettle for, Bryan Lee O’Malleys’ Scott Pilgrim! *As the title states Scott Pilgrim = NPZR (“Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot” a combination of all the awesomeness of everything!)
So far I have read 5 of the comic volumes, am anxiously awaiting number 6, and I’m in a fan-girl frenzy for the upcoming movie based on the series. Oh and it’s also gonna be a video game! ♥Squeee♥
Precious Little Life
Everything Is Totally Sweet
Scott Pilgrim’s life is so awesome. He’s 23 years old, in a rock band, “between jobs,” and dating a cute high school girl. Everything’s fantastic until a seriously mind-blowing, dangerously fashionable, rollerblading delivery girl named Ramona Flowers starts cruising through his dreams and sailing by him at parties. But the path to Ms. Flowers isn’t covered in rose petals. Ramona’s seven evil ex-boyfriends stand in the way between Scott and true happiness. Can Scott beat the bad guys and get the girl without turning his precious little life upside-down?
Author: Bryan Lee O'Malley Publication Date: July 2004 Publisher: ONI Press Type: Paperback 168 pages Genre: Graphic Novel (teen) Purchase: Amazon
So this first volume in the series was pretty much character introduction to Scott Pilgrim. The reader learns that he is a 20-something slacker who shares a very-cramped apartment with his friend Wallace. Scott also loves video games and practicing with his band Sex Bob-omb. There is also lots to learn about Scott’s circle of friends/acquaintances, who come off as a very realistic group of people as there are many different vibes between certain of them. They are all unique in their own way, and you can tell that unknown histories between some of them have an impact of the social group as a whole. The biggest impact in this volume is the addition of Ramona Flowers, a girl who Scott dreamt about and then discovers is an Amazon delivery girl. Scott falls for Ramona hard, and the only thing standing in the way in Scott’s 17-year-old girlfriend (o.O) and Ramona’s 7 evil exes (O.o)
This was definitely a fantastic series opener for me, I loved the mixture of the realistic slacker life-style and the fantastical ninja/evil-exes/dream-girl aspect.
vs. The World
How Does He Do It?
Scott Pilgrim has two girls on the go. When he’s with Knives Chau, he feels like he can erase his past and start over. When he’s with Ramona Flowers, he‘s ready to accept all that, grow up and move on. But like all adult relationships, Ramona comes with baggage – in her case, seven evil ex-boyfriends, showing up one by one to challenge Scott for the right to date her. What happens when Knives and Ramona meet? What happens when Scott’s own ex-flames get thrown in? How will Scott deal? Which girl will he choose? And why, oh why, can’t the past stay past?
Author: Bryan Lee O'Malley Publication Date: May 2005 Publisher: ONI Press Type: Paperback 200 pages Genre: Graphic Novel (teen) Purchase: Amazon
Scott Pilgrim is perfectly okay with having to fight a bunch of evil ex-boyfriends in order to date Ramona Flowers, but he’s a little nervous about breaking off his relationship with 17-year-old high school girlfriend Knives Chau. But first a flashback to Scott’s high school days where we learn a little more about Scott and more interesting (for me) was the back-story of Sex Bob-ombs drummer Kim. I loved learning about Kim and Scott’s history because it made their interactions in the present-day narrative more clear. End flashback, and Knives is more than a little pissed at being dumped. Which sets up the perfect opportunity for a Ninja-style fight between Knives and Ramona in (are you ready for this??) the Library! And of course we cannot forget that Scott must face-off against another of Ramona’s evil exes. But just when things start to become somewhat normal again Scott gets a phone call from one of his exes Envy … and things are not looking so hot for Scott Pilgrim.
& The Infinite Sadness
Things Keep Happening
Scott Pilgrim’s new girlfriend, Ramona Flowers, has made his life slightly more complicated. She’s got 7 evil ex-boyfriends, and they’ve been showing up one by one to challenge Scott for the right to date her. Boyfriend #3, Todd Ingram, comes with extra baggage: he’s currently dating the former love of Scott Pilgrim’s life! Envy Adams broke Scott’s heart a year and a half ago. Now she’s back for more, along with her evil art-rock band, The Clash at Demonhead. She’s getting Scott’s band to open a show in two days – just enough time for Scott to fight Todd, get over Envy, keep Ramona happy, fend off the advances of demented ex-girlfriends, and practice that new set list. Right??
Author: Bryan Lee O'Malley Publication Date: May 2006 Publisher: ONI Press Type: Paperback 192 pages Genre: Graphic Novel (teen) Purchase: Amazon
Volume 3 follows the story directly from the last, after a phone call from his ex-girlfriend Envy, Scott tries to get control over his emotions. But first another flashback. This time the reader is treated to Scott’s university history when he and Envy were an item. At that time Envy was known as Natalie and was pretty much a quiet wallflower type. But she went on to become a successful rocker, and broke Scott’s heart in the process. Back to the present, Envy and her band (which includes one of Ramona’s evil exes) is back in town. This volume is full of fighting, revelations and fun. Although Scott and Ramona’s romance is still the main focus, the supporting characters are still evolving with stories of their own.
Gets It Together
But who can relax? Welcome back to Scott Pilgrim’s nightmarish little existence. His relationship with Ramona Flowers is sweeter than ever, but he’s still got girl troubles, seven evil ex-boyfriends still want to kill him, and worst of all, now she wants him to get a job! Scott Pilgrim Volume 4: Now with more kicks, punches, rock & roll, subspace, half-ninjas, experience points, samurai swords, girly action, and laughable attempts to seek gainful employment.
Author: Bryan Lee O'Malley Publication Date: October 2007 Publisher: ONI Press Type: Paperback 216 pages Genre: Graphic Novel (teen) Purchase: Amazon
Scott Gets It Together is a rather hopeful title for this volume, but even as Scott gets a job, moves into his new place and finally decides he really loves Ramona … other things are happening that aren’t quite so organized. Sex Bob-omb is recording their very first single which is good, but the bad thing is that the band members are losing morale as practices become fewer and farther between. Scott is also being stalked by a mysterious samurai-wielding stranger. And he realizes that not all of Ramona’s evil exes are going to be ex-boyfriends. As if that weren’t enough Ramona seems to be doubting how serious Scott was with an old friend of his that has come to town and joined in with the crowd.
vs. The Universe
The World Is Not Enough
Why did he have to turn twenty-four? Why do robots keep trying to kill him? Why is the band falling apart? Why is Ramona acting so weird? Why won’t those brilliant and deadly Japanese twins leave him alone? See Scott Pilgrim learn the answers inside ... or die trying!
Author: Bryan Lee O'Malley Publication Date: February 2009 Publisher: ONI Press Type: Paperback 184 pages Genre: Graphic Novel (teen) Purchase: Amazon
A lot happens in Volume 5, including Scott battling the next two evil exes who are twins who specialize in robotics. But the majority of the action seemed to be setting things up for an ultimate showdown in the next (and final?) volume. Questions about Ramona’s strange metaphysical travels, her glowing head and the mysterious man named Gideon from her past are all brought to the fore-front. This isn’t to say that Volume 5 wasn’t an enjoyable read, but it definitely left me wanting (desperately) to find out all the answers.
I’ve attempted to keep my comments about the individual volumes as vague as possible in order to not spoil anything. The Scott Pilgrim series is one that I highly recommend to all readers, I think there is something to be appreciated by everyone.
My only worries now is whether to watch the movie asap when it comes out or wait until Volume 6 of the comics is released. Although from the web-searching I’ve done the movie apparently will have a different ending from the written series, I’m still pondering.
About The Author
Volume 1 ♦ Bryan Lee O’Malley has been alive since 1979. He currently lives in Toronto. He plays some guitar and keyboards, but is pretty bad at bass. His first book was Lost at Sea. His second book is this one.
Volume 2 ♦ Bryan Lee O’Malley was born in London, Ontario. His only goal in life was to become rich. At the time of this writing, he is not very rich at all. The Scott Pilgrim series is his life’s work, after which he plans to retire to a house by the ocean and eat smoked salmon for every meal until his death. He currently lives in an apartment somewhere in Canada with Hope Larson and two cats.
Volume 3 ♦ Bryan Lee O’Malley (born 21 February 1979) is a Canadian cartoonist and occasional musician. He lives in the wilderness with Hope Larson (www.hopelarson.com) and three cats, and has an extremely great website at www.radiomaru.com
Volume 4 ♦ Bryan Lee O’Malley has been alive since he was born and will live until he dies, which will probably be pretty soon. His dying wish will be the wish that he hadn’t wasted his best years drawing this book. His epitaph will be whiny and narcissistic.
Volume 5 ♦ Bryan Lee O’Malley was made in Canada. This is the first book he has ever completed on schedule. He was 29. It was awesome.
Books & Other Thoughts
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