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Book Review: Scott Pilgrim By Bryan Lee O’Malley (Graphic Novel) (Series, #1-5)

April 13, 2010 7 comments

Orange and red book cover with Scott Pilgrim pointing his finger.Summary:
Canadian Scott Pilgrim is 23 years old and has a case of what to do with myself quarter life crisis.  He’s living in a studio apartment with Wallace (who is very gay), dating a 17 year old, and doesn’t have a job, but at least he’s got his band.  Then he meets American Ramona Flowers and falls for her.  Dating her comes with a catch, though.  He’s got to defeat her 7 evil exes who really seem to enjoy jumping him when he least expects it.

Review:
Scott Pilgrim takes typical 20-something ennui and spices it up with a heavy dose of ninja fighting and videogame references, hitting its target audience dead-on.  It’s the perfect mix of connection over real life issues and over generational references.  It’s more than just a day in the life of Scott mixed with fighting evil exes, though.  There’s a mystery to the whole situation.  Why is Scott such a good fighter?  Why does he fall so quickly for Ramona when nothing seems that special about her?  What is up with Ramona anyway?  It had me wishing that the sixth volume was out already so I could find out.  (It comes out this summer).

The art is relatively average.  Some of the characters and scenes are really well-drawn, but some of the minor characters blend together, particularly the women.  I was left really confused about some of the women until later in the series where O’Malley put together a listing of all the characters.  Even then, I thought they looked a bit too much alike.  On the other hand, the art handles delicate scenes like sex and fighting really well, so it all balances out.

What really makes the series, though, is the creativity of the exes and the battles.  They range from skateboarding to evil robots at concerts to races through value warehouse stores to (my absolute favorite) vegans with superpowers.  Seriously, they have superpowers because they’re vegans.  It’s the most awesome idea!  Plus, there is a recipe for vegan shepherd’s pie given in the context of the story that I absolutely must try.

I definitely recommend this series to all 20-somethings, videogamers, and ninja-lovers.  Plus, the movie version starring Michael Cera is coming out this summer, so you may as well whet your appetite for it by reading the books first.

4 out of 5 stars

Source: Borrowed

Books in Series:
Volume 1: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life
Volume 2: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Volume 3: Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness
Volume 4: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together
Volume 5: Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe
Volume 6: Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour
(release date: July 20, 2010)

Buy It