Scott Pilgrim: The Second Most Awesome Canadian in Comics

Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim series is one of the most uniquely quirky and incredibly awesome sets of graphic novels I have ever read. A strangely well-balanced blend of over-the-top video game-style violence and humor with a romantic slacker comedy, Scott Pilgrim can keep you interested and amused even if you’re not familiar with video game tropes through rapid-fire narrative gags, snappy dialogue, and a colorful and memorable cast of characters.

The comics follow the life of the titular Scott Pilgrim, a 24-year-old Canadian slacker who is the bassist in his friend’s tiny garage band, Sex Bob-Omb. At the outset of the series, Scott is dating a 17-year-old girl named Knives Chau and generally drifting about without a purpose in life, but things start to change rapidly for him when he meets the girl of his dreams, an American delivery girl named Ramona Flowers. After several awkward starts, Scott finally begins dating Ramona only to find his life becoming far more complicated; in addition to Knives trying to win him back, Scott must defeat seven of Ramona’s evil exes if he wants to keep his life and their relationship. Deciding the risk is worth it, Scott sets out to win his battles and finally get his life together while being beset by skateboarders, robots, ninjas, vegans, his ex-girlfriend’s father, demon hipsters, and his own emotional baggage.

Despite its ridiculous premise, the comics are able to tell an oddly down-to-earth story; beneath the endless snarky commentary of the narrator, punching people so hard they explode into coins, or vegans having godly psychic powers, the story is at its core about a post-graduate loser gradually coming to terms with the fact he has been a jerk and his life is in the crapper, and accepting his mistakes and resolving to change himself and his life for the better. It’s a story a lot of people could identify with or learn from, and if it’s delivered alongside a story about pulling a katana made of love from your chest and using it to defeat your girlfriend’s crazy ex, so much the better.

Leave a Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.