Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Review: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life

I just finished re-reading Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life. It's the first part of a six-volume series of graphic novels by Bryan Lee O'Malley. I'm really psyched for Edgar Wright's upcoming movie adaptation, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, so I thought I'd better read the books first. I've only read the first one before, but now I've managed to get the entire set and am really eager to get into the rest of it.
The premise is basically this: Scott Pilgrim is a 23-year-old slacker who plays bass guitar in the band "Sex Bob-Omb." He meets and falls in love with delivery girl Ramona Flowers, but must defeat her seven "evil exes" in order to date her. Only the first one shows up in this book, though. Actually, here's the movie trailer, that explains the plot well enough. Go ahead, watch. I'll wait.

Sex Bob-Omb's music is described as "fast, hard, sloppy" and in a way, that also describes Bryan Lee O'Malley's art. It's rough and energetic and looks spontaneous, like he had fun drawing this. Unlike Sex Bob-Omb's music, however, O'Malley's art is not terrible. He manages to convey subtle emotions remarkably well in such seemingly simple artwork. The character of Scott Pilgrim is sort of a clueless dork, but a very endearing one (in other words, perfect casting for Michael Cera). The other characters are also very likable, and the dialogue is both funny and believable. The genius part is the mash-up of romance/comedy graphic novel and 1980s-style video game duel. While the genre change comes quite sudden, you can't help but feel it's awesome when (SPOILER!*) Scott whups the first evil ex and he implodes, dropping $2.10 in coins ("not even enough for the subway back home!" Scott complains). It's a really cool book, and I look forward to seeing what director Edgar Wright does with the movie version. You may remember him as the director of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, so this could be a cult comedy hat trick.

And hey, you can even read the first 50 (!) pages for free at the official Scott Pilgrim website! How about that?
Yeah, I thought so.

* Oh come on, this is not a spoiler. Of course he defeats the first evil ex; there wouldn't be six volumes if he lost, would it?

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