Monday, April 30, 2012

Review: Scott Pilgrim Series by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Hardcover: Six Volumes, 198 Page Per Volume Average
Release Date: August 4, 2004 - August 3, 2010
Publisher: Oni Press
Author Info: Website | Twitter
Buy the Books: Amazon
Add Them: Goodreads

Synopsis taken from the author's website:
SCOTT PILGRIM is dating a high schooler, but when Ramona Flowers starts skating through his brain, everything changes. While Scott pursues Ramona, someone else pursues Scott: HER SEVEN EVIL EX-BOYFRIENDS. If he wants this relationship to work, he's going to have to defeat them all -- but even that herculean task might not be enough!  

Scott Pilgrim was one of the first comic book ("graphic novel") series I wanted to take on. It's been at the top of my list of "things I really want to read if I get the time", so I took the time and it was every bit as epic as I imagined.

I'm sure by now many of you have seen the movie adaptation that came out two years ago, Scott Pilgrim vs The World. If not, I highly recommend it seeing as it is fantastic. But that's beside the point. Since I saw the film first, I wasn't sure how my perception of the comics would be going in. I didn't necessarily want to see Michael Cera as Scott or whatever. I thought he was excellent in the film though. I just wanted this to be a separate experience. And for the most part it was. so this is a review of the series, not the movie.

There are six volumes in all. Throughout which, Scott Pilgrim has to fight off seven evil exes to be able to date this girl Ramona. So basically one ex per issue. It seems like a simple enough concept, but with the action also comes great writing and a cast of hilarious characters. I found myself constantly acknowledging to myself that I was, in fact, Scott Pilgrim. His mannerisms and actions were all me. I kept thinking about how similar to my life this story was.
Well, not exactly the whole fighting people thing, but that's not really the story when you get down to the heart of it. It's about people and relationships. Whether it's friendships or something closer. How we interact with people every day. While the fighting bits were cool and all, I really enjoyed the background story even more. We learn a lot about each character throughout the six volumes.

I loved the look of the panels as well. It was all monochromatic with some exaggerated shadowing and silhouetting. It was obviously inspired by Japanese manga, but unique still. I heard they'll be re-releasing the series in full color starting this fall, so you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll be re-reading them then.

The whole series was really funny and the dialogue was so well put-together. It even had an unconventional side mixed into the dialogue. Some of the characters would refer to the volume itself saying things like "You'll hear more about that in volume 5." or "We're already a quarter of the way through this volume and you're not dead yet?" I'm paraphrasing since I didn't memorize it word for word, but I found those moments to be really funny and made reading it a bit more enjoyable.

There's a lot of story the movie left out since they had to keep the plot moving and on point with the whole "defeating the seven evil exes" thing, so reading this series will give you a better grasp of the story and what Scott had to go through to keep Ramona. It's such an epic romance.

As a book series, this is one of my favorites and as a comic book series, it takes the gold medal. Scott Pilgrim is fun, entertaining, and hilarious. If you need a laugh, pick these up. they're quick reads and well worth the time spent.

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