Sunday, August 22, 2010

Review: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life

"Scott Pilgrim is dating a high schooler!" With that simple line, the Scott Pilgrim epic begins. Our hero, Scott Pilgrim, is a twenty-three year old slacker, free-loading dude living in Toronto, Canada. He is in a sucky band called "Sex Bob-omb", and he lives with, and sleeps in the same bed as his gay roommate, Wallace Wells. Despite the presumed weirdness of dating a high-school girl, and the ridicule from his friends and family, Scott seems to enjoy dating his new girlfriend, Knives Chau. That is until another girl starts skating through his dreams, and popping up at random times in real life.

The dream girl turns out to be Ramona Flowers. Scott runs into her at a party, fails miserably at small talk, then stalks her until she leaves. After some information gathering, Scott finds out that she is a delivery girl for, so he places in order in hopes that she'll make the delivery. Scott's somewhat genius plan actually works, and a couple days later, Ramona shows up at his door. Dude somehow convinces her to hang out with him later, and just like that, Scott's fateful relationship with Ramona Flowers begins.

Things start out pretty well for Scott and Ramona, of course there is that whole pesky relationship with Knives Chau thing to take care of, and the cryptic e-mail's about some strange "league of exes". It isn't until Sex Bob-Omb's battle of the bands gig that Scott discovers he'll have to fight, and defeat all of Ramona's seven evil exes to win her heart.

There is never a dull moment in Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life. Writer and artist, Bryan Lee O'Malley does a fantastic job of setting things up, introducing all the key elements, introducing the characters, and entertaining the hell of me. Make no mistake, the Scott Pilgrim books are hilarious; I found myself laughing every few pages. The hilarity climaxes nicely when Scott has to battle Matthew Patel, the first of the evil exes.

While the humor is one of the strongest aspects of this book, the characters are also quite remarkable. I found it very easy to relate to not only Scott's character, but many of the others as well. It is impossible to read this book and not find that you either share similar qualities with the people that populate the story, once had those qualities, or know someone who the characters remind you of. This makes for a really enjoyable read.

Bryan Lee O'Malley's artwork in Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life is solid, but nothing astounding. O'Malley uses only ink and line, and draws in an anime style. When I first began reading, I initially had some trouble discerning certain characters, as some look similar to others, but once I got into the flow of the story, and became more familiar with the characters that problem went away.

All in all, this is a wonderful introduction to the Scott Pilgrim world. I was sucked in from the opening line, and I loved this one 'till the end. There is truly something here for everyone: Comedy, action, and romance. This is a fantastic spin on the whole classic "boy meets girl, boy has to fight to keep girl" narrative. Dig in, you will not be disappointed.

Grade: A

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