O’Malley, Bryan Lee. Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life. (Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 1)

Portland, OR: Oni Press, 2004.

I’d heard of this author in a vague sort of way, but hadn’t paid much attention to him. But then a friend who knew I’d been exploring the world of graphic novels strongly recommended this one, so I gave it a shot — and I’m glad I did. The author has a fresh and irreverent approach to storytelling about the modern urban world and a loopy sense of humor, especially in dialogue.

So, Scott Pilgrim is a twenty-three-year-old slacker in (I think) Toronto. He’s “between jobs,” basically leeching on his long-suffering gay friend, Wallace, and hanging out with the other members of the truly crappy garage band in which he plays bass. And he’s sort-of dating (to the horror of his friends) a seventeen-year-old Chinese high school girl named Knives whom he met on the bus, and who thinks he’s awesome, so there’s that.

But then he meets Ramona, a rollerblading delivery girl from New York, who gets into his dreams and messes with his mind generally. The two of them hit it off (mostly) — but then Scott discovers there’s a quest involved in dating her. He’ll have to fight her string of evil ex-boyfriends. Luckily for him, Scott is also the Best Fighter in the Province.

There’s a lot of good and very original stuff here and the cast of characters is nicely managed. Scott can be pretty insufferable but he’s still sympathetic. And more than a little goofy. The artwork is classic “cartoonish” but still gets the expressions and everything right. And it can be quite original in its perspective, as in the scene where a drunken Wallace is sprawled across the foot of Scott’s bed. I’ve only read the first volume of this series, but I’ll be hunting down the others. And, yeah, there was a movie, too, but the reviews there suggest I not bother with that.


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