That was my initial reaction when I realized that this little gem had not been recommended. And with the movie adaptation coming out this summer (August 13th, according to the director himself), you should do yourself a favor and check out the series that started it all.
I picked it up on a lark. I was at Wondercon and I happened upon the Oni Press booth. I had heard about Scott Pilgrim from a couple friends so I decided to pick it up. On the way home from the con, I read it and instantly fell in love. But not only with the object of Scott’s desire, but also in him, his friends, his life, and even his country! It was so vibrant and so effervescent, not at all like anything I had ever read. It never takes itself too seriously, breaks the fourth wall on occasion (but doesn’t overdo it), and is just a blast to read.
The series, set in Toronto, Ontario, focuses on our eponymous hero, Scoot Pilgrim. He’s your average slacker in a band who doesn’t have a job, and pretty much mooches off of his roommate Wallace Wells. Everything but Scott’s toothbrush belongs to Wallace (and Wallace paid for it.) He plays bass in a garage band called Sex Bob-omb. He even starts dating a younger girl named Knives, who just happens to be in high school. Everyone thinks it’s incredibly scandalous, but it’s completely innocent. He just hears about her day, and they haven’t even kissed. But Knives is completely head over heels in love with him.
However, his world is thrown for a loop when he quite literally meets the girl of his dreams. An American, Ramona V. Flowers is a delivery girl for Amazon.ca. She found a shortcut through Toronto through a subspace portal in Scott’s brain (I don’t want to explain it to the Canadians in our audience, but I assure you, we Americans use them all the time. They eventually start dating, much to the chagrin of one Knives Chau, and they only continue dating provided that he defeat her seven evil exes in combat.
You know; the usual.
The series, written and illustrated by one Bryan Lee O’Malley is one like any other. He melded such disparate themes as music, video games, romance, and Canadian life to put together something entirely unique. What could have been a simple premise of boy meets girl, boy fights ex became something much more. Instead of keeping the book in a sort of static status quo like most cartoons tend to, O’Malley made this about the growth of a man-child into a full grown adult. Whether it’s finding love or getting and actual job, we find ourselves rooting for the best fighter in all of Ontario, Scott Pilgrim.
There have already been five of the six volumes released, and with the final book releasing some time before the release of the movie, you should do yourself a favor and pick them up.
The first volume can be found here.