Scott Pilgrim

A friend just loaned me the first book of this series. Volumes two and three are out as well.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI’d made it about three fourths of the way through my first encounter with manga (can you really call it that?) and I was considering dropping the thing cold and chalking it up as a waste of time. The protagonist was dumb and mostly boring, the dialogue choppy, the art sloppy, the storyline nonexistent, etc.

The majority of the book only establishes that Scott is a 23-year-old in a crappy band, he’s poor, he’s dating a high schooler (WTF?) and he lives in Canada. Dialogue includes the following exchange: “No!” “Yeah, so whatever, man.” Forgive me for not being bowled over.

But the last half introduces a new love interest, a weird girl named Ramona who apparently travels through dreams, and the book takes off into Bizarro-land, culminating with Scott fighting the first of Ramona’s seven evil ex-boyfriends. (Hmmm, I wonder if author Bryan Lee O’Malley read some Joseph Campbell…) The fight is a riff on video game culture, though, done with just the right amount of silliness (Read: Lots).

So the book went in the matter of a couple pages from being a lame attempt at “Box Office Poison”-style early adult drama to a fun, ridiculous spoof on the idiocy of early adulthood. That, I can dig.

I’m still not totally sold. I mean, the art had me wondering about illustrating some of my own writings. And I haven’t picked up a sketchbook in years. But the story has a cool goofy-ness that I’m willing to follow for at least another couple books.