Saturday, December 24, 2011

SCOTT PILGRIM 1&2 reviews

 I think Scott Pilgrim takes a certain off-key, off-kilter, or just plain hackneyed sense of humor to really enjoy. A good test is to watch ten minutes or so of the movie. I saw the movie when it came out and thought it was hilarious, and really strangely constructed (storywise) and when I discovered there was a comic series with awesome artwork, I put it on the list.

From the back: Scott Pilgrim's life is totally sweet. He's 23 years old, he's in a rock band, he's "between jobs," and he's dating a cute high school girl. Nothing could possibly go wrong, unless a seriously mind-blowing, dangerously fashionable, rollerblading delivery girl named Ramona Flowers starts cruising through his dreams and sailing by him at parties. Will Scott's awesome life get turned upside-down? Will he have to face Ramona's seven evil ex-boyfriends in battle?

The first volume was very close to the plot of the movie, but I was very happy to see that Knives Chau (Scott's girlfriend at the beginning of the story) was a little more developed and a little more interesting than just your classic cookie-cutter Asian girl caricature. The art is a perfect match to the simple (and yet highly ironic) dialogue and story. My favorite character in this volume (as well as the movie) was easily Wallace, Scott's "cool gay roommate." Scott has a tendency to legitimize anything stupid he is doing or has done by the fact that he now has a cool gay roommate, which is just one of his many facepalm-worthy justifications, but Wallace is pretty legitimate. He is more likely to just roll his eyes after giving Scott rejected advice than the film version of his character is.

The second volume's pace seemed to slow down a lot. There was less emphasis on the overall plot of winning Ramona and defeating her Evil Exes and more digressions, such as a flashback to Scott's highschool years (the significance of which is still alluding me, but maybe that's the point (wait, what?)). It was still hilarious, though, and have I mentioned the art recently? I love it. I like the thick clean lines and the expressions (which give a LOT of range to the two most common feelings: obliviousness and disbelief.).

I gave these two volumes 5 and 4 stars, respectively, and am looking forward to more!

My full list of Graphic Novels this year.


Snazel said...

I don't understand your reference to "hackneyed" humour.

Kenmore said...

That's interesting, you know. I don't remember much of the second volume *specifically* but after I finished the series I had this sense that "Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life" might have been the poorest-executed of the six. I can't imagine how else one would have put it together, and while the first evil ex sort of came out of nowhere and the tone changed drastically, maybe it was VERY deliberate, rather than a careless shift. But it was a little bit of an uncomfortable one for me when I was reading.

The series as a whole, though, I think is one of the best things I've read the last few years, and the movie is quite nearly perfect. I also love that the story could have taken the road of least resistance and just been a fun romance, but it ended up being more about Scott than Scott's relationship(s).

If you like the books (and the art), you should check out O'Malley's previous book "Lost at Sea" (which is a single volume, but was quite touching, I found)

Bahnree said...

That's really interesting, Kenmore! I may or may not have been distracted by the awesome humor in the second volume. Maybe I should reread for more objectivity. I WILL say that I have now read Vol 3 (The Infinite Sadness), and I thought it was much more excellent than Vol 2.