Scott Pilgrim, I think I’m in lesbians with you.1
I know this series was majorly hyped because of the movie that came out last month, but, for me, please, forget everything you think you know about the movie version of Scott Pilgrim. Because the books? They’re better.2
Let me start this lovefest by re-introducing you to Scott. He’s a 23 year old, currently jobless, Canadian boy who plays bass for a relatively unknown band and is dating a high schooler, Knives Chau. He mooches off his bandmates, Stephen Stills and Kim Pines, and his roommate, Wallace Wells. Everything’s going along great for him. …And then Ramona Flowers skates into his life and his dreams. Now that ‘great’ is turned to ‘messy’ as Scott becomes obsessed with Ramona. She’s mysterious, aloof, and has seven evil exes controlling her love life. In order for Scott to date her, he must defeat them all.
Besides having an interesting premise, the characters are people I would hang out with. In fact, they reminded me of my friends in high school. First up is Wallace Wells, Scott’s hip, gay roommate. He flirts with every guy he meets, regardless of their sexual orientation. He especially likes the ones in glasses.3 His witty commentary on Scott’s life and funny, harmless come-ons made me wish I had a gay roommate.4 Stephen Stills’ intensity about his band, Sex Bob-ombs, was familiar as a friend of mine has his own relatively unknown band that he is equally intense about. Kim’s sarcastic enough to battle Daria5 on her worst day.
And then there’s Scott. He’s awkward. He’s stalkerish when it comes to Ramona. And he freaks out about the oddest things.6 So, of course, I love him. His reactions to events and conversations seemed realistic to me, even his tendency to zone out for long stretches of time.
Over the course of a year or two, which covers all six volumes, you learn more about Scott ad his crazy, relatable friends. You’re also introduced to Ramona’s seven evil exes. The fight scenes are reminiscent of ’90s video games, complete with third-person narrative, the loser exploding into money, and bonus items given to the victor, which I loved. There’s even references to some of those games in the band names.7
But if you read the series for the evil exes, you’ll become bogged down with the in-between ‘life’ scenes. So read it for Scott. Poor, socially awkward Scott who’s just trying to figure out his life and how to keep the girl of his dreams interested in him, even if that means dealing with her baggage and facing off against his own.
Also, did I mention there’s a vegan with psychic powers, twins, a C-list actor and former skateboarder, robots, ninjas, and something called subspace that allows you to travel miles within a few minutes?
Do yourself a favor, fellow gamers, lovers of comics, manga and graphic novels, and listless 20-somethings who have no idea what they’re doing with their life, read this series.
Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life
Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness
Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together
Scott Pilgrim vs The Universe
Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour
1 You have to read the 4th volume, Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together, to get the reference.
2 Aren’t they always better than the movie? I think it’s a universal rule.
3 A guy after my own heart.
4 Just don’t tell my boyfriend.
5 Y’all remember Daria, right? Glasses, sarcastic, had a show on MTV for a few years in the ’90s?
6 “Oh God! I need a haircut, don’t I??” ~Scott Pilgrim vs the World
7 Sonic & Knuckles, The Clash at Demonhead, etc.