Scott Pilgrim, written by Bryan Lee O’Malley, is pretty much Awesome Incarnate.
Scott Pilgrim was recently optioned by Universal, and will star Michael Cera,1 who, upon re-reading book 1, should be damn-near perfect as Scott.
The film version of Scott Pilgrim Versus the World will hit theatres in 2010, but right now they’re shooting around my neighbourhood2 (which is what prompted me to reread the comics).3
I’m very excited to see how this film will turn out. In the meantime, a breakdown of the five books published thusfar:
When Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 1: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life begins, our eponymous hero, Scott Pilgrim (age twenty-three) is dating a high schooler, Knives Chau (age seventeen).4
Scott lives in a crappy bachelor apartment with his gay roommate Wallace Wells, and plays bass in a three piece indie band called Sex Bob-omb.5 They more or less suck.
After dreaming of a mysterious girl rollerskating through his head, Scott discovers she’s real, and proceeds to introduce himself to Ramona Flowers (age unknown) at a party. It goes poorly.
Wallace sensibly encourages Scott to break up with his high school girlfriend if he wants to date Ramona. Being a wuss, Scott finds this difficult, and continues hanging out with Ramona. Further, he learns that to date her he must fight defeat her seven evil ex-boyfriends. It’s pretty awesome.
Bonus: Lyrics and chords to Sex Bob-omb’s “Launchpad McQuack”. See this duos attempt at it on YouTube. Appropriately off-key and adorable.
Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 2: Scott Pilgrim versus The World opens with a flashback to Scott’s past, and we begin to learn more about his prior relationships.
In the present, Scott is still dating Knives and Ramona. He eventually breaks the heart of the former, but to continue dating the latter, he must defeat her second evil ex-boyfriend, an actor currently filming in Toronto.
Knives and Ramona engage in a battle in the Toronto Reference Library which can only be described as epic.
To further complicate things, one of Scott’s ex-girlfriends, the talented and successful (and bitchy) Envy Adams, returns from Montreal for a gig a Lee’s Palace.
Bonus: Recipe for vegan sheppard’s pie.
With candid shots from the concert at Lee’s Palace, Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 3: Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness picks up right where the previous volume left off.
Knives has been dating a friend of the Sex Bob-omb in a misguided attempt at making Scott jealous. She’s also caught in a star-struck sort of awe when around Envy, who treats Knives, and everyone else around her, like crap.
More backstory. Envy broke Scott’s poor little hipster heart in university, and it still hurts. Oh, and she’s also dating the third evil ex-boyfriend Scott must defeat to win Ramona. He happens to be a vegan psychic. I know, wow, eh?
Bonus: Honest Ed’s is destroyed in a fit of raw, uncontrollable vegan power.6
In Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 4: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together Scott and Ramona start off well, ready for the slightly greater commitment of moving in together.
That is, until an old friend from Scott’s past turns up to complicate things, and, of course, another evil ex from Ramona’s past arrives.
Almost unbelievably,7 Scott is sent on a quest to seek gainful employment. Even more remarkably, he’s (eventually) successful!
Bonus: The first few pages are in colour, plus we get to see inside Ramona’s head. Intrigue!
Released in February 2009, Scott Pilgrim Vol. 5: Scott Pilgrim vs The Universe is the latest in the series.
We open with Scott’s 27th birthday8, and a (themed!) party at Julie’s house, and we’re shortly introduced to the next pair of evil exes and…they’re twins.
Twins with robots.
Knives and Ramona spar a bit, and secrets are revealed which further jeopardizes their relationship.
O’Malley leaves us with a stunning cliff-hanger I won’t reveal, but, ugh, what’s next?!
Bonus: Shiny cover! If you find the same edition as me. A trip to Chapters revealed that they don’t all come this way. Still! Cool!
Where’s that leave us?
Six books are planned in total, with the final instalment to be released next year, just in time to read before the film comes out.
Bonus: Check out Plumtree’s song “Scott Pilgrim” which inspired Bryan Lee O’Malley to write the comic:
- How does this kid not have his own website yet? [↩]
- They began March 30th, according to ScottPilgrim.com. [↩]
- It was kind of weird to see snow machines all over the place with large puffy blankets of white over at Casa Loma and elsewhere in the neighbourhood. Had they come a months earlier they could’ve had the real stuff. [↩]
- I first discovered this series after reading a review in Broken Pencil a couple of years ago. The review was favourable, so I picked it up. Reading it, I noticed that the buses in it looked exactly like TTC buses, but thought nothing of it. Then Wychwood Branch of the Toronto Public Library makes an appearance, and it clicked. Not only is this an absurdly funny and well-written comic, it’s an absurdly funny well-written comic that takes place in Toronto. &heart; [↩]
- Indie boys rule. For ample evidence, see Cute Boys Make Me Nervous. [↩]
- Of course, if the real Honest Ed’s was threatened it would be a shame. Every city needs its mecca of tackiness. Er. Don’t they? [↩]
- And that’s saying a lot in this comic. [↩]
- Hey! I’ll be twenty-seven this year! In July! Buy me stuff! [↩]