I’m now through volume 4 in the Scott Pilgrim series, and I’m still happy with the series.
It’s difficult to provide a nuanced review, especially because these are relatively quick reads compared to a traditional novel, but I’ll give it my best.
I think the big thing I love about these books are the little jokes. The plot’s good, the characters are fun, but it’s the little jokes that really make it for me. The author sprinkles in these little jokes like when someone drinks a glass of water, the sound effect is “DRINK.”
It’s also just some really absurd humor. In this book there’s a joke where Scott realizes that the exteriors of a coffee chain don’t all lead to the same interior. It’s a stupid joke. It’s completely unnecessary to moving the story forward, but it’s essential for building this stupidly endearing character.
Speaking of the character, let’s talk about Scott. He’s the hero of the series. Sort of.
At this point, you would typically think of a sort-of hero as an antihero, but he’s not really that either. He doesn’t realize that he’s doing awful things. He genuinely believes he’s the pure hero but is laughably inept at times.
And that what makes him endearing.
You’re watching him grow and mature, kind of. It’s a comic graphic novel, so big life revelations aren’t really what the series goes after.
It goes after fun, and having the Scott Pilgrim as the (sort of) hero works to allow you to have fun. He goes through the typical hero adventures but he also evinces ludicrous behavior in the process.
Turning back to the book (and this shouldn’t include spoilers, but you’ve been warned), we’re seeing the main characters filled out more. A key aspect of the story is the rotating evil exes, so that means we get more character disclosure as we go by for Ramona. And because Scott is dimwitted, we get to see his character disclosure as he realizes things about his own life (that his friends are basically yelling at him to notice).
And this gets me back to the movie. The movie was pure awesome, and it’s neat to see how the integrated the graphic novel story and special effects into the movie. It’s sad the Transformers will have 12 movies and make a gazillion dollars while Scott Pilgrim couldn’t cut a profit, but you can’t make people watch good movies.
But as I’m reading the books, it still amazes me that Edgar Wright maintained as many elements as he did. These characters are preposterous, and he managed to let live actors breathe life into them without losing their core. It really was an amazing movie that I’m guessing the studio didn’t know how to sell (and based on the trailer, they really didn’t know how to sell it).
Oh well. We’re two books from the end of this series, but I may take a detour to read something else in the middle (I may or may not have bought three books since the last time I posted).