Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Scott Pilgrim's Precious Life: Graphic Novel Review

For a very long time I have not graced comics or even graphic novels (Graphic novels being never, until Joker and The Killing Joke). But that did change this year, when I started with Joker and The Killing Joke (thanks syefah for the present) and now, its Scott Pilgrim. And I must say, where have I been the past few years to not even notice this?

Scott Pilgrim is a Canadian slacker. Plays in a band, has just started dating a highschool girl (Scott is 23 btw), and is enjoying his life. Until, a particular lady has been using his dreams to travel and make deliveries for Amazon Canada. Immediately, he became obsessed, and even worst, the girl is real, and her name is Ramona Flowers. Insisting to go on a date, he orders something and baits her on a date, which she accepts and he had a blast. Well, until, Matthew Patel, the first of Ramona's League of Evil Exes shows up. Now, in order to date Ramona, Scott must defeat Ramona's 7 evil exes. The thing is, did he manage with the first one?

The comic got a Harvey award (one of the best acclaimed for comics and graphic novels) and is almost ready to be screened in movie theaters this week. Malaysians definitely have to wait a little longer to get it (November, Dammit). I took notice of this movie and went gaga, because this is not your typical story, this is an action-comedy-romance-musical (As Edgar Wright puts it) stuffed all in one, and it really works.

Scott is in someways, very annoying and cocky. However, the first volume of 6 gives you a slight hint of how he is and what he's gone through. The first few pages would make you feel you loathe him, but you want to stick around to find out what really happened to his life, and even Ramona's (which Scott conveniently discloses in the book that it'll be explained in the proceeding volumes, way to go on breaking the fourth wall).

The other characters also work to help Scott tell his story. You've got his gay roommate Wallace (which he conveniently sleeps on the same bed with him), and then Ramona (who I actually imagined did sound a little stale like her movie counterpart) with her rollerblades going across Toronto (which the roads are heavily snowed, you figure it out), his part of the band (Kim Pine being a double standard character) and even his girlfriend Knives Chau (who's Chinese mother speaks like a real Chinese. And that's a riot). They all work very well in his life.

When it comes to plot, this book has just the right pacing and timing for it. I didn't feel like putting the book down even though I just came through the closing chapter. And the humor bits, are very fun and more conveniently suited to the gaming generation (which happens to be a little weakspot which i'll get later). Heck, Bryan even gave its readers a chance to play a song from Sex Bob-Omb, Stephen Stills' band (which Scott is the bassist). heck, the lyrics are even funny as hell.

The art style feels like a crossover of Japanese manga and American drawings. And you get... Somewhere in the middle. Its nothing to shout about, but the style does feel quirky, which probably sets the right tone for me.

The weaker part, audiences may not really know the jokes and references the book is trying to make. Well, maybe not all of it since it does include some clever jokes that hit on lots of wonderfully scripted parts. The version I had was probably a bad print (the pages were a little disoriented), so you may wanna be careful.

At Rm 40.90 (Borders and Kinokuniya, MPH is RM 45.90), the length of the book is really nice. Its probably just the right amount of time, and you may want to pick up a 2nd reading once you're done running through the whole book. Available in 6 volumes, this is the start of something lovely and I don't think you'd regret getting it. Regardless if you're videogame proficient or not, don't miss out and do check out the movie trailers of Scott Pilgrim vs The World. Its a total blast.

Kyo's score: 9/10. Comics/Graphic Novels are always fun in my books. hehe.

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