Title: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life
Author: Bryan Lee O'Malley
Release Date: August 18, 2004
Publisher: Oni Press
Scott Pilgrim's life is pretty sweet. He's 23, he's in a rock band, he's "between jobs," and he's dating a high school girl. Everything's great, until a seriously mind-blowing rollerblading delivery girl named Ramona Flowers starts cruising through his dreams and moving past him at parties. But Scott's path to Ramona isn't covered in rose petals. Will Scott's life get turned upside-down? Will he have to battle some evil ex-boyfriends to win Ramona's heart? Yes.
This is my attempt to review more graphic novels. I don't read enough of them, I love how with them you get a story plus an artist's interpretation of the characters and the setting and all the extra details we never think about. I'm going to try and talk about both the story and the artwork.
First, the story. There's so much humour but so much honesty about life when you're in your mid-20's and you don't know what's next. Is Scott a genius? No. Is he even productive? No. He's living with his best friend (in the same bed), he doesn't have a job, and he's dating a 17-year-old girl who goes to a Catholic school. Scott's priorities include Scott, and maybe the band he's in. Love Scott, hate Scott, do whatever you want. In the end, you'll figure out who he really is.
The jokes that the author weaves into the story are so funny. So much of this book is the fact that while it feels so real, apart from the video game references and Ramona being able to travel through Scott's dreams, it's also so funny. The comedic pacing is outstanding.
And the artwork is so good. It's a bit dark, lots of black and white and shades of gray, but so amazing. The buildings and panel settings are packed with detail, and the people look like people. They don't have misshapen arms or legs or four fingers on each hand (without the thumb). Because the artwork is taken from real life, from actual places in and around Toronto, it makes the story as a whole feel more real.
Scott Pilgrim is almost every person who in their 20's were lost and searching for something to do with their lives. A must-read for fans of graphic novels, fans of video games, and fans of weird and complicated characters. Such a unique story. Scott's life may seem perfect, but having Ramona race through his dreams starts the spark that makes everyone realize that Scott's life might not be so perfect after all.
(I own a copy of this graphic novel. The 2010 movie is based on this and the other five books in the series. While I would recommend you read the six graphic novels, you can get by with watching the movie before reading the books. There are similarities, but because of how movies work and the fact that the last two books weren't out when the movie was being made, there are differences.)