Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life #1 by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Cancon! A year or so ago I asked Scott McCloud what were the must see web comics. He didn’t say, but he did rave about Scott Pilgrim so I picked up the first few issues and put them on my gigantic, tottering COMICS TO READ pile that reaches nearly to my ceiling. Today at long last I read I Scott Pilgrim Precious Little Life #1. For the first part of the book I figure I had a handle on it, a manga influenced alternative comic slice-of-life-story of the tangled relationships of Scott Pilgrim, a kinda hip unemployed 23 year old who plays bass in a band and has a cool gay best friend (doesn‘t everyone?). The art and characters are appealing, simple but nice restrained use of gray tone and good solid blacks. You can tell it’s Canadian because of the snow and although the cast is properly multi-cultural there are no black characters. I was getting into it until I got to near the end of the book and the comics character changed dramatically. I don’t want to give too much away but from an emo romantic-comedy it turned into a martial arts romantic-comedy a’la Rumiko Takahashi! Honestly, I wasn’t sure how to take this. I know this sort of genre mash-up is common in Manga and perhaps I’m just showing my age as it threw me off the story. For me the true test of a relationship comic is how much I care about the characters and their dilemmas, but I fear the more “unreal” the situation becomes the harder it might be for me to relate to the characters. Perhaps this is less of a problem for a younger generation raised on manga but for me I’ll have to reserve judgement until I pull the other four issues of Scott Pilgrim’s out of my COMICS TO READ pile. It’s a good sign that I am looking forward to reading the further adventures of Scott and company.
Colin (Hey, I was reading Manga before you were born!) Upton