james debate
james debate

Monday 6 April 2009

I've never been a big comicbook guy. So for me it takes something really special to impress me and draw me into the medium. Watchmen was one such instance, as are one or two of the weightier batman graphic novels like Batman: Year One. Recently I had the pleasure of reading another similarly excellent comic, but one that is completely and utterly different to all other comic books i've read. Think comic books are principally the domain of superheroes and sci-fi? Think again.

Scott Pilgrim is the creation of Bryan Lee O'Malley. It starts by introducing Scott Pilgrim, a 23 year old Canadian slacker living in Toronto with his sarcastic gay roommate Wallace Wells. He has recently started "dating" a Chinese high school girl, Knives Chau, but unlike his friends, (who think it scandalous,) Scott doesn't consider it a big deal. He is bass player in the band Sex Bob-omb, along with his friends Stephen Stills (guitar) and Kim Pine (drums), but Stephen is the only member who is recognised as being "the talent" and they rarely take the endeavor very seriously. The drama ratchets up a notch when Scott, seemingly content with the superficial relationship with Knives, suddenly finds his attentions drawn to newly transplanted cutie Ramona Flowers.

On first glance I felt this comic was going to be some childish, over the top, goofy affair with a ripped off anime art style, but I was very very wrong. This book is seriously cool, awash with twenty something angst and a dry wit, once you start reading you will find it very difficult to stop. It becomes even more engrossing the further you get into it, as the initially mundane and ordinary world dissolves into a new increasingly absurd reality. 

There is something about this whole book that is hard to describe. It's a pure giddy joy to read, after only a few pages I was hooked. Something about the way the characters talk, the way they react to things; it feels real, it feels fun, you quickly realize that this is something special. I regret that I did not read this when it was first released however, but now I will certainly go and read the remaining volumes. On top of this, the series is being turned into a film this year starring the awesome (although now becoming slightly overused) Michael Cera. Should be awesome.

Above all this is a clever and funny comic filled with real characters that really hit home, and dialogue that is sharp, amongst some of the best i've seen. Absurd, yet relatable, it makes a truly fantastic read.

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