This is the start of a Love Story for the ages. A couple who are made for each other.
They are Scott and Ramona. Welcome to the surreal real world they inhabit.
For those who exist in a cave, much like I did for far too long a time, Scott Pilgrim Volume 1 Precious Little Life is the first book in this graphic novel series. Five more adventures chronicle this tale of true love, all brilliantly created by Canadian talent Bryan Lee O’Malley over the past few years. The success this series enjoyed was so massive that a movie version starring Michael Cera came out shortly after the final book premiered.
The film was a wonderful birthday gift last year from my friends Victoria, Katherine, and Gianna, and it became my introduction to good old Scott. After multiple viewings, much enjoyment, and constant babbling about its greatness, Victoria then continually cajoled me into reading the source material in order to feel the bigger picture. So I finally did. And thank you lovely ladies for the smack to the head. Ouch.
But back to the love story filled with beauty. In the beginning of this odyssey is our hero Scott Pilgrim. He is an early twenties living in Toronto slacker to the nth degree who might someday land a job as long it doesn’t interfere with band practice. His friends love him, foibles and all, but kinda wish he would get some semblance of a life. They also disprove of Scott “dating” a high schooler named Knives, who is madly in love with him and oblivious to his disinterest. Even his openly gay roommate and confidante Wallace wishes Scott would grow up. At least a little bit.
Entering this world of routine daily ritual is The Most Entrancing Girl In The World, the mysterious and enigmatic Ramona Flowers. She has roller skates. She is American. She has a job. And she shatters Scott’s little world into tiny little pieces. Much to his enjoyment.
Discarding Knive’s feelings, Scott sets out after Ramona and they begin dating. This kicks off the parallel storylines that thread throughout all volumes of this tale.
The real life ups and downs that Pilgrim and Flowers have to enjoy and endure as their relationship grows and matures is one component. The second trip is the action packed, mostly surreal, epic battles that Scott has to fight against Ramona’s Seven Evil Ex Boyfriends!!!!!!!
Whenever we see the drama of their daily relationship, and how their friends lives intersect and interact with them, it is a grounded story encompassing all types of emotions. Love, hate, envy, passion, and feelings that cause glowing are all explored. Seeing supporting characters Stephen and Julie argue constantly while drummer Kim speaks the truth about all she surveys while the one known as Young Neil seeks an identity. These parts of the story bring the human element to the fore and makes Scott and his cohorts people to us. Scott is a jerk to Knives and this causes a fervent desire to smack him. Stacey his sister loses yet another boyfriend for the exact same reason as the last time. Kim might still have a flame for Scott. Everyone can relate to what goes on in the daily drama of Scott. We have all lived it.
Reality leaves the story when the secondary plot takes over. Ramona has all these powerful and exotic ex-boyfriends who have joined together in an attempt to destroy our favourite Pilgrim. His first warnings of these impending attacks are ignored and not understood by him, which means at the conclusion of this volume when he battles Ramona’s earliest ex, it is a complete surprise. This epic battle, like all epic battles in this series, quickly become surreal over the top wacky video game inspired craziness where the rules of logic and function do not exist in any form. Mix Naked Gun with Street Fighter to create this demented love child. This uniqueness infiltrates sometimes out of these segments, oozing it’s bits and pieces into the normalcy of Scott’s mundane existence. But as a rule, these divergences are minor compared to the flights of fancy exhibited during Scott’s monumental conflicts. Yes, you will believe a man can fly.
By the end of this volume Precious Little Life, Scott and Ramona are dating with all the turbulence that entails, and with six evil ex’s still out there plotting away, attempting to destroy our couple’s happiness. This saga continues in the next volume, when Scott takes on the World. And learns more about himself. Hopefully.
And by the way Scott’s band, called Sex Bob-Omb, really does suck. Like really.
P.S. Scott Pilgrim is copyright 2012 to Bryan Lee O’Malley.