O’Malley, Bryan Lee: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life

I so rarely actively decide to not finish a book, that I don’t have any policy on whether that book appears on the booklog. I’m putting Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life, by Bryan Lee O’Malley, here mostly because I’ve heard a lot about it and if I ever need to decline a recommendation for it, I’ll be able to copy-and-paste my reasons from this entry.

This is a graphic novel, the first in a series. It looks like manga, being of the same physical size and in black and white, but was written in English (the author lives in Toronto, where the story is set). I have no idea whether this makes it “original English-language manga” or not. Scott Pilgrim is an unemployed 23-year-old who plays in a band and has a girlfriend in high school. I got about a third of the way into this volume, just after he becomes fascinated by a woman who is not his girlfriend, when I said the Eight Deadly Words — “I don’t care what happens to these people” — and put it down. Chad tells me it gets considerably weirder later on, but, well, I just don’t care. I don’t like Scott, I have no reason to like his high school girlfriend, and I wasn’t getting a good feeling about the fascinating non-girlfriend either—but the not liking Scott would, of course, be more than sufficient.

The art is energetic, often cluttered, makes heavy use of solid black, and very stylized in a strange sort of way; you can see five pages of the first volume at the publisher’s website, or a short standalone story at Newsarama.


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  1. I read the Free Comic Book Day issue, and felt pretty much the same thing: it’s not particularly badly done, but why should I care?

  2. Jean: lots of people think differently, possibly because it does have a goofy energy, but character almost always comes first for me.

  3. No wonder – there are many manga writers who are not Japanese. I have neighbour who writes Manga
    [Admin. note: I have removed the URL from this comment as I suspect it of being disguised spam.]

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