What makes Scott Pilgrim not just a good comic but a great piece of art (seriously!) is that it doesn't just find a series of fun stories to tell within this reality, but tells one story (its six books constitute the entirety of the series, and tell one continuous narrative) that explores the consequences of this outlook for the people afflicted by it—their ability to connect with each other, and to accept the non-metaphorical parts of reality that can't be resolved through boss fights.
While in the first book the series looks to be about a straightforward progression of fights for Ramona's love, Ramona is not only given agency (!!!) but emotional issues of her own to deal with, and by the fourth volume, the series characters have all began to sunk into a collective malaise that will feel very, very familiar to anyone who lived through a shiftless mid-twenties. The final volume unexpectedly climaxes with a fight not between Scott and one of Ramona's evil exes, but between Scott and himself—and he only wins by losing, allowing the romantic self-image of himself as a hero to coexist with the reality that we're never always victims or victors; we're victimizers, too.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Dept. of Rebuttals
I said in the previous post that I loved the Scott Pilgrim movie but had no particular attachment to the source material. Here's a good argument for why I should care about Brian Lee O'Malley's graphic novels and why film can't do them justice. (Awl/Parabasis)