Anybody that has been following me on Twitter lately, has seen my obsession with Scott Pilgrim flare up like a soiled pair of underwear in a bonfire. The level that I gush on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim series is one of many parts. But before we get into the why’s of my obsession, allow me to take you back to where it all began.
First, let me start by saying that comic books/graphic novels are indeed literature, despite certain parent’s popular opinion. I remember one time when I worked at Border’s (RIP), and I overheard a mother tell her son, “No comic books. You’re going to read a real book!” While I understand the need to encourage our children to further increase their reading skills, blocking them from reading something that they truly love, only diminishes their willingness to do so. Alas, I am now veering too far off course from the real topic, though I may come back to this at a later date.
So, the book the kid wanted was none other than Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life. Granted that I had only ever read Manga before this point, I looked at the book with a sense of, Yeah like this would be any good anyways. Never the less, I had seen the books on the shelf for months and finally decided to give them a shot. Oh boy was I screwed.
I took the first book home that night, and bam one hour later the book lay finished on my coffee table and my hands and mind shook in longing of obtaining the next volume. Needless to say, the remaining five volumes found themselves in my possession the very next day.
At this point you may be asking yourself, “What the hell is wrong with this guy?” That’s where the why comes in. Anybody that has read the books or watched the movie can tell you that the brilliance of the music that Scott and his fellow band member’s make, whether you are reading the songs in the book or listening to them on the movie or it’s counterpart soundtrack (I own all of them!) coupled with the fantastic story line including fantastic video game action and Scott’s ability to earn experience and money from the enemies he defeats makes this story an instant hit.
But my love for this series goes even deeper than just the context on the face of the story. Most people know the series only as a cool tale about a guy trying to defeat the enemies who seek to prevent his love for his girlfriend, Ramona Flowers, Brian makes the story go even deeper! The story ends up really being about the relationships that Scott develops and and struggles to understand with his friends, girlfriend, ex-girlfriends and most importantly himself.
If you’ve only ever watched the movie, do yourself a favor and read the books. The emotional struggles that each character has to overcome clenches my heart and refuses to let go. When I still worked at Border’s I read the series twice in a row. This makes my third read through of the series and I still can’t help but laugh along with every ridiculous joke and vainly fight to not tear up as Scott fights for his love.
My emotional response to a fictional story is ridiculous to say the least, but I’m proud of it. I’ve recently considered trying to shift projects to a new one that is inspired by Bryan’s brilliance, but every idea I come up with is lackluster in comparison. Who knows, if I can come up with some good ideas, maybe I’ll do some short story fan fiction for Scott sometime.
I feel the need to also say that while Scott’s tale inspires me, Bryan’s tale also inspires me. To see a man bring a creation to such a level of existence that he can ensnare a person in the way he has me, only further inspires me to write the best that I can.
During my initial Scott Pilgrim obsession stages, I found myself so overcome by Bryan’s excellent storytelling that I also took the time to read his other graphic novel, Lost at Sea. It lacks Scott Pilgrim’s humor, action and video game visuals, but it’s story is no less emotionally inspiring. I definitely suggest you take the time to read it!
Lastly, if you guys have any doubts to my claims of obsession check out my Twitter account where my avi is Scott himself and where I have a Twitter list dedicated to stalking Bryan’s account @radiomaru!
P.S. Bryan if you read this I’m not really creepy!!!