21 January 2011

4. Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life: Volume 1 by Brian Lee O'Malley

A fun, quirky graphic novel. Of course the film came out in 2010 and as by its nature, a graphic novel is visual, it invites even more comparison with a film version than a novel. I did enjoy the film though, and was surprised when I read the graphic novel just how closely Edgar Wright stuck to the graphic novel in terms of the script and the visuals. This is the first of six graphic novels which cover how Scott Pilgrim defeats his girlfriend, Ramona Flowers', seven evil exes.

The plot is fairly well known as the film was very high profile and was all over various magazines and websites even if you didn't see the film itself. Scott Pilgrim is 23 and 'between jobs'. He's a self-indulgent, lazy hipster geek (he has the X-Man logo sewed onto his coat sleeve) but manages not to be massively irritating, which is an achievement for O'Malley in itself. His roommate, Wallace often expressed what we're thinking as the audience about how silly he's being about his crush on Ramona so the novel is pretty self-aware. The characters are both familiar and stylised and the action varies from the mundane to people rollerblading through peoples subspace highways.

The humour is quite quirky although not irritatingly so. It's quite an achievement for a graphic novel to be funny in a relatively subtle way as there is so little language so they often fall on the side of obvious visual humour. I think I actually appreciated some touches more because I had seen the film and I may have skimmed over them and not noticed them if I was reading it blind. It's rare that you can say that a film actually increased your enjoyment of a book but I think that may be the case here, for me anyway. Normally films are annoying because you can't help but picture the actors as the characters but in this case the actors look so much like their cartoon counterparts, it doesn't really cause a problem.

I thorough enjoyed reading it and am looking forward to reading the other volumes. It's a quirky, funny and entertaining graphic novel which manages the great feat of being enhanced by it's movie adaption.

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