Scott Pilgrim Series by Bryan Lee O’Malley | Series Review

Scott Pilgrim Series by Bryan Lee O’Malley
August 1st – 2nd
★★★★☆ (each)

I don’t tend to read a lot of graphic novels. It’s a shame, too, because when I read them I find that I really enjoy them. I find them quick reads, and I like that the format lends itself to more comedic moments visually than a traditional book does. My partner really loves the Scott Pilgrim movie directed by Edgar Wright. During the course of our relationship, I don’t think I can count all of the times that we’ve watched it.

The movie has grown on me a lot. At first I found it really confusing, but I didn’t have any context. I’ve come to find it really funny, and I wanted to see if the graphic novels carried that same humor.

I was not expecting to like these as much as I did, and I certainly wasn’t expecting to like them more than the movie. Scott in the movie is a little pathetic. He’s kind of wandering through his life and doesn’t know what he wants to do. And Ramona in the movie is a bit dramatic. She talks about her dark past and wanting to escape, but says things like “I do that sometimes” which always really bothered me. I think that these two things are what prevented me from reading these sooner than I did, because I didn’t want more of that dynamic.

The books couldn’t be more different in this regard. Ramona has a backbone and a personality outside of her past in the books. She’s not confined to the love-interest and manic-pixie-dream-girl for Scott, but she has her moments where she acts out and gets scared. In the movie, they seem random and unprovoked. In the book we get more of a glimpse into her past, as well as indications about her desire to change, but how she keeps coming back to Gideon.

Scott is extremely different in the book as well. He still has his moments where he’s pathetic, but he’s less likable and more human. He’s more of a real person, who has his own flaws which mostly parallel Ramona’s. The two of them are a perfect couple, and this makes the ending of the series that much more sweet. He becomes one of her evil exes, then makes a conscious change and goes after her again. It’s wonderful.

A lot of the lines in the movie are directly taken out of the book, as are most of the transitions and the style decisions. I liked the consistency between page and screen, and the movie is definitely a faithful adaptation. The things lost in the movie are to be expected: exposition, backstory and things which there just isn’t time for when you’re condensing six volumes down into one feature length film.

I read all six of these over the course of a couple days. I highly enjoyed the art, reading them in color, and looking at all of the similarities between what I already knew and liked, versus what I now know and love.

Thank you for reading through this latest review, feel free to check out some of my recent reviews and come back next week for a look at more titles that I read.

-Siobhan