Welcome to the World of Scott Pilgrim

I have the first three volumes of Scott Pilgrim. I did really like it, but I gave up on following it after I spent the whole of the third book going “But who is this?” as I tried and failed to distinguish between all of the characters with identical hair in multiple time periods.

They get more distinctive as the art gets cleaner. I remember Young Neil and Scott bugging me early on and I think Volume 4 fixed that.

The cast is sprawling. Unnecessarily sprawling at times. Lots of similar looking people, some of whom are introduced in a panel and you’re expected to remember them later. It’s almost as bad as Walking Dead in this regard. Fortunately, as seems to be the case in so many shows and books these days, I could give a shit about Scott Pilgrim. The real main characters are Wallace and Kim. So read it for the five or six panels every three thousand that feature Wallace and Kim and it’ll be almost worth it. Unfortunately, while the author is pretty okay at giving you enough scraps of characterization for the crowd of side-characters to make some of them a little interesting, he never bothers to revisit them enough for you to really care. For instance, I’m surprised they’d go get Oscar nominated actress Anna Kendrick to play Scott’s sister. For all the screen time that the books give her, they could have had Michael Cera in a wig play her and I can’t imagine anyone would have noticed. Maybe book six clears up all the stuff left on the table. I kind of doubt it.

I like it in spite of myself, though. Overall I’d give volumes 1 - 5 a solid B. With lots of B- and C+ parts mitigated by the A++ of Kim and Wallace.

I think I liked books 1-5 a little more than you, but I agree with just about everything you say here. Wallace and Kim were certainly my favourite characters, which may be why the last volume disappointed me so much.

I’d find it hard to articulate why I didn’t like volume 6 at all. I probably need to read it again, as at the moment I just have a whole incoherent list of things that I felt didn’t work (for me).

There are a couple of scenes in volume 4 where I had to really work to tell Kim, Lisa and Ramona apart, but from volume 5 on I think this problem disappears. Of course, we’re both saying “hey just get through 3 or 4 books of this 6 volume series and it’s sorted”. The Scott/Young Neil thing is intentional, though - at least its used as a plot point in one of the earlier books.

Aw hell, I have to stop reading this thread now before the vol 6 spoilers start, as I don’t have it yet (missed the initial shipment at Ye Olde Comice Shoppe). But to hear that it’s disappointing… well, that’s a bummer. We’ll see what I think sometime next week.

Until then, I’m Audi 5000, except to say that I am a big fat fucking Scott Pilgrim fan because it is like the early twenties I never had (I was not really a date-around hipster-scene kind of guy, but part of me wanted to be, so now I get to live vicariously through Pilgrim in all his dazzling self-centeredness).

I wouldn’t pay any attention to my opinion. Even though I didn’t enjoy it, there are some good sections, one smart, excellent callback to a minor moment in an earlier volume that I only noticed because I reread the series before reading volume six and the art is yet another big step up for O’Malley. My disappointment may be more due to it not conforming to my expectations - I’ve not seen any negative reviews, so I’m certainly in the minority (and hence, by internet logic, inherently wrong).

it’s not perfect but it’s very good.

i was very pleased with it

though movie Gideon is better than book Gideon

I think Volume 6 is a disappointment in the expectations kind of way, but if someone read them all together, I could definitely see them saying it was their favorite.
Personally, I enjoyed the fifth book the most. Though I can see that changing to the sixth on rereads maybe. The ending is really perfect (and I don’t see that being the ending of the movie).

i agree. the 5th book was probably the best of the bunch.

I was very pleased with how the series wrapped up. Too many long running works tend to end…crappily. (I’m looking at you, Bryan K Vaughn!)

I think the main problem with the last book is that it was very unsuprising (and maybe not as funny?)

I confess I read it kind of quickly but it just seemed very routine, everything that had been hinted at earlier unfolded pretty much exactly as you would expect with no real revelations. It felt kind of tired and out of new ideas, and somehow less true and less comfortable than the earlier books.

I really liked the series overall though, wonderfully playful and honest in the main part.

Vol. 6 was a bit of a disappointment for me as well.


  • Having Ramona gone for a huge porton of the book took away my ability to remember why she was worth fighting for. When she popped back, I was still annoyed at her for running off.

  • Scott had no real character progression. She leaves, he goes into a funk. Again. She comes back, he re-attaches to her without question. Again. His actions are reactive rather than involving him asserting himself and taking action.

  • A roster of confused and unlikable supporting characters. Scott’s sister: kind of a bitch, and an unnecessary bitch at that. Kim Pine: infatuated with Scott, until the plot needs her not to be. Wallace: creepy wanna-be predator who keeps paying for things and hinting that he wouldn’t turn down Scott’s physical affection. Envy: ice queen barely defrosted by hints of a soul that seem out-of-character and born of convenience rather than character. Stills and his bearded boyfriend: derailed plus derailer, could have been interesting but instead just a couple of assholes.

I felt I had to finish it, but I liked the journey much more than the destination. If I know Edgar Wright, he can make the ending work a bit better with a few tweaks.

You definitely get the feeling that the relationship won’t survive them turning 28…

But as a twenty-something fairy-tale, I thought it had a lot going for it. I love the idea of the over-the-top fantasy tropes of videogames used completely in the service of the mundane, and I thought the Gideon battle stuff was a great example of that.

I agree there, and I think it will make the film very visually interesting.

Now everyone can Scott Pilgrify themselves.

Grr. Every time I see this thread I read ‘Welcome to the World of Billy Pilgrim’.

Like several people here, I wasn’t impressed with Volume 6. The ending felt really rushed, which is weird given how well paced Volumes 1-5 were.

Spoiler Below:

I also didn’t like the implication that Scott’s memories were deeply flawed, and that his past was bland and ordinary. For one thing, unless Scott’s future memories of the conclusion to Volume 6 are also illusory, Scott Pilgrim’s world really is one where 20-something angst is resolved through video game cliches and epic kung-fu battles. Given that, a typical kung-fu free childhood is actually stranger than the River City Ransom childhood presented in Volume 2.

Plus, the opening of Volume 2 was what really sold me on sticking with the series.

The one thing about vol 6 that kind of annoyed me was Gideon killing Scott. So this entire time when Scott has been defeating the evil exes, he’s really been killing them? I know they disappeared and a 1up or coins popped up, but I never really connected that with death. I figured maybe they just popped back up in their home and went back to their lives. So Scott is basically a brutal multiple murderer. Why isn’t the news more concerned with the fact that Scott killed a famous movie star? That seems like a big deal!

The whole thing with Gideon was pretty bad, actually. I get that anyone who founds a group of evil exes is pretty bent, but his collection of ladies was weird and creepy enough that it robbed the guy of any credible notion that he could be badass. I realize he’s supposed to be a dark mirror of Scott, especially with his ‘teehee u r so cool’ recollections, but the literal harem of ladies on ice was just too weird. Him stabbing Scott through the chest just felt like Wolverine getting beat up by a new bad guy. “SEE? SEE? INSTANT BADASS CRED!”

One of the few things I did like. Scott skates through the series with little to no realization that he’s a complete dickbag. It’s good for him to realize that he is the little shit he is and that everyone in his life who treats him as a tedious, lightweight individual has the right of it. I can understand regretting the loss of the big kung fu battle for whatsername since it was a good scene, but seeing how Scott always remembers himself in a favorable light is a good thing. His ‘lol u r great’ memories make for a quick laugh, but it takes seeing something in a completely different context to realize how much his habits hurt those around him.

That’s funny, I always thought it was somewhat grim that Scott kills all the other Exes.

I think we’re actually pretty close to being on the same page. If the world of Scott Pilgrim isn’t a place where resolving problems through kung fu is seen as totally natural, then Scott really is a mass murderer, and that’s awkward, since the story doesn’t deal with the full implications of that.

I think it’s sort of awkward to go through this whole “ex-boyfriends are people too!” revelation, shortly before Scott has to kill yet another ex-boyfriend. Perhaps that’s why Gideon is so over-the-top evil / creepy…

I guess this is why most professional critics spend time processing their thoughts. I probably need more time to think about why Volume 6 bugged me, but it clearly did.