Yesterday, I finished reading the last Scott Pilgrim volume. I read the series over the course of three weeks.
What did I think about it? I ended up being a bit nit-picky about it because it is actually pretty good – that is, the bad parts stand out because everything else is good.
This post contains *spoilers*. You have been warned.
simple and strong character styling that punches you in the face
funny: sarcastic, silly, ironic, breaking the 4th wall
a bit complicated = kinda nice
engrossing: I had to space it out so the reading experience would last longer
short-haired girls represent! I’ve never seen so many ladies with short hair outside Japanese media. Whoo hoo!
differences from the film version = much better
Things I liked
Poor Knives! She comes from a stereotypical Chinese family (i.e. her parents want her to marry a nice Chinese boy) and spends the whole series being an obsessive fangirl over some guy who, frankly, doesn’t deserve it.* Only in her last few panels does she give any indication that she has thoughts about things other than Scott. I hope she goes to college and really does something with her life. Like wear cool scarves.
Scott is turned on by the idea of Ramona making out with Roxanne. But actually seeing Kim and Knives kissing makes him very uncomfortable. Why the double standard, Scott?
Short skirts: Damn, girls! Anyone heard of pants up there in Canada?
Cheat cheat cheat: Why’s everyone cheating on everyone? There arepeople who don’t cheat on their significant others. They do exist.
Choppy ending volume – kind of like Attack of the Clones. Yes, I just said that.
*Not that I don’t like Scott, but come on – he is not someone you would bring home to your parents.
Now, to the best part of this post: Scott Pilgrim the Comic vs Scott Pilgrim the Movie!
This comic series was perfect for film adaptation. The music and visual effects were absolutely enhanced by the medium of film. I wish more movies looked like that. None of my complaints about the movie are visual.
Ramona comes off much weaker in the film than the comics. This difference is particularly highlighted during the final battle against Gideon: in the movie, Ramona is dressed in a relatively skimpy costume and sits around most of the time, while Scott and Knives take care of Gideon. But in the comic, Scott and Ramona both – at the same time, with swords – dispose of Gideon. And then there is actual resolution afterward, and it’s nice. They are going to try again – no “we’re gonna be together for ever and be super happy and nothing bad will ever happen to us”, just trying again. That’s refreshing.
In the comic, the female drummer for Clash at Demonhead punches Knives. In the film, Todd punches her. Although I don’t like violence between anyone, having a tall, built man punch a tiny high school girl looks a lot worse than a tall, spindly woman punch a tiny high school girl. And the joke – that the punch took the highlights out of Knives’ hair – is not worth the violence, in either case.
At the end, Knives comes off as sort of a Magical Asian (like the Magical Negro character type) – “I’ll be fine, Scott! I spent the whole film with serious issues because you were too lazy to just tell me the truth about your feelings, and I totally helped you nab that Gideon guy, but go ahead and be with your one true love or whatever : D”
In the comic, Stephen Stills is totes gay. I guess. I’m not sure how relevant that is, but unless viewers are told he’s gay, they’re going to assume he’s straight, and that’s not accurate. (Unless I missed that part!)
Roxanne’s fight is problematic. In the film, Scott defeats Roxanne by poking the back of her knee because Ramona tells him Roxanne really liked it when they made out. This, apparently, causes Roxanne to be so aroused that she… falls over and dies. But how did Roxanne ever survive make-out sessions with Ramona, then? Poor Ramona would have been left with a pile of coins after the first poke. In the comic, it’s Envy who has this weakness, and Scott pokes her to save Ramona – but she’s not defeated by this, only hindered. What happens in the film not only doesn’t make sense, it unfairly emphasizes Roxanne’s gender by having her be defeated by something sexually-related. In the comic, Scott beats her as a fellow fighter – it makes both of them look much better.
Anyway, I enjoyed reading the Scott Pilgrim series and recommend it! I also recommend the movie.