Thursday, 22 April 2010

Surviving the Comics Drought: Scott Pilgrim

Today, the Comics Drought started in earnest. Where there should have been lovely new comics in comic shops across the UK, there was only the taste of bitter ash. But, even ash clouds have silver linings (and other chipper sentiments). There's plenty of good stuff out there that didn't need flying in from the US this week, and now's the most ideal of all times to get into it.

So, if you haven't read Scott Pilgrim, in the name of all that is good and awesome, please do. Go down to your nearest comic shop and spit in the face of the volcanic prison cloud by getting Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, the start of one of the finest ongoing comics series this century. And if you already read it - well, you were probably planning on re-reading it before the last book and the film anyway, right?

Here's a review of Volume 5, Scott Pilgrim Vs The Universe, previously published in The Leeds Guide:

I had, literally, no idea. Until Scott Pilgrim Volume 3 came along nearly three years ago I was happily buying and loving comics week in, week out, loving the medium in all its variety like I loved nothing else in the world of entertainment, having somehow been missing one of the greatest new series to spawn from the brain of a comics creator in years. Another volume’s come and gone and, happily, Bryan Lee O’Malley has just unleashed volumefive5 - Scott Pilgrim vs. The Universe (£9.99, Oni Press) - upon us.

Like many people, I initially glanced briefly at Scott Pilgrim’s round, black and white cuteness and dismissed it as more Oni Press fluff. Like many people, I was wrong. Scott Pilgrim might just be the best thing to happen to comics this millennium.

It chronicles the series’ namesake, Scott, in his battle to defeat the seven evil ex-boyfriends of his lady love, Ramona Flowers. Volume 5 doesn’t waste any time, and by page 14 Scott’s already fighting robots while Ramona, worryingly, stands in her Mexican Day of the Dead costume looking upsettingly indifferent. Video games, comics and music all take front and centre as Scott desperately tries to keep it together in the face of ever-mounting odds.

Volume 5, like its predecessors, is cool, smart, genuinely funny and steeped in pop cultural references. It is one of those truly rare artefacts in comics - a book that will actually make you laugh out loud as you’re effortlessly swept along by its breathless narrative. Reading it is like bathing in an entire vat of Original Source mint shower gel - so refreshing it could blow your head off.

If you won’t try out Scott Pilgrim on my say so, for God’s sake try it so you can look cool when the Edgar Wright film adaptation comes out some time in the (hopefully) not-too-distant future.

More Comics Drought suggestions here, here and on Twitter. If you've got some suggestions of your own, hit me up!

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