Friday, July 13, 2012

I'm back with Scott Pilgrim

I'm finally back! I've been away from the library for a few months, so I did not post anything here. But now that I'm back, I'm ready to start writing about great teen books! To start off--Scott Pilgrim!

I originally read volume one when it came out in black and white. I was a bit hard on it because of my own snobbiness of graphic novel reading. I had a conversation with someone from the publisher about the release of it and he called it Oni’s first Manga. Now for me, the manga snob that I am, that raised my hackles. Japanese comics are manga. Everything else that plays on the manga trends are manga-style in my point of view. So I had a skewed first reading. I read it, thought “meh” and bought it for my library. It didn’t circulate that well, so I figured that my opinion was justified with my library users lack of interest.

Flash forward a few years and the movie is released. I adored the movie. Went with my husband and just really enjoyed it. Now every time it's on cable I end up watching it again. Seriously, I watched again two weeks ago. I have probably seen it somewhere in the ballpark of twenty times. I haven't even watched Harry Potter that much (and if you know me, you know how much I adore HP). I felt I needed to give the books another try, but alas, I've been a lazy reader for the past several years.

Since I was on maternity leave and had a bit of time on my hands (you know, between taking care of my two kids and re-watching all of Grey's Anatomy). Netgalley had this e-book to preview. Lo and behold, Scott Pilgrim is now in his full-color glory.

Now you know my frame of reference for when I began Scott Pilgrim once again.

This time around I could see the manga influences within the story. Not in the artwork really, but in the story sequencing. That part I still felt was “meh”—corny cheeseball since shonen action isn’t my thing. What I really enjoyed was the late nineties vibe I had while reading it. I graduated high school in ‘95. I was into the indie rock scene and poetry readings in coffeehouses, so Scott Pilgrim’s scene would have been my kind of scene.

The characters are the other reason the series works so well. Scott is the ultimate slacker but that’s okay since we adore him anyway. Wallace is my favorite character. I’ll just say that I would love to see a story all about Wallace because he’s just that awesome.

I always like to see if a graphic novel being re-released in color enhances the story for me or not.
Since I'm a manga reader at heart, I usually feel like it's not needed. There are some instances though that it made sense or added another layer to the book. Take for instance, Bone by Jeff Smith. Originally in black and white, but Graphix brought it back out in color. The symbolism in the colors added another layer of meaning to discuss. I appreciated it. Does Scott Pilgrim's color do that too? Not specifically. It becomes more fun-filled with colors and the color brings out the characters’ more indie hipness.

In addition to the color, the back twenty or so pages of the book are a real gem for fans of the series. The author’s thoughts on the character designs, history of the characters and how the story reflected the author's life, and much more are detailed in the behind the scenes section.

I'm glad I got around to re-reading the book. I'll probably be buying this version of Scott for the library to try the series again. With the influence of the movie being on cable practically every other week, I think more readers will be interested in trying it out if they see it on the shelves. Thanks to Oni Press for giving the e-book to me to preview through NetGalley.

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