Punched Punk Love

Columbus Alive | June 23, 2005
Bryan Lee O’Malley continues the epic adventure of 23-year-old unemployed Canadian band member and lady killer Scott Pilgrim that he began in last year’s superlative Volume 1: Precious Little Life, by far one of the most fun and original works of 2004.

Scott is seeing 17-year-old high school girl Knives Chau, but dreaming of American delivery girl Ramona Flowers, who appears in his dreams via subspace highways (which Canadians don’t yet know about). At the end of the last volume, Scott learned that to date her, he must first defeat her Seven Evil Ex-Boyfriends. Lucky for him, his only talent in life is fighting—and not, like, fistfights, but cinematic battles with choreography straight out of Street Fighter.

In this volume, Scott battles the second Evil Ex-Boyfriend, we learn of some of his past relationships, and Knives and Ramona throw down. At 200 black-and-white pages and published in digest form, it looks a lot like manga, and while O’Malley’s figures do have big eyes, his designs are flatter and chunkier than most Asian comics—it looks more like a "Superflat" Cartoon Network series about Canadian hipsters.

Increasing its surreality, this Canadimanga functions with bizarre videogame logic, in which Scott’s vanquished foes transform into coins and power-ups. It’s Double Dragon meets Blue Monday meets Seijun Suzuki’s The Fighting Elegy meets Degrassi Junior High, making it one of the most innovative and exuberantly fun books on the shelves.

Columbus Alive

Founded in 1983, Alive is the Capital City's oldest and only independent alternative and is known for providing a forum for the area's free thinkers. The paper's spirited and original perspective on music, arts and culture distinguish it from the...
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