Bryan Lee O'Malley's six-volume Scott Pilgrim series follows a familiar trope of modern fiction, that of the man-child growing up, maturing, and taking the first steps of adulthood. Scott Pilgrim is 23 years old, lives in Toronto, and he's actually quite unlikable. Perpetually between jobs, living off the generosity of his much more responsible and cooler roommate Wallace, Scott Pilgrim's life mainly consists of playing bass for scrappy rock band Sex Bob-Omb and hanging out with his 17 year old girlfriend, Knives Chau. This precious little life of his is thrown into chaos however when he literally encounters the woman of his dreams, an American package delivery girl with Technicolor hair named Ramona Flowers. In order to date Ramona, Scott must first defeat an entire league of Ramona's seven evil exes. These battles not only force Scott to fight to survive, but they force him to confront himself and his own behavior in unexpected and meaningful ways.
The key to the charm of O'Malley's series comes from the particular blend of pop culture he employs to create his world. Not content with merely referencing the video games that the author grew up on, he instead incorporates the plot devices and rules of videogames into this world; People burst into coins upon defeat, the hero can earn 'extra lives', and superhuman powers exist (especially if you're Vegan). These elements combine with an indie rock sensibility, manga infused art style, and a liberal dose of irreverence to create a potent and page-turning series. Keen readers might also recognize the series from the 2010 motion picture adaptation.
Tim @ Central