March 15, 2011

Getting Graphic: "Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness" by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness (Volume 3)
by Bryan Lee O'Malley
Oni Press (2006)
ISBN 193266422X

I was hoping to get through the entire series of Scott Pilgrim books before I saw the movie, but some things don't pan out the way you expect. Oh well.

So, at this point in Scott's story, he and his friends, including his new girlfriend, Romana Flowers, are at a concert. But who is performing? Why, none other than Scott's ex, the gal who broke his heart oh-so-many years ago, Envy Adams--just don't call her Natalie. In the movie, Envy Adams plays a pretty minor role, but this entire book is pretty much dedicated to her and the relationship she and Scott had. Oh the drama.

It's pretty much at this point in the series that you need to read from the beginning, because if you're not caught up on events and aren't familiar with the characters and their personalities, you are going to be lost as a reader. I say this because it had been several months since I last read the second book and had to do some mental tallying to remember how each character related to the next. At least seeing the movie provided a primer and helped, so that's something.

The big conflict in the book stems from the fact that Romana's ex-boyfriend, the next one in line that Scott must defeat, is the current boyfriend of Envy Adams. After a tense pow-wow in the green room backstage, the brawl ensues between the two boys, which basically has Scott getting his but handed to him by Todd, who is not only vegan but imbued with psychic powers from his self-righteous lifestyle choice. Before a winner is declared though, the fight stops and they schedule a rematch at a new location.

During the lulls and non-fighting segments of the story, we get flashbacks to Scott's and Envy's relationship in high school, and slowly discover why she is such a huge bitch, and why both she and Scott still carry such resentment towards each other. Meanwhile, Scott's other ex-girlfriend from the first two books, Knives Chau, keeps popping her head into the fray--still in love with Scott, but trying to move on in her own way.

The book carries a lot of the same charm that O'Malley put in the first two books, but carries more of an emo tone with Scott's dwelling on his relationship with Envy. Panels of him being all sad and confused and vulnerable. And with that, the humor takes a backseat more than it did in the two previous books. But when the humor is there, it's hitting on all cylinders.

Not sure when I will get a chance to read the fourth volume, but I'm looking forward to it.


  1. This is actually my favourite volume out of the entire series. I don't know, I guess I just found the mix between perfectly done comedy and interesting drama that got me to love this one.

    As much as I love the movie, I have to say that the graphic novels, as a whole, are much better and--obviously--more comprehensive than the live-action film.

  2. I hope you're right about the graphic novels being better, because I really want to stay involved as I read through the rest of this series. The movie has sort of spoiled some stuff for me, but it should hopefully hold up.