I’ve spent the better part of this recent lockdown revisiting a lot of my favourite comics that I haven’t read in a hot minute. Last week I read through Scott Pilgrim, and for something I haven’t touched in a fair few years, I’m surprised by how well it holds up.
Created by cartoonist Bryan Lee O’Malley and released as six graphic novels from 2004 to 2010, Scott Pilgrim is a comic series that asks a simple question: what if you had to physically fight someone’s seven evil exes just so you can date them?
That’s more or less Scott Pilgrim in a nutshell. It’s one of the biggest comics of the last two decades, a fun slice-of-life comic series that also happens to be the child of Street Fighter games and shonen manga.
Scott Pilgrim would go on to be adapted as an underrated movie directed by Edgar Wright, an amazing videogame, and, most recently, a board game. If your only point of reference for the series is those adaptations, you really should check out the original comics.
The good news is that you can currently pick up the complete series in the Scott Pilgrim Colour Collection box set, which is on sale for $77.26. A single volume of these Colour Collection books usually sells for around $50, so you can pick up the complete series in a nice slipcase for roughly half price.
There’s a lot to love about Scott Pilgrim. Tracking the evolution of O’Malley’s art across volumes is a treat to watch, and his writing is laugh-out-loud funny at points. But underneath its aesthetic of retro videogame references and shonen-inspired art, Scott Pilgrim is a romance comic about toxic relationships, along with flawed characters acknowledging their insecurities and attempting to grow as people.
As much as the series is about Scott trying to win Ramona Flowers’ love by fighting her evil exes, it’s also about a self-absorbed man-child learning how to break his own cycle of immaturity, learn some responsibility and become a better person. It’s also also about headbutting a dude so hard that he explodes into a handful of coins.
The Colour Collection is the third time the series has been repackaged. There are the original six black-and-white graphic novels, which were then re-released individually in full-colour hardcovers, and then recollected as the three two-in-one volumes that are in this set.
If you’ve only ever read the series in black-and-white, these colour editions look fantastic. For a comic that already has such high energy about it, the vibrancy of these coloured versions really cranks it up to the next level. If there was ever an excuse to double-dip on something you already own, it’s this.
These volumes are missing most of the backmatter and bonus content from the individual colour editions, but I’m guessing that you probably already have those if you consider yourself a completionist.
You can pick up the Scott Pilgrim Colour Collection box set here. It’ll be shipping from the US, but it’s well worth the wait.