Scott Pilgrim v. the Universe

No level-ups unless you have acquired this item.

No level-ups unless you have acquired this item.

I recently finished Atlas Shrugged and wrote a couple of really long pretentious posts about it, but as far as cultural touchstones of this age and generation, Ayn Rand doesn’t hold a fireflower to the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels by Brian Lee O’Malley.

O’Malley draws (literally) a complete social network of young Toronto 20-somethings, all distinct and recognizable characters, dealing with real life, growing up, and also fighting video-game-style battles against their romantic rivals.  You see, Scott Pilgrim, notorious slacker/kinda-bassist, has fallen for Ramona Flowers, the badass American girl from New York City with a sordid and mysterious past, but to win her love he must first defeat her Seven Evil Exes in combat.  Luckily, Scott is the best fighter in the province, winning coins and sometimes a free bonus item for defeating his enemies (though he only gets experience points when he’s getting his life together instead).

The fifth volume was just released this week– you can find a review here — and you have about a year to get in on this before the final volume and the movie come out in 2010.  The movie, as I’ve blogged before, is directed by the guy who made Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, and there’s a cast list over at this page right hereScott Pilgrim is a surprisingly profound slice of life for all of us not-quite-adults making our way in the world, wrapped in a Super Nintendo game, wrapped in a comic book, all waiting for you in a question mark block as soon as you bother to pick up the controller and play.

P.S. When the series concludes and the movie comes out, there had better be an incredible 16-bit side-scrolling video game of the entire series.  There is no other choice.  I will play it until my thumbs bleed.

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