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on September 17, 2006
I can still barely believe that the Scott Pilgrim series is as good as it is. Author Bryan Lee O'Malley has taken a relationship drama and infused it with numerous references to video games, indie music, manga, and other niche areas of popular culture to create a world where characters are completely fine with breaking out into a massive, over-the-top fight that involves the battleground imploding at the end.

Scott Pilgrim, for those of you who aren't caught up, is a 23-year-old slacker who lives in a small Canadian town around Toronto. He is in a bad band named Sex Bob-Omb along with the completely cool (so cool he has no emotions) Stephen Stills and the angry Kim Pine (whom he dated in high school). After breaking up with a 17-year-old high school girl named Knives Chau, Scott began dating Ramona Flowers, an American now living in Canada and working as an Amazon.ca delivery girl. However, before Scott can officially date Ramona, he must defeat her seven evil ex-boyfriends. He has already taken out 2, but the next on the list, Todd Ingram, may prove to be more than Scott can handle.

Picking up pretty much exactly where the second volume, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, left off, Scott and Ramona have just learned that Todd is dating Natalie V. "Envy" Adams, Scott's girlfriend before Knives who ripped his heart out. Through flashbacks, we learn how Envy met Scott as a shy anime fan and eventually turned into a rock goddess. If that weren't bad enough, Todd is a vegan, and in Scott's world, vegans attain vast psychic powers that make him a much more formidable opponent than Matthew Patel and Lucas Lee.

As usual, the battles don't take up the whole book; most of the pages are devoted to hilarious character studies. Scott's roommate, Wallace Wells, is just as funny as ever, with his snide comments about Envy and his platonic love of Ramona. Knives is great due to the sheer sadness of her situation (I kind of feel bad for her, but she is responsible for some very funny and heartfelt situations). New characters like Envy and Lynette, Envy's drummer who has a biomechanical arm, are fun as well. But the book is also full of great moments that don't deal with characters. The existence of a save point in the world was one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. And of course, the fights just keep getting better. Ramona shows that she can hold her own and that her little handbag is just full of surprises.

The only thing I have to say that is negative is that I just can't get a good feel for the art. It is (as far as I know) intentionally cheap, but there are times when I can't tell who certain characters are or when the flashbacks end. Still, it isn't too much of a problem.

I don't care what excuses you may have for not reading Scott Pilgrim, get on it now! The story is great and the humor is fantastic.
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on November 24, 2009
How to describe Scott Pilgrim and his strange little world? It's funny, to be sure. It's seemingly normal, to a degree. When we meet new characters, we often get their level rating (Scott is, of course, "awesome"). Everything about the series is so Generation Now--Scott is straight but he has a gay roommate; they share a small studio apartment and sleep in the same bed, platonically; Scott plays in a band with a female drummer, which is cool, although the band doesn't quite rock at first (but they have heart). None of it is overdone, though. In fact, there's so much genuine sweetness to it (in a good way; not in some treacly, sentimental manner) that you can't help but wish you were part of the group--part of this world, even, because it's a pretty different world.

That is to say, it's Toronto, but some magical, videogame-like qualities exist. These characters exist mostly in the real world but at the same time, it has some decidedly offbeat properties. Scott is an innocent, a supercool, eminently likable cipher who happens to be almost irresistibly endearing.

As the series begins, 23-year-old Scott has just started dating Knives Chau, a 17-year-old high school student. It's all very innocent; they haven't even kissed, just hugged. Scott is recovering from a devastating breakup a year ago and views Knives as a way to move on without getting his heart too involved. His friends and sister waste no time ripping into Scott for this robbing-the-cradle transgression, but Scott sticks with it, even after meeting Ramona Flowers. Ramona is the girl of Scott's dreams, literally. He keeps seeing her in visions, so when he sees her at a party, come to life in strange garb, he makes his move.

The series has the feel of a gentle romantic comedy at times, and the banter back and forth between Scott and Ramona (and even Scott and Knives) has the kind of meet-cute quality of cinema. It's also hilariously hip, metatextual, and self-referential (again, it's a Generation Now thing). When Ramona explains that she's been in Scott's dreams because there's a really convenient subspace highway that happens to run through his head, Scott doesn't really question it. Later, they get to know each other and decide that some of their stories will be revealed in different volumes, before sleeping together (again, platonically, because they've been holed up inside together because of a freak blizzard--although it's clear both characters will want to do more than just sleep together eventually).

And here we come to the real meat of the story. As Scott begins to see Ramona, he first receives an email, then a letter, from a man who wants to schedule time to fight Scott. Scott ignores them, but this is a crazy guy who won't be ignored. It turns out Ramona has seven evil ex-boyfriends, all of whom Scott will have to fight and defeat if he wants to continue seeing the delightful Ramona. (And if you're wondering what ever happened to Knives Chau, well, there's more to that as well.)

The content is never too adult (but trust me, adults will--and do--enjoy it quite a bit), but it's more appropriate for teens and older (the publisher gives it a 13+ rating). The story and art are definitely manga-influenced, but it isn't straight manga. It's a hybrid. A very good hybrid, it turns out. Scott Pilgrim is one of those series that catches fire and, when you check in to see what all the buzz is about, you realize why immediately. This much clever, inventive fun deserves to be a smash.

-- John Hogan
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on July 17, 2013
This volume came in early by at least one day for me. I bought it used because I found it to be the best deal in price and quality. We're not going for perfect condition, but the book I got was it pretty darn good condition. The cover was a bit wobbly but there are no tears, no random penciled in smiley faces, and no signs of unknown in the pages. The only thing I found unappealing was the pain-in-the-butt-to-open plastic shipping stuff, but that's just me being silly. Overall, I am one satisfied customer.
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on November 18, 2014
Although I absolutely loved all the vegan jokes going on in this volume, I think it might be my least favorite of the books yet. That's not to mean that there isn't a ton to love about this one, between the super vegan powers, the vegan police, getting to finally know more about the history between envy and scott, as well as the battle between envy and ramona. There's giant hammers, extra lives, and a whole host of other imaginative, crazy things that make this a wonderful addition to the series.
It just wasn't as good as the ones that came before it.
That being said, I can definitely tell that this volume shows O'Malley finally stretching his writing muscles, so I expect that volume 4 should be the best yet.
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on July 11, 2014
Pretty disappointed by the condition of this book, considering it is suppose to be new. The bottom corner of the cover has a bend/fold, as well as an even more unsightly one found on the bottom left corner of the cover. Enjoyable and entertaining read for sure, but I can't consider this a 4 or 5 star due to how this is suppose to be new when it clearly isn't. Or at least it didn't arrive in new condition.
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on January 26, 2012
The Scott Pilgrim series is an absolutely awesome storyline and I highly recommend it to anyone with a geeky side, especially if you enjoy video games. I also recommend watching the movie if you haven't seen it :P
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon August 16, 2012
Big stuff goes down in this book - Scott gets a haircut and eats out at a fancy Japanese restaurant! Oh and he battles Evil Ex-Boyfriend #3 who has psychic Vegan powers, his current girlfriend Ramona battles his ex, Envy, lead singer of a popular rock band, and Scott starts speaking like a real person (but only for a few scenes).

The stuff about how veganism gives you super powers was really funny and Bryan Lee O'Malley reaches new levels of fantasy by drawing a scene mentioned in "It's a Wonderful Life!" as if a character were really doing it. Scott continues to be an endearingly charming dope and even seems to act his age when consoling those who felt the wrath of the excellently bitchy Envy.

The book is mostly stuff that didn't make it into the movie which is probably why I liked it the best of the three so far because most it felt new. Scott and Ramona also start to feel like a real couple rather than two strangers who've randomly met which is cool and shows O'Malley's strong writing ability - though I still feel that quite a few characters look too much alike making it different to discern who is who as well as which sequences are flashbacks and which are current.

But these are minor problems that don't really detract from enjoying the book for what it is - a fresh and imaginative take on the story of young love originally presented and immensely readable and fun. Book 3 is O'Malley hitting his stride and hopefully the series here on in can maintain this high level of quality.
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"Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," the striking film version of the inspired series by Bryan Lee O'Malley, had a disappointing run this year in terms of box office. Even with surprising critical support, the film fell below expectations from a money making standpoint. Now, as we are poised for the DVD release (11/9/10), I think the world of Scott Pilgrim is about to explode as new fans to the irreverent charm of Scott and company discover the delightfully skewed source material. And I thought, I'd recap the highlights as I've gone back to appreciate the six volumes anew.

Volume Three: Scott Pilgrim & The Infinite Sadness. In 2006, O'Malley released my favorite volume to date. As Scott's ex Envy (a successful rocker) is back, it provides a welcome romantic foil for Ramona. Their break-up was devastating to Scott and much of this chapter's humor is derived by exploiting the toxicity of relationships. But dealing with Envy is only part of the problem when it's discovered that Ramona's third ex is also in Envy's band (and dates her!) The overlapping of various bonds make this a delightfully complicated mess and the Vegan agenda has never been so diabolically wrought. Great, funny stuff!
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on July 4, 2011
Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 3 / 9781932664225

I first came to the Scott Pilgrim franchise via the movie, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and have very much enjoyed the graphic novels thus far. Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 3 covers the time from the introduction of The Clash at Demonhead (as well as Envy and Todd as important romantic figures in Scott and Ramona's past) to the conclusion of the Scott/Todd battle.

If Vol. 3 has a flaw, it's perhaps in the overly slow pace. The volume does a great job of fleshing out the backstory of Scott and Envy, as well as making Envy into a very sympathetic character instead of just "that woman who broke Scott's heart", but at the same time, there's an overall feeling of killing time until the next volume in some ways. There's a several page sequence where Todd and Scott are forced to run through "Honest Ed's", which would appear to be something of a tourist shop containing EVERYTHING EVER SOLD EVER and the boys are thoroughly overwhelmed by the awesomeness of the store, and then the store implodes, and... somehow it lacks the same zaniness and punch of earlier volumes.

On the other hand, the volume does a great job of exploring why money and fame don't automatically equal happiness, and it's nice to that the sympathetic treatment and deep characterization of all of the characters thus far (especially Scott's ex-girlfriends) is being extended into a meaningful exploration of Envy and Scott and how the two of them grew apart as Envy started reaching more for the stars and Scott resisted out of a sense that their band was just for having fun and meeting "chicks".

If you like the Scott Pilgrim series thus far and don't mind a mostly flashback-and-characterization volume, then Vol. 3 will meet that need nicely; if you're just here for the video game references and fighting scenes, there's a nice kickboxing/giant-hammer battle between Ramona and Envy in the second half that will seem strangely familiar to fans of the Ramona/Roxy movie battle.

~ Ana Mardoll
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on July 14, 2012
After seeing the movie, I thought I'd check out the Canadian manga (wait, what?) that it was based on. The movie did a great job in capturing the look and feel of the manga, and a lot of the movie's dialogue comes straight out of the book, although it's rearranged a bit. This volume chronicles Scott's fight against the Vegan Todd Ingram, played by Brandon Routh in the film. The art, hmmm. Well, the covers give you a good idea what the art is like (I suppose "minimalist" is the nicest way to put it.) But you don't get Scott Pilgrim for the art, you get it for the quirky humor and characters. Which, if you've already seen the movie, I suppose you don't really need the manga. I may pick up the last volume out of curiosity, just to see if the story ends the same way.
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