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Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness Paperback – May 24, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
O'Malley's cult-favorite series about a Canadian slacker attempting to defeat his crush-object's seven evil ex-boyfriends is the weirdest, funniest and coolest Western variation on the manga aesthetic to date, and the third volume is even more hilarious than the first two"mostly because O'Malley's running gags are the kind that improve with repetition. At their core, the Scott Pilgrim books are outrageous allegories for coming to terms with a partner's former romantic relationships. This time, Scott's pitted against Todd Ingram, the current boyfriend of his ex, rock star Envy Adams; they battle at a discount department store and a rock club. Unfortunately, Todd's got psychic powers, because he's a vegan ("graduated top of his class from vegan academy and everything"), and he's also a much better bass player. On top of that, Scott's band, Sex BobOmb, can't quite get it together; 17-year-old ninja Knives Chau is still obsessed with him; and the mysterious Ramona Flowers is becoming envious of Envy. O'Malley's story zooms through its slalom-course plot, peppered with delectably witty dialogue, and he pulls in wild ideas and images from manga, role-playing gaming (Ramona's hipster handbag is actually a "subspace suitcase" from which she draws a "large hammer, +2 against girls") and video games. (May)
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On the surface, the plot arc of the six-volume series is centered around Scott Pilgrim, a twenty-something game-playing slacker in a Canadian garage band, who meets the girl of his dreams (literally) and finds he must defeat her seven evil ex-es if he wants to date her. But like an iceberg, the surface only hints at everything that lies beneath.
Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness is the third volume in the series. The cast of returning characters include:
Scott Pilgrim, a wide-eyed and likeable but perpetually clueless 23-year-old slacker who's in a garage band called Sex Bob-omb. ("Well... my last job is a really long story, filled with sighs. Maybe we can get into it in a later volume.")
Knives Chau, his 17-year-old Chinese former sort-of girlfriend who still has a major crush on him. ("I've kissed the lips that've kissed you!!!")
Wallace Wells, his cool but boy-crazy gay roommate. ("Let's be friends based on mutual hate.")
Stephen Stills, lead guitarist in the band. ("Do you always refer to him by his full name?" - "Who? Stephen Stills? Yes.")
Kim Pine, the band's drummer and Scott's ex-girlfriend from high school. ("Scott, are you evil, or are you really happy?")
Young Neil Nordegraf, Stephen Still's roommate and the band's biggest fan. ("What do you play?" "Um... nothing, I just live here.")
Comeau, who knows everyone. ("Well, I wouldn't say _everyone_, but yeah, I guess.")
Julie Powers, Stephen Stills' on-again/off-again but always bitchy girlfriend. ("Scott, I forbid you from hitting on Ramona, even if you haven't had a girlfriend in over a year.")
Stacey Pilgrim, Scott's younger sister. ("She's Chinese? Wait till Mom hears about this!")
Ramona Flowers, a roller-blading delivery girl for Amazon.ca and the girl of Scott's dreams. ("No, no, it's just like, this really convenient subspace highway happens to go through your head.")
Envy Adams, Scott's former girlfriend (and former bandmate) who's now a huge success with her own band, The Clash At Demonhead.
And in this volume we meet Lynette Guycott, Envy's drummer who apparently has a bionic arm, and last but not least, Envy's other bandmate and current boyfriend, Todd Ingram, a rockstar with Vegan superpowers, the third of Ramona's evil ex-es to challenge Scott Pilgrim. ("It's a fact of science. The main thing to know is that I'm better than most people.")
Just read it. You'll be hooked.
I highly recommend this book (and the entire series) to anyone who appreciates a comic series with a unique visual style, engaging characters, the kind of surreal world we only wish we could live in, and just a great fun read.
The art work is far more interesting than the stock imagery of most manga, and O'Malley's determination to constantly change his characters hair and clothing, unlike the normal convention in comics of identical clothing and hair, really pays off and tells the story of his character's moods and growth over time. The dialogue is excellent, well paced, clever and bright. The framing, the action, and the expressiveness of the characters makes you feel like you are part of the story rather than just watching it through the artwork.
I really enjoyed the first two books but here in book three O'Malley really hits his stride and comes up with Scott's Evil Ex NV Adams. As somebody said, (I don't know who) "The measure of a hero/person/character is the hatred of their enemies".
Well done and I hope O'Malley brings us something new soon.
For parents: I would not recommend this book for those under the age of 14 due to some adult content (some references to sex). I am an educator and I would not allow students to read this unless they were in high school (9th grade or higher).