Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O’Malley

ScottPilgrimTitle: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life Volume 1

Author: Bryan Lee O’Malley

ISBN: 978-1-932664-08-9

Publication Date:  2004

Genre: Graphic Novels

Reading Level/Interest Age: 13 and up

Plot: Scott Pilgrim is a 23 year who lives in the cold parts of Toronto, Canada. He plays the bass guitar in his friend’s band called Sex Bob-omb, which consists of his friends Stephen Stills (guitarist) and Kim Pine (drummer). Scott tries to brag to his band mates about his current new high school girl friend, Knives Chau, but his friends eventually ridiculing him by exaggerating about the age difference. He does not take their comments seriously, but what he does take notice are the recurring dreams that he’s been having of a girl who rollerblades passed him in the desert. Later while he was helping Knives gather books at her library, Scott finally sees the girl of his dreams.

Critical Evaluation: Brian O’Malley’s illustrations are black and white illustrations in these comics. Many of the drawings are shown in all white or all black backgrounds, making the subjects in each frame stand out more. These blank and solid backgrounds create more focus on the characters’ actions and expressions. O’Malley’s style of frame sequencing can seem to be disconnecting, but many readers may find this fun and slightly accurate. There are certain instances where Scott will be focusing on a certain subject and then the next frame will show him talking about a completely different subject. These sequences seem to mimic the short attention spans that children have and so this is a way of showing how Scott’s character is slightly immature for his age. Another interesting thing to note is the style of the action sequences and the way the fighting actions are illustrated. O’Malley uses words such as “POW” and “WHAP” to express the fighting punches like what many see in the early comic book years. Many of the fighting scenes are similar to those in video games when the opponent beats the other at a fight and the letters flash “K.O.” which stand for “knock out.”

Reader’s Annotation: Scott Pilgrim has been having recurring dreams of a girl rollerblading in his dreams. Little does he know, he’s about to meet this girl and will have to face some challenges along the way.

Author: Based on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s official website, he was born in London, Ontario, Canada on February 21, 1979. O’Malley has always been a cartoonist every since he was in grade school. Once the internet came out, he started posting his comics online and ran a website called “impromanga” in his late teenage years. During his college years, he attended a Canadian university, but ended up dropping out to go hang out with his internet best friend in Northern California. Eventually he went back to Canada and accepted a few odd jobs here and there. His first original graphic novel was Lost at Sea in 2003 and then the first volume of the Scott Pilgrim series in 2004.

Curriculum Ties: N/A

Booktalking Ideas:

  • Could you ever find yourself in Scott’s situation (dating two people at the same time)?

Challenging Issues:

  • Sexual content

Defensive Maneuvers:

  • I would be sure to study and memorize the library’s collection policy.
  • The Library Bill of Rights must also be brought to the challenger’s attention stating that the library is an information institution that provides both information and ideas.
  • Have both good and bad reviews (from respected sources) about the book at hand.
  • Remember to mention the awards and honors that the item has received.
  • Be sure to listen to the person who is challenging the book and do not interrupt them while they are speaking. Try to understand where the patron is coming from when he or she states their concerns about the material.
  • When you respond to the challenger, have a calm and respectable tone informing them that the library must do all that it can to provide intellectual freedom to its patrons, young and old.

Why This Book? This book (or series) can be highly entertaining for teens who are interested in action comics or video game enthusiast.

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