Thursday, August 19, 2010

I Was SUCH a Paragon: The Scott Pilgrim Experience

Time to put a bow on Scott Pilgrim week here at Shake Well Before Enjoying. I've been following Scott Pilgrim since shortly after book four came out. Before there was any talk of a movie (at least that I was aware of), before I knew many other people were aware. A few people on a web forum I frequent mentioned it, this weird indie comic about slackers and indie rock and videogames. Sounded like something right up my alley, so I did what any good twenty-something slacker would do, I rushed out to my local comic shop (managed by a very old friend of mine) and picked up the first two volumes.

I was hooked. Honestly, Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life didn't grab me, it was Scott Pilgrim vs. the World that really hooked me. I like it because, at it's heart, it's a story I relate to (except the fighting seven evil exes thing), and, well, for the same reason I loved No More Heroes. It was clearly created by someone who loves a whole bunch of the same things I do, and isn't afraid to say so.

I said yesterday that the movie will be a generational touchstone for a certain type of person. It's more than that, the whole... thing, the whole milieu, the whole Scott Pilgrim experience, if you will, will be a touchstone for that kind of person. I just so happen to be one such person. This is a work that touched me in a pretty personal way, not that it's a unique work in that respect, but it really hit home in many ways, and it was funny, which is important.

The thing I find oddest about Scott Pilgrim is, at least talking to (mostly internet) people I know, I find that they're fixated on the videogame references. They are plentiful, make no mistake about that, but this isn't a story about videogames. It's as much about videogames as it is about indie rock and a local music scene. The pop culture references are in no short supply here, and I guess I find it kind of funny that so many people have hooked on to just the game references.

I go to a lot of shows (and used to go to more) in dive venues that are run down and hold maybe 200 people, max. The parts of the story with the shows, and eating at greasy spoons and pizza joints at 2am are parts that rang just as clear with me as "No, I don't remember the cheat code to Sonic 2!" It's just part of the greater cultural pastiche that Bryan Lee O'Malley created with this work.

I kind of feel like I'm rambling right now, so I'll cut this short, but what I'm trying to say is that this is something that belongs to our generation, and if you haven't read/played/seen/heard/felt Scott Pilgrim yet, if you're between the ages of 16 and 30, do yourself a favor and experience it.

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