Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Book Club: Volume 6

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MIKE: I think Wallace’s advice to get back out there and get over Ramona was perfect advice for anyone that isn’t Scott Pilgrim. Maybe Wallace forgot who he was talking to. Also, I will never get enough of Wallace calling Scott ‘guy’.

DOUGLAS: An even better duo-dynamic: Scott’s relationship with Envy now is a dead-on approximation of the experience of hanging out with former peers who are now famous. Kim steals the show, though, with her revelation about Simon Lee, which suggests (as O’Malley has) that the whole series has been Scott’s Walter Mitty-ization of his little life. Given that, I’m surprised that Gideon actually does turn out to be genuinely evil (“You know that dressing you up like a doll is very fulfilling for me sexually”), not just an obstacle for Scott to overcome within himself.

Also: it is too late to brag that I totally suspected that 1-up was going to come in handy, but so there.

(More on Techland: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Book Club: Volume 3)

LEV: Need to re-read this before commenting properly, but I want to put in a plug for Nega-Scott, who made a lot of stuff fall into place for me. Nega-Scott represents all that crappy crap about Scott that he can’t confront in himself, and therefore deal with and accept. (This is basically the entire content of my therapy — ed.) One of a handful of moments that I thought was handled MORE deftly in the movie.

DOUGLAS: You moviegoers.

CHRISTINE: Did anyone not grow up in this book? Stephen Stills comes out again. Neil isn’t young anymore! Knives Chau, 18 years old. WHAT? I enjoyed Scott’s moment of uncertainty and I-don’t-give-a-damn-anymore during his battle with Gideon, “Nobody said anything about defeating your ex-girlfriend’s ex-boyfriends!” But he turns around again and becomes a better man, yada yada. I miss the original and best Scott. Everyone grew up in this volume, reminding me of my ability to do so.

I don’t fully understand the subspace/glow/memory tampering technology that Gideon devised, but am I to understand that he isn’t immune to emotional warfare? His memory is evidently faulty (page 151: he didn’t remember how his relationship with Ramona ended.) Is his vendetta against Ramona all based on a misunderstanding? If so, lame!

GRAEME: Is that kind of the point, though? That Gideon’s not such a big bad, but kind of a loser? I felt like a lot of this book was about coming to terms with who you really are, versus who you want to be (embracing your Nega-Scott, if you like), so it seems like it fits to me. I mean, gathering the League of Evil Exes through a Craigslist ad? That’s hardly criminal masterminding right there.

There’s actually a lot that doesn’t pay off in this final book: The clues about Ramona and Gideon’s relationship being deeper and potentially even fictional, or Knives working her way through the Sex Bob-Omb family for… some reason? Oh, and Kim’s arc in general (Kim Pine spin-off now, please). But I’m totally willing to forgive it, because what is there is just… really good, and not what I expected at all. I was one of those who expected a Kim/Scott pairing at series’ end, as well as some kind of revelation that Ramona was evil in some way or another (I have no idea why, I just expected it), and I loved the way that O’Malley teases out so many expectations and then throws them out, so quickly – Douglas, you’re right, the Knives/Scott snogging scene was hilarious, and for the same reason that the Kim/Scott scene works… You kind of thought that was where the story was going, and then it twisted somewhere else.

(More on Techland: Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World International Trailer Is Seriously Rad)

Also: Scott dying, and actually dying? And then using the 1-up from Book 3? I didn’t see that coming, and loved it (I am not as smart as Douglas). Just like I also loved Ramona’s baggage being more literal than anyone expected, and the beautiful, ambiguous end. It’s not a happily-ever-after end, but it’s something more honest, and all the better for it.

Also, somewhat more randomly: Was I the only person who really, really wanted to love this book and was very worried that there was no way it could’ve lived up to my expectations? I haven’t felt like that since the end of Grant Morrison’s Invisibles, and like that, I read this for the first time with a feeling of “I am willing to let plot and logic fly out the window as long as everyone I care about makes it out okay.”

EVAN: Not just you. I mostly gush about this one, but the frozen would-be girlfriends did nothing for me. And the subspace/head-glow stuff makes thematic sense for me but, to my eye, it’s kinda wobbly as a plot mechanism.

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