can one describe Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life? Hipster-absurdist-arcade-kung-fu-musical? Whatever you want to call it, the book exudes coolness, and it’s not the pretentious brand of hipster coolness. It’s a goofy, kind of stupid and fun coolness.
Scott, 23-years-old, announces that he is dating a high school girl, Knives. He’s in a band and doesn’t have a job. He epitomizes the laid-back slacker mentality. His friends give him grief about the relationship, but before things get hot and heavy with Knives, Scott falls for Ramona, a rollerblading delivery girl. As the story progresses, the absurdity increases.
Both girls show up at the band’s show, which causes problems. The real problem, however, is that Ramona’s ex-boyfriend also shows up. He’s able to summon some kind of demon-girl fighters, and an arcade style kung-fu battle, partially set to a musical, breaks out. The premise for the rest of the series is established. Scott will have to fight Ramona’s seven ex-boyfriends if he truly loves her.
The story is a take on the classic medieval epic, but Bryan Lee O’Malley fills it with tributes to manga, retro arcade games, music, sit-coms, and slacker attitude. There is humor throughout. It’s a perfect mix of realism and absurdity. It’s just fun.