Comic Fight Club

Comic Fight Club
Scott Pilgrim, hero of the ongoing music-obsessed tale of literally fighting through a girlfriend’s past in order to win her heart, is the ultimate slacker, unable to hold a job, reliant on his roommate to pay the rent, and too unfocused to get a gig together for his band. The opposite is true of Pilgrim’s creator, London-born, Toronto-raised Halifax resident Bryan Lee O’Malley, who writes, storyboards, draws and inks Scott Pilgrim; he even gathers press clippings for back-of-the-book quotes. There’s been no shortage to choose from in recent years: the graphic novel series has won awards and acclaim from within the comics world (Harvey Awards, Wizard Magazine’s 2006 indie book of the year) and outside it (Entertainment Weekly’s 2007 indie comic of the year).

O’Malley’s just-completed fourth volume, Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together, features Pilgrim’s latest battle against the seven evil exes of girlfriend Ramona Flowers; in it, Pilgrim learns of Ramona’s "experimental college phase,” which arrives in the form of "evil ex” Roxanne, a new twist on the ninja-trained combatants of earlier books. "I apologise to all the real lesbians out there,” writes O’Malley in an email interview. With the added reveal that there are also twins in Ramona’s dating past (who will feature in book five), Scott Pilgrim will wrap up after two more instalments, a plan that’s been in place since its inception.

"There were always going to be six books,” O’Malley explains, "because I always knew there would be twins. I planned out the basic ideas for each ex-boyfriend after finishing the first book,” which was published by Oni Press in 2004. Only six months have passed in story-time, which helps O’Malley keep the accuracy of the book’s Toronto setting, without having to worry about location changes since he moved to the East coast a couple of years ago. "I just fudge the details outside of that,” he says. "I think with my fourth-wall nudging approach, I can have fun with the fact that time is kind of wonky.”