sabato 26 marzo 2011

Comics For Non-Nerds: Scott Pilgrim

Talking about Scott Pilgrim and actually saying it's a non-nerd comic is a delicate stance. Actually, talking about Scott Pilgrim and trying to explain it to anyone who has no idea or no interest into comic art is really difficult.

Not because it's a complex comic, on the contrary. Personally i think Scott Pilgrim manages to be one of the most accessible and yet complicated examples of illustrated storytelling i've seen, The problem with it, is that its fans might be the most elitist, rabid and borderline obsessive bunch of maniacs you'll meet. Most of them isnt part of the socially repulsive phenomenon of nerdness. They're pretty much hip. But Scott Pilgrim is a comic book that gets so much under the skin of its readers, connects with them at such a level and touches so many emotional spots, while also dropping cultural references all over the place without making them obnoxious or cute.... It turns readers into defensive warriors.

It was pretty clear when the great movie adaptation by Edgar Wright came out. The fans loved it, which is a weird and rare thing, but the general public didnt really care. And that caused angry reactions of "why dont you get it?", all over that were worringly close to the ones that Trekkies or other types of nerds have. Still i get that. People have the right to not give a hit and think its still a stupid comic book and being passionate about it is a symptom of childishness and social disability. But i am a Scott Pilgrim fan and I KNOW its different.

I'll try to explain, and fail.

Imagine a comic book that tells a love story. A pretty simple one at first.

A love story between a main character that could be easily defined as the ultimate twenty something hero and a female character that is all you love and fear in the most difficult girl you ever met.

Scott is a charming guy, in the best and worst sense of the word. He's a slacker for choice. A musician with a high opinion of himself. A good looking, reckless and unkowing heartbreaker. A guy who loves to follow his impulses and always has great excuses for it. A scruffy trouble maker with charisma, a messed up head and lots of dreams and little care for consequences. Simply put, he's everything awesome about being in your twenties.

He falls in love with Ramona, a magnetic, mysterious , volatile, cool hurricane of a girl. The kind that leaves scars but is right to do so. And they're surrounded by characters that are basically the perfect protrait of every little shade of youth you might know. And not know.

But this isnt exactly a romantic story. Cause see, Ramona has seven evil exes. And Scott has to defeat them like old 8-bit game bosses if he wants to date her. And their world is riddled with meta references to games.

But this is not only a game lover's comic. Case Scott is a rocker in a rocker world, and music references to the indie rock world are everywhere. from bands that are so close to the ones you actually meet in the struggling musicians world (one for all, the psychotic art-punk-insanity of Crash and The Boys) it hurts, to actual discussions about great albums.

And it also happens to be wildly surreal, hypekinteic, cartoonish and hilarious. Its self aware but in a playful, joyopus way. Full of insanely cute and hysterical laughter inducing moments that cannot be descrfibed cause they're purely visual

And its poignant, cause while growing with each volume, it manages to turn into a reflection on emotions, relationships (with everyone, yourself included), maturity and the human soul. And in the end it gets carved in your heart and mind, so when it's over you'll remeber it forever.

That's why i love Scott Pilgrim. You really hjave to read it all to understand. You dont have to but it would be good for you. It's fun, and moving, and insane. And its absolutely unique.

You might turn into a geek (not a nerd) afterwards. But you'll be happier.

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