Scott Pilgrim has been one of those graphic novel series that just captures folks attention. It has so many references to my generation and it just resonates with folks on multiple levels from video game references to clothes to band. And it had one of the few film adaptations that I think worked fairly well. And for me I felt like the series ended on a great high note where readers can imagine any future they want for the characters and not be told that its wrong or right. So when Bryan announced he was going to be revisiting the series with a color edition I kinda of wondered why. What was color going to add that the Black and White was missing? So I decided to check out the first volume. And since most people that read this edition of Scott Pilgrim will already be familiar with the story, I’m going to review what color does for the story and a bit about the added bonus features.
In some ways I’m a traditionalist and I don’t really like the trend of coloring black and white comics as it does take a bit away from how the story was originally presented. In the case of Scott Pilgrim, the black and white at times felt perfect for the story as it give it a magnaesque vibe to it that fit well with the storyline. But…at the same time as the series and characters progressed the black and white felt limiting, as we talked about the changes in Ramona’s hair color and the fight scenes that shaped the characters. And upon rereading the story I began to see how color could work well with the storyline…provided it was done well. And I’m pleased to say that Nathan Fairbairn does an excellent job with the color it brings an added vibrancy and depth to Bryan’s work. In particular the color enhances the band and battle scenes, making a good black and white drawing, suddenly feel animated. My favorite scenes in color–Scott’s battle sequence with Matthew Patel and the demon girls. The color just brings so much to that scene, shadows and highlights that just make things pop. So despite my unease the color really does help create a more vibrant story. The other nice bonus feature to this book is it’s a couple inches larger than the black and white paperback version, which is really kinda of nice to be able to see the characters and details popping off the page.
This volume also includes some bonus content that reveals the life of Scott Pilgrim, before he became Scott Pilgrim. Bryan shares with us some of his influences, such as the title of a band’s song, friends and family that the characters and story were based upon, and how he sold the idea to Oni to create this series of graphic novels. In addition, Bryan shares some more personal reflections such as the feelings of the rather low key release date (due to the publishing of the book being pushed back) as well his ideas and depictions of how the characters evolved as he drew them (always one of my favorite things to see.)
In short if you’re a fan of Scott Pilgrim then you’ll definitely want to add this book to your collection. And if you aren’t a fan of Scott Pilgrim or never read it before, give this book a try in its new colorized version. You won’t regret it. 5 out of 5 stars
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