It's been a bittersweet month for Scott Pilgrim fans. On one hand, the movie and sixth graphic novel finally debuted. On the other hand, this means no more SP yarns ever. Here are five titles that will ease the pain.
Here are fives comics (in no particular order) that reflect the Scott Pilgrim aesthetic — that is, disaffected young people in totally inexplicable supernatural and scifi situations.
1.) Runaways (Marvel)
Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona's acclaimed series is about a group of teenagers who discover that their parents are supervillains who run Los Angeles. Runaways was the only long-running title to spin out of Marvel's manga-influenced Tsunami imprint — it's steeped in Marvel Universe arcana (i.e., one of the characters is the "son" of a classic Avengers villain; another team member is a Skrull) but never gets too bogged down by it. The protagonists are uneasy with being self-appointed superheroes and — more often that not — have no idea what the hell they're doing. This DIY approach to superheroing gives the title much of its charm. For example, the Runaways' encounters with the Punisher and Wolverine ended with middle-school mutant powerhouse Molly Hayes kicking the bejeezus out of the anti-heroes. Vaughan penned the first two volumes of the book (it really finds its stride in the second volume). After a number of creative hand-offs between Joss Whedon, Terry Moore, and Kathryn Immonen, the book is presently on break.
2.) Suburban Glamour (Image)
Jamie McKelvie's 2008 miniseries follows Astrid Johnson, a hip gal from a dull Scottish town who suddenly becomes the magnet for all manner of nasty faerie weirdness. McKelvie's clean pencils really make this series pop. For more books about being young and dumb in a magical Britannia, check out Mike Carey's graphic novel God Save the Queen and Kieron Gillen's mages-going-clubbing miniseries Phonogram, which McKelvie worked on as well.
3.) Zero Girl (Homage)
Sam Keith's story of Amy Smooster, a high-school loner who attempts to court her guidance counselor, is chock full of paranormal geometry (circles are good, squares are evil) and totally surreal plot points (the heroine secretes a mysterious, addictive goo from her feet). Growing up is mind-bogglingly weird, and Keith's plot and pencils convey this reality with aplomb.
4.) Street Angel (Slave Labor Graphics)
Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca's 2004 miniseries follows Jesse Sanchez, a homeless skateboarding superkid who must defend Wilkesborough from the dread forces of ninjas, time-traveling conquistadors, and other marauding paranormal nasties. The action = quick and in your face; the explanation as to why any of this is going down = scant. Street Angel takes the reader on ride through crime-fighting lunacy, and you have no choice but to oblige.
5.) Love and Rockets (Fantagraphics)
Jaime Hernandez's early Love and Rocket tales had a strong scifi bend to them. Punky series star Maggie Chascarrillo works as a "pro-solar mechanic" for the dashing Rand Race. Later L&R stories would jettison the monsters and robots of these original tales, but these initial forays into scifi strongly resemble the unexplained weirdness of Pilgrimverse. Love and Rockets is absolutely voluminous, but the "Maggie the Mechanic" arcs are luckily at the very beginning.