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August 3, 2010 8:50 AM   Subscribe

Other graphic novels like Scott Pilgrim. Can you recommend them to me?

I am admittedly a dilettante---I bought the Scott Pilgrim books a few weeks ago after seeing the trailer for the upcoming movie, and I devoured them in a matter of days. This morning I finished reading them again. So I'm looking for my next fix.

It's hard to put my finger on what I liked so much about Scott Pilgrim. The expressive, off-the-cuff art style, madcap/surrealist/magic realism humor, awesome fights, lots of self-aware winks and nods... relatable characters, snappy dialog, touching without being heavy. It's fun, I guess is what it boils down to.

I'm aware that there are many previous threads asking for general graphic novel recommendations. I know what the classics are; here I'm specifically looking for graphic novels that are Scott Pilgrim-ey. (Maybe newer or more obscure stuff than would generally appear on your "OMG I can't BELIEVE you haven't read this" list.) Recommendations for, uh, regular novels (or other media) with a similar feel to Scott Pilgrim would also be great. Thanks, everyone!
posted by aparrish to Media & Arts (21 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
The Scott Pilgrim books are such a specific thing, I can't think of anything that I could really classify as 'like Scott Pilgrim.' If you haven't read it, though, you should pick up some of the Invincible collections, because there's a similar light-hearted self-awareness to them. Obviously a lot of differences, too, but it might get at some of what you're craving.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:00 AM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Similar light-hearted tone, focus on characters, some cool fights, and rock-and-roll - Hopeless Savages.
posted by brand-gnu at 9:04 AM on August 3, 2010 [3 favorites]

Yotsuba&? It shares the slice-of-life aspects, the art isn't too different; it has relatable characters, it's weird and fun and occasionally touching.
posted by martinrebas at 9:23 AM on August 3, 2010

Oni does lots of good stuff in this genre. I like Blue Monday
posted by kid_dynamite at 10:17 AM on August 3, 2010 [2 favorites]

There's some similarities to the ZOT! series. It's available in an omnibus.
posted by phearlez at 10:54 AM on August 3, 2010

You could always watch Spaced. It is basically the thing that is most like Scott Pilgrim.
posted by permafrost at 11:14 AM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's not *too* similar in feel to Scott Pilgrim, but Lost at Sea is O'Malley's first book, and it's a sweet little coming-of-age story. It's fun to see where his style evolved from, too.
posted by NoraReed at 11:23 AM on August 3, 2010

A couple of suggestions, but neither right on the nose: The two Phonogram series (1, 2) are a little darker and far less comic, but share the same sensibility pluas, they are extremely knowlegable about British rock music, if that means anything to you). There is also the Empowered series. They have the same lightness of tone as Scott Pilgrim, with a bit of sexiness built-in (though nowhere near as porny as the covers might indicate).
posted by rtimmel at 11:36 AM on August 3, 2010

I also like Dance till Tomorrow. There's more sex, and no video game references, but there's a bit of a similarity in terms of some of the humour and how it handles secondary characters.
posted by RobotHero at 11:38 AM on August 3, 2010

As a side note: I saw an advanced screening of the movie, and I enjoyed the crap out of it!
posted by PlutoniumX at 12:15 PM on August 3, 2010

Seconding the TV series Spaced, oh so much.
posted by warble at 12:49 PM on August 3, 2010

Robin Enrico has an art style that I think you'd enjoy if you like Brian O'Malley. He's got a simplified bubbly style influenced by video games, cartoons, and anime. The stories are ace, as well; sex and booze and adventure!

Check out Jam in the Band, which he's serializing online right now; you can also pick it up from Microcosm Publishing.
posted by Juliet Banana at 1:00 PM on August 3, 2010

Go back, waaay back to Jaime Hernandez's Locas storyline from Love & Rockets.

Not as much gaming, but definitely a similar sort of magic realism. Very much rooted in a particular music "scene," with amazingly realized characters and relationships, humor, and beautiful art.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:04 PM on August 3, 2010

Bryan Lee O'Malley's part of a younger contingent of cartoonists who seem to be excited to combine the innovative techniques of the previous generation of alternative cartoonists with humor, throwback genre work and manga influences. They all also seem to communicate with one another, which is cool.

You want to definitely check out Brandon Graham's King City. The first (and only) book was recently re-released in individual issues and issues with new content are now coming out. His blog is also a treasure trove of his (and similar cartoonists') influences. Hell this single post he did for another site is a comics education by itself. Graham definitely deserves far more attention than he's getting.

James Stokoe's new Orc Stain is more fantasy, but he's a killer cartoonist.

I can't find it right now, but Sheldon Vella's Supertron (it was on Zuda comics, then put on a blog somewhere) was fun and crazy.

He's relatively new, but a lot of people are going crazy for Michael Deforge. Very talented guy who's doing really unique work.

He is rarely if ever publishing comics anymore, but Jamie Hewlett's work (Tank Girl) is a definite precursor to all of these cartoonists.

If you haven't already, you should check out some of the manga that O'Malley all but lifts his design sense from. Osamu Tezuka, Akira Toriyama (the original Dragon Ball comics are much better than you would believe), just pick some random guys that Brandon Graham mentions on his blog.

If you liked Scott Pilgrim, you'll probably love these comics. Frankly, I don't think SP is the best representative of this movement. O'Malley doesn't have the storytelling/drawing chops these other guys have nor does he take as many chances. I'm not trying to bash him, he's not a bad cartoonist, but I think there's more interesting work out there.
posted by bittermensch at 4:36 PM on August 3, 2010

You should probably be looking mostly in the direction of web and mini comics.

It's a hunch, but maybe you'd like Joann Sfar's Vampire Loves? And Nurse Nurse, too, I think.

Not exactly Scott Pilgrimy, but there's a whole crop of alt/art cartoonists doing straight-up genre stuff, like POWR MASTRS, The Mourning Star, Mat Brinkman's stuff, and Levon Jihanian has one I've not yet read (off the top of my head).

Actually, Joe Daly's Dungeon Quest sits about halfway between Scott Pilgrim (video games!) and Prison Pit (violence!), but I'd be more likely to recommend his Red Monkey Double Happiness Book on the basis of SP. Or just recommend full stop.
posted by Bigfoot Mandala at 7:56 PM on August 3, 2010

I haven't read many dead-tree comics outside of Scott Pilgrim myself, so I'm not much help in that regard, but if it's the "winsomely clueless indie rocker" aspect of the SP character that won you over, then I think you'd really like the web comic "Questionable Content."

It's a daily web comic, so it unfolds in little 4-6 panel set-up-and-punch-line bits, but the narrative actually holds up surprisingly well when you just start at the beginning and read a month's worth comics in a sitting.
posted by patnasty at 9:13 PM on August 3, 2010

I've only read a bit of Scott Pilgrim, but it reminded me so much of Blue Monday, particularly the anime influences.

Peter Bagge#s Hate/Buddy Bradley stories have a madcap art style you might like, though it's more realistic and the fights that take place are fairly domestic.
posted by mippy at 6:45 AM on August 4, 2010

Oh wow, these are great suggestions. Thanks, everybody!
posted by aparrish at 8:04 AM on August 4, 2010

Here's a webcomic you might like.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 12:25 PM on August 4, 2010

It's not a comic, but Scott Pilgrim kinda reminds me of There She Is!! at times.
posted by archagon at 10:29 AM on August 16, 2010

(Updated link.)
posted by archagon at 10:32 AM on August 16, 2010

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