Bryan Lee O'Malley: Scott Pilgrim vs. CB's Charles Webb

A comics interview article by: Charles Webb
With Vol. 6 of Scott Pilgrim and the feature film adaptation fast approaching, Charles Webb caught up with writer Bryan O’Malley to pick his brain about the title coming to an end and the future of Scott Pilgrim.


Charles Webb: How does it feel being so close to the finish line with Scott Pilgrim? Are you feeling regret at it being over or relief?

Bryan O'Malley I'm in complete deadline meltdown right now, so it's too soon to feel anything. I'm glad to be getting it over with, but I know I'll be thinking about these years for the rest of my life.

Webb: How close is the series to your original vision when you started writing it way back when?

O’Malley: The outline for the series was pretty vague. I think I hit all the major beats. Generally, I think I'm a little less nihilistic at 31 than I was at 24, so the story is maybe a bit more upbeat than I first imagined it.

Webb: The book feels like someone looking back at their early adulthood and trying to figure it all out. Was there any autobiography to the book?

O’Malley: I was 24 when I started writing the first book, so yeah, I was pretty much still living it at the time. I've had six years to think about "my early 20s", in the form of these books.

Webb: Was there much collaboration between you and Edgar Wright during preproduction?

O’Malley: The three of us (Wright, Bacall, and I) were working closely during the entire project, along with some of the producers. There was a core group of four or five people and we were making up a movie in our heads. After that, it suddenly exploded out to a crew of hundreds and this massive cast. I was pretty overwhelmed. Once the filming was done, after the first edit, it feels like it folded back down to just the core gang again and I've been very involved in this fine-tuning stage.

Webb: Should we expect to see Scott’s face on all manner of toys and items over the next few months?

O’Malley: I will just say yes. Yes, probably if you go to malls, you will see something with Scott Pilgrim on it this summer.

Webb: Could you say anything about the upcoming game?

[Full disclosure: while I was Lead Game Designer at one of the Ubisoft sister companies I lobbied to get our studio in on the production when we heard it was announced.]

O’Malley: I can't say too much because it's not my baby and I don't want to spoil any of their surprises. But I was very involved in the process and have done some story work, and I'm really eager to see how it all comes out in the end.

Webb: What’s the roadmap for life after the final volume and the movie?

O’Malley: There are lots more comics to make.

Webb: Any plans for some kind of collected/omnibus version of Scott Pilgrim in the far-flung future?

O’Malley: Nothing seriously in the works yet, but it's something we've talked about. I kinda feel like the entire series would be an unpleasantly massive book. I would prefer to do it in two volumes, or something. I'd like to see it printed larger than the digest sized originals, too. But no concrete plans yet.

Webb: Are you officially a Canadian national treasure now (like Todd McFarlane, The Kids in the Hall, Tim Horton’s)? Do they give you some kind of sash or crown or something like that?

O’Malley: Maybe after the movie comes out. I still feel kind of ignored by my people. I'm waiting for that phone call from the Mayor of Canada.

Webb: Lightning round: Mass Effect 2 or Final Fantasy XIII (this one’s graded on a curve)?

O’Malley: It's not fair to ask me about 300-hour videogames that came out during the making of this book. I literally hadn't turned on my Xbox in 4 months -- I just turned it on this week in order to watch something from Netflix.


If you liked this interview, be sure to check out more of the author's work at Monster In Your Veins

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