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Advance Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Color Edition

A comic review article by: David Fairbanks

 

From the very first page, if you look closely, you can tell that this isn't the same Scott Pilgrim vs. The World that you've seen before.

Obviously it's in color, we've already covered that, but that's not all that's new. One thing that I missed in my review of the first volume is that O'Malley had touched up or redid some sections. Knowing to keep an eye open for it now, it hit my right in the face after I cracked the spine.

 

 

Don't take that as criticism, though. This is a cartoonist going back and cleaning up some stuff from when he was creating the book to be printed in black and white, when he was clearly not as skilled as he is now. It's work that had to be done. Take a look at the old page; the original inks, especially those around Ramona's face, were heavy and would not have given Fairbairn much room to work with. It would've looked messy at best, and I know I wouldn't have noticed a difference if I weren't looking for changes with both books open.

 

 

I praised Fairbairn before for offering palettes that bring a visual depth to Scott Pilgrim that wasn't there before, adding day/night color cues for instance, and he's back at it in Volume 2. It still looks great. When O'Malley tried to show night time in the first printing, it was really dark and muted, but the recoloring just, well, it adds more.

 

 

I don't really know what else to say there. I can only tell you that Nathan Fairbairn is one of the best in the business at what he does so many times. Here are some more examples of pages that benefited greatly from the recoloring. Creepy stalker heartbroken Knives gets a layer of red that provides the disconnect that the soundtrack gave for this scene in the film, and again we get the wonderful contrast between dark and light panels with Scott's phone call from Envy. There's more where this came from too, but I thought these were some particularly stand-out examples.

 

 

Now, let's talk about bonus features. I didn't have the luxury of reviewing them the last time, so they were a pleasant surprise when I got the physical book. This time, I've got the whole thing, including O'Malley's 8-page Monica Beetle short that I had never heard of.

 

 

It's short, a little clever, and a little in the vein of Scott Pilgrim, taking something kind of ordinary (a guy with a thing for his shy coworker) and injecting insanity into it (aliens!). Parts of his style feel much more amateurish than his work in Scott Pilgrim, but you can see already how he benefits from having a third color to work with in addition to black and white.

 

 

And, of course, we get some more behind the scenes stuff from O'Malley's sketchbook that he kept around that time. You can see him playing around with colors, with different scraps of paper and coloring in some of his pieces with markers. For those who want to check out Toronto Scott Pilgrim style, we get another glimpse into the real locations used in the volume as well, from Casa Loma to Lee's Palace.

I'm still not keen on the price point, but $24.99 is clearly here to stay. It's a book that's certainly worth it, though, I just think it might prohibit hesitant buyers from diving into what is clearly an upgrade to one of the best comic series that has been released in the last decade.

To be clear on my rating, it's about the recoloring and reproduction offered here. That's not to say I don't think that this volume deserves five stars, just that it wasn't my concern for the review.

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