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From "Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour" (vol. 6); color by Dylan McCrae On October 4, 2008, I had the pleasure of conducting a live q&a session with Bry an Lee O Malley as part of the programming slate for the 2008 Small Press Expo. O Ma lley is the creator of the popular Scott Pilgrim series of bookshelf-format comi cs, soon to see its sixth and final volume released on July 20, 2010, along with a motion picture adaptation directed by Edgar Wright, set to premiere in North America on August 13, 2010. Moreover, O Malley is perhaps the most visible face of a young comics-making gener ation liable to draw considerable influence from international comics art, and p ursue means of distribution outside of the classical comic book format his backg round is in webcomics, and his print-format career, est. 2001, traces the meteor ic growth of manga as a presence in English-language North American comics readi ng. Even if we set visual qualities aside, it is striking that so many of O Malley s cited influences are comics and animation material targeted at women and girls; just one reading generation prior, this would have been almost unthinkable, as American comics had by and large abandoned that demographic as insignificant. Yet O Malley also keenly distinguishes between manga traditions boys comics, girls c omics, 70s Golden Age traits, anime-adapted tropes and applies them to a grander, evolutionary metaphor in Scott Pilgrim, a romance comic (and so much more!) abo ut leveling yourself up by understanding your lover s (possibly storied) romantic history, and confronting the negative traits evil ex-boyfriends might represent. G aming action hangs over everything as a looser, atmospheric metaphor for persona l myth-making; video games don t function as literature, not like books, but they ar e eminently applicable in their social role-playing capacity. What follows is a record of our live q&a, transcribed by me, and edited to remov e ums and ahs and hanging sentences. Keep in mind, this was 2008, so the current ly most-recent book of the series, Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe, had not yet b een released. Many thanks to Chris Mautner, aka Audience #8, for recording the pan el (his own thoughts on Scott Pilgrim are hereby commended to your attention), a nd Bill Kartalopoulos, for shepherding the event into reality. *** [JOE MCCULLOCH] Hello, how are you? [BRYAN LEE O'MALLEY] I m not bad. It s been a busy morning. Yeah, I d imagine. So let s start out by experiences with comics? Just earliest Just sort of in general? Yeah. I feel like I always kind of read comics, in some way, y know, words and pictures. But the first real time I thought of comics as comics was when I started readin g Transformers comics, when I was six or seven years old. Because it was the hei ght of the popularity of the cartoon, and I didn t have access to the cartoon show ? Because I lived in the far north, and we didn t have that on our tv, I guess? It s like when we went down to Toronto we could watch it on a tv there because they if you could just tell us about your first
I was the exact right age to be suckered by [laughter] So was I. YTV in Canada. and I think we might have si milar experience. that I know you got heavily into manga and such when you were a teenager. I did. You were born in 79. or ? Ok. Did you get there from watching anime. I mean. but like I said. or at least posting comics online? Yeah. [laughter] Now.could orth. t the as my catch it from Buffalo or something like over across the lake. Maybe beca it was black & white? Like it opened the door to black and white stuff? You didn t get into any of the Image Comics revolution? Oh no. eleven or twelve. in Timmins. you and I. around this time. so my favorite one was Marc Silvestri s what was it called? [VARIOUS AUDIENCE] Cyberforce! And. but I h ad no knowledge of real anatomy and stuff. His first issue. y know. And that w first comic book. where I was young. they didn t broadcast it in Canada. it had like. y know. man. [laughter] So it was just. I drew this really teeth-gritting. just starting high scho ol. From Transformers I went to X-Men. and I was into Marvel. And then from there. Ontario. man. and hot girls. So that was the first time I really saw J apanese animation. that was like what I drew when I was 14. I I was thinking about this actually whil . started playing the Sailor Moon cartoon? Which. And then in my t een years. so I was just really obsessed for the last few years of high school. and all of those sort of mind-reader youth we bought as a teenager. up n no Transformers. obviously. But no. the cool cartoons. and Youngblood #1 came out. I think? Yeah. I guess I was about 16 or so. Yeah. when I was a kid I didn t really have access to it. yeah. which was kind of in its nascence that time. art by Herb Trimpe Now. let me think. hard-boiled. I was. like and I drew girls. boob s on a dude. like I d seen a little bit of Robotech here and there. and everyone was just like. And at ns. like I started reading the Viz Ranma ½ translatio which used to still come in floppy issues. 80? I was born in 81. oh my gaawd! Shadowhawk s cracking people s backs. I believe you started doing web comics. And so t he Sailor Moon thing just kind of blew it wide open for me. uff use from that I got into the manga. [laughter] Yeah. anime in America. we re of essentially the same generation. I guess later I found out was the place that played it the most. 15. So we re pretty close to each other. And so I was really into that. which is kind of like th eir equivalent of Nickelodeon. So I found the comics a drugstore or something. well I think how it started was. dudes with four arms. the manga st kind of somehow led me to more independent American comics again. when you were a teenager.
And I would start taking tr ips to Toronto to hang out with them every couple months or whatever. How did you go about it at that time? From "Glorious You. Matt Fraction those are two big names to come out of that. I got involved in this sort of drawing group commune thing in my area. when I was about 19 or 20. in Ontario. Brian Wood. which I think most pe ople are. And that. especially at that age. [laughter] Now I think in the early 00s. basically. [laughter] A lot of people o f my generation of comics creators. one of those super-lame I didn t have any sparkly text or any of that stuff. especially back the n. sort of deformed versions of themselves.". like. And stupid situations that you would never th ink of unless you d watched a lot of anime. and I ve completely lost a lot of stuff. when posting comics online Oh yeah. what was the question again? Like. but I was never really interested in that. [laughter] And I started drawing thi s one comic before I got on the internet. I think? And it was still a weir d. and then. and I did this co mic strip every day for a couple months. Now when you were making these comics. That was a really huge community at that time. I d turn them kind of into cute. there was a thing on . b ut I figure they could be in this room and stuff. kind of gestated t here. from "Last Shot" #1. but once you get on the internet. always comics about boarding sch ool. Anyway. how did you come by Oni Press? I think y ou were initially drawing the second Hopeless Savages miniseries? [Hopeless Sava ges: Ground Zero] Yeah. I had this thing at that tim e where I could never get past. After that I had some friends through the 90s. but I d not really cracked the idea that manga was cons tructed a certain way. was your interest in manga and anime stro ngly informing you at that point? Yeah. like so. and I posted a third version. Like a lot of people will do caricatures of thei r ugly teacher or whatever in class. So I drew characters with really spiky hair an d big eyes. I just started talking to some people. His first print-format page.e we were driving up yesterday. In the late the internet called the Warren Ellis Forum? Oh yeah! It was created by Warren Ellis. getting it online. Um. more the anime then. colors by Charles Park & Saka Yeah. pencils /inks by Long Vo. A girl running late for school with toast in her mouth. lettering by O'Malley. And it was a forum. so I started a website. What I would do was draw comics just about my friends. before getting bored of it? So I did thirteen pages of one version and thirteen pages of anothe r version. so I first got the internet in 1996. but I was not really very active in that community. for example. and me. I think I completely blanked. it was pretty bad. we re still friends. and doing goofy stuff. I would ju st sort of lurk and occasionally post. webcomic. thirteen pages of a comic. I can kind of work my way up to that. Like. in manga style. Ok. writers and artists both. 2000 Right. I was just interested in the looks. and some of them. wild thing back then.
the same time I was doing Queen & Country. So they were doing a book with them [Last Shot. It s always a good learning experience. a year later. From "Lost at Sea" . or stuff l ike that. which was not good inking. which was cool. while I was there. [NOTE: Speci fically. but I did it. Rich used to be the editor in chief. But I did six strips. It made me see things that writer [Jen V an Meter] could do right and do wrong. But yeah. which was it took most of 2002. I was introduced to him and then I went back home to London. created by Studio XD]. actually I pitched a few things to Oni in 2001. I think. because Dreamwave h ad already kind of domineered. But. befo re Hopeless Savages. I guess. Which dissolved. making a lot of money. And then they offered me to do Hopeless Sa vages. Basically they would just forget. and I m not totally cl ear on the chronology there. Yeah. Something. How did that experience mesh with you? It totally drove me crazy. and it took me way longer than it should have . I think there was some material from that that appe ared on the internet. Because it had cats in it. or was that an online project? Oh.kind of anime fan rec. 2001] for them. If you look at that book. Like $75 a strip. script by Jen Van Meter After that you went into Lost at Sea [published Nov. and that was the first stuff I did for them. I think they paid me mo ney for those. and he was more sort of into my girl y inclinations. and then they d start up again. Which was it never kept up with it. we went to the Chica go Wizard World. at the end of 2001. From "Hopeless Savages: Ground Zero". Now was this the first time you d worked from someone else s script? Yeah. it was good. and I inked an issue of Queen & Country [#5.-type stuff who were doing a comic with what was it calle d? Pat Lee s company? Dreamwave. Oni had been doing these Sunday comics on their website? Yeah. And I have him under my thumb. And then. 2003]. Did you pitch to them from those comics? No. And I learned. And I didn t start it in earnest until after Hopeles s Savages. from each issue I was trying really different things. y know. and it would always drop off. Nov. because I didn t it s not like I was a really good writer when I was 22. I guess? So they liked that. who is now the editor in chief. So that was just kind of a roug h draft version of the story. what it was I think in 2001. so I went down to California in 2001 and helped them work on this book. Dreamwave broke away from Image in 2002 and functioned as an independen t publishing company until 2005. Onta rio. and Lost at Sea was the one that they liked the most. So I didn t start Lost at Sea until January of 2003. but they made me do Hopeless Savage s they didn t make me. which ended up just being with Image central. that was back when Ja mie S. I guess? And that s where I was introduced to James Lucas Jones. [laughter] I m kidd ing. like. to do four issues.] But at that time they were pumping out a lot o f stuff.
but I didn t start writing it properly until early 2004. so to speak. I guess? One thing I ve always enjoyed about the first Scott Pilgrim is that is seems very deliberately paced. little things came here and there. did you write it out beforehand? Did you do a full script ? I do. The eyes came from this friend of mine o n the internet drew a series of pictures of the female reindeer from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. so I just thought that was kind of the way it was done. I kind of feel like it goes back to the Hopeless Savages thing. Yeah. so it s really hard for me to have a timeline of when ideas showed up. what I wanted to do was do some thing that was kind of more something that would entertain them. As to the whole it grows into something else. and it just grew and grew. where I didn t write the script. the stop-motion cartoon? Yeah. yeah. The seven evil ex-boyfriends thing came a little later.Going from one book to another. and so I started d oing it that way myself. Which is weird. Did you how did you plan out that. really. I feel like there was an element of me just kind of wanting to trick people. I had been thinking of S cott Pilgrim since early 2002. I don t know. and the fantasy kind of explodes. 1) All through this time you re continuing to read a lot of comics yourself. because originally it was supposed to be one b ook. What sort of things do you think had an effect on your drawing style? Because your style. Right. Too not too a nything. They didn t see in it what they saw in me when they re hanging out with me and drinking and whatever we re doing. Ever since Lost at Sea I write a full script. Your early exposure to that. I feel like I didn t start to see stuff that looked more like Scott Pilgrim until af ter I d already drawn it. until finally it s just comple te fight scenes. So. I w ould say. 2004]. did any reactions to that book play in a s to what to do with the next project? Only from. and they were ju st like. I used to know. I always have had that. a lot of manga. and then you gradually introduce the subspace from Super Mario [Brothers] 2. I probably still would deny it if somebody asked me in an interview but I don t want to say that. Approaching this book. What kind of and I know you re a very broad reader of certain manga. There was a lot of weird stuff that went into it. where ? I think a lot of it came in little bits here and there. From "Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life" (vol. kind of my friends who I gave a copy of Lost at Sea. So. makes a pretty significant leap between Lost at Sea and Scott Pilgrim. and there s people skating through each other s minds. what s this? Or. they thought it was just too whatever. And I would deny i t. it s not true. in that it begins as a comedic relationship sto ry. y know. from Lost at Sea to the first Scott Pilgrim [Sco tt Pilgrim s Precious Little Life. . like but what was the story going to be before that? I have no idea.
their own iconography that each of them use. Yeah. Like what are the elements that attract you. because we were talking ime called Kaiba. I d read Paradise Kiss. 1948]. we ve seen a flood of translated works. because he had a habit of revising things a lot as he went along. What attracts you to it? I don t know! It s just kind of the badness and naïveté of it. when I first started Scott Pilgrim one of my main influences was Nana. and I think over time those have developed their own speci fic idiom. Maybe not even 20. So it felt like a French-Ja panese comic. which Tok yopop put out in the late 90s no. He was a kid. which is great. And Nana was just in French at the time [published by Delcourt]. it hasn t been ed in America. Just the last few years I ve really been into it. I dunno if any of you ve seen it. Yeah. shonen works and shojo works. and I d be interested in w hat you take from both of those. yeah. And he s a tricky one to pin down. my work has its own share of badness and naïveté I didn t intentionally put in there. like. Actually. there s only about three panels per page and they re full of all these people. on that. intende d for boys and girls. I didn t really get solidly into Tezuka until midway through Scott Pilgrim. art & script by Ai Yazawa (reads right-to-left) Well. which my French is really bad. [laughter] The eyes came from Disney first. Yeah. And the early Tezuka stuff that I ve found has been -whatever. They re not really very technically proficient.They have eyes like that! Yeah! So the eyes are from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Ai Yazawa. that it s just appealing. but it colored my impression of the book. Yeah. so I have one of his books. I think. mean. It felt. which is really weird. So I read the whole thing in French. I forgot to bring that one. that reading it in French was a completely different ex perience. whi ch Viz has started putting out. And i about this an officially releas in this reall it s like he was 20 . like. so it was hard t o read. was it Disney? I don t know. th at you combine? From "Nana". He was. Disney and Fleischer [Studios]. So it s kind of strange to find that kind of work in his early stuff Yeah. called something about the people underground [The Mysterious Underground Men. B ut the thing about Nana that I liked was that it s for slightly older girls. I m interested that you read a lot of works. bad Tezuka Oh yeah. And it felt more foreign than a manga generally does? Cause they were a ll speaking French and using French slang and stuff. and it s just it s not that good. And you know. Viz didn t start putting it out until 2005. and actually we were talking before and you d expressed this affinit y for. but it looks like a cartoon from the 1930s y weird way. more like 2002. you read a lot of Osamu Tezuka work. 17 when he started out. and his drawing s are kind of limp and noodly. almost.
t s sort of about twenty-somethings. I think it s from the 80s. you do a continuous chapter numbering. because it s all crazy. so that has also kind of stayed there. It s from the early 90s [serialized 1990-93]. and this was written in the mid. He s in love with a 17-yea r-old girl. I still feel like 80s stuff. And in my life. and I don t know if you ve seen that. North America. InuYasha] in terms of art style. and on ComiPress they had this translation of this book by a guy named Take o Udagawa. I m sure you ve seen it. I have this one. yeah. and it was tha t as manga went on into the 80s and the financial bubble kind of took over. I definitely have way too many of them. It s creepy. as I ve gone through Scott Pilgrim. but it s kind of like a more grown-up Rumiko Takahashi [Ran ma ½. I brought those. There s another side of manga going on through the Scott Pilgrim books. y know. but p. actually. is kind of an il lusion. Looking at untranslated manga. the placement of the balloons and stuff. And there s these ugly aliens and this hot hero guy whose hair is just like whoosh. and so it has the same sensibility. they re g iant girls going like this. and stuff like that. and it kind of just reflected what I was goin g through in my life at the time. I know you like Knights o f the Zodiac [aka: Saint Seiya. From "Living Game" (scanlated version). by Mochiru Hoshisato. a lot of it is really weird and. [laughter] I just brought a bunch of cra Actually. That strikes me as interesting because I thi nk what we have as manga now in the United States. My favorite one for that is this book called Living Game. I guess. and the art bec ame slicker. I know you have great admiration for 70s manga d o you ever get that impression? Definitely into the 90s. the size of the figures. but it share s some plot elements I guess with Scott Pilgrim.90s . a nd it s kind of like an office comedy but with a romance. beca use if you re reading a comic in English you look at it and just sit there. You ve also mentioned you enjoy a lot of 70s older manga. but in manga form. as a manga collectio n would if it was being serialized. So it s abou t these hot space chicks. It s looking at comics without being distracted. In my robot bag. less idiosyncratic. you can t get sucked into the words and start reading it. Oh yeah. It s really fun. It was called Manga Zombie. but he had this thesis in it. I ve encountered more famous people. without reading the language? It s great. because I don t know if you ve seen this I was looking around on the inter net. art & script by Mochiru Hoshisato (reads right-to-left) That s a good way of putting it. It s called MAP S [created by Yuichi Hasegawa. I used to go to this used ma nga store in Toronto. I remember it s the late 80s because it s around the same time the Nintendo games we re coming out. read is not the right word. This w ay I can flip through it and look at his construction the shapes of the panels. [laughter] It s so weird. How does that wash over you. and I ve become famous to some d egree. Not really. And I really love his paneling. serialized 1985-94]. created by Masami Kurumada. and there s like the spaceships look like girls. serialized 1986-91]. Like. really - . It s what you d call seinen manga [aimed at teenage males or older]. It s about a guy in his mid-20s. there s old friends who ve go ne on to become famous. and MAPS is just this insane space opera from the late 80s. it be came less about stories and more about characters in situations. idiosyncratic. Do you read a lot of manga in Japanese? Well.
not really so much. And a lot of these. and for paying pe ople. to use the chapters more to my advantage. just for myself. or are you as deliberate as you were before? No. just to tell a soft of complete story in each chapter. Do you continue now to use full scripts? Do you work it out by chapter? I do. I think. giving them A living wage. I m if anything more deliberate now. Yeah. And I just want it to be really solid and complete as a work and to call back to the right things in the previous books and to set up the plots in the last book [Scott Pilgrim s Finest Hour. I think. And to the reader s advantage too . Because working on a 200-page book is insane. just sort of that effect. like to have the beats and have it be satisfying by itself. I guess. although it s not a serial? Is that a means of pacing. Not even because I wanted it to be manga. I tried to. especially in the last 20 y ears. I am e ight months from finishing what I m working on right now. [laughter] So do you feel. And I think inevitably there s some improvisation that works i ts way in. Or even for fronting them the money to put together the studios that are u sed to do a lot of weekly stuff. [O Malley laughs] But somehow I ended up liking ss chapter by chapter. or ? It is. concentrating on chapters. and then just wanting to go lie down. have you gotten a lot of feedback from editorial or from readers? Not from editorial. I used to be sistant to the idea of editing. I rew rote it three times. instead of having it to be. What was your thinking in using this almost serialization style in Scott Pilgrim. it boggles the mind everyday. An d I think I started reading it as more of an aesthetic choice. The other thing I m trying to do is. I gue the boo . Right. The chapters are about 30 pages. Because that s how I feel everyday. Oni doesn t really edit me so much. as the volumes have gone on . 2009]. You would i f it was serialized. oh my god. really re to talk it. Because we get these collections and they appear on the bookstore comics shelves . to do eac h chapter and then move on to the next one. in the new book I m working on [Scott Pilgrim vs. 2010]. like. like. so I think they kind of decided just not to me about it anymore. Because I feel like sometimes I really drop the ball on that. rough and tumble. Which I ve never done before. I like to tell the story as the story. even with the siz e of the books and things like that I just wanted it to resemble manga as a pres entation. No. it s marve lous and new. I think they just want to see k as a whole. yeah. It s a balancing act. which is how I want it to be. and we don t have any of the economic basis for serialization. so if you can conceivably do that in a month or so it s really cool. A lot of respons e card-driven work. When you re doing different chapters of Scott Pilgrim. I did write out this book. it s because I don t really break down the chapters the same way.In terms of the delivery system. a lot of manga has been editorially driven work. It took me. there s more improvisation in the story telling. it took me a r eally long time. the Universe. eight months to script the whole thing.
Like I said. there s rom blade of love out of wondering. days. But I thought that would be better. 4) Do you keep up on any American comics these days. It s not really to be taken completely literally. A lot of it s l ooking back to when I was 12. to some degree. a nd it becomes this decade-spanning story. Like. 2007] there s a pretty big artistic leap from the previous ones. and it feels more like I like video games to be. because it s time. 4. [laughter] It s real ly good because you don t have to play it for hours and hours. do you consider the ne xt volume as this is what I want to try and break myself into next ? I think so. who got into this kind of by anim . The airiness you were talking about in vol. and then right after that would be pulling the him. definitely. starting with the second volume. so they ve got more white space. would you say some of it is an expression of your past? Yeah. antic stuff. So I m trying to keep the characters more o pen. and that s it. They re mutually exclusive. They have a lot of older games being revived for that system. Th ere s more space in it. From "Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together" (vol. I m not drawing steadily. I admired how. which is the whole feeling of living your life tha t way. essentially. Yeah. because I noticed they don t do that in manga. Tezuka does that. it s a lot of looking back. in vol. A lot of it is about memory and nostalgia. I m do you do much video gaming these days. it s about memory. Scott Pilgrim has always come off to me as kind of an index It seems a very comprehensive mix of your interests. by the way? of things you enjoy. Just the fact that it takes me a certain amount of time to write the b ook? And during that time I m not really drawing as much. so by the time I pick up the pen again some things grow in unexpected ways. And then I realized that it made a lot of sense. So i t always changes a bit. and it s about this guy s one year of his life. and it s not even just the Nintendo. Which is a bad idea. or any manga-influenced comics these days? Because I think some of the really heavy manga-influenced comics ar e from maybe a later generation than you or I. there starts being flashbacks. When you re finished with one volume. and then there s a Ninja Gaiden kind of showdown. The presentation in Scott Pilgrim of these elements. 4 [Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together. Were you especially looking back on yo ur life at that point? I think so. round shapes. black space. If you want to get graphic nov els finished you can t play Grand Theft Auto. The one thing I do play is my I have a [Nintendo] DS now. It was airier. 3) I ve noticed particularly in vol. 4 I stopped puttin g shading on characters. But I think a lot of it is just sort of a natural ti me thing. a lot of the Not nearly as much as I used to.From "Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness" (vol. Actually my pub lisher bought it for me for my birthday. and they don t g et it s really hard to describe. nights. I feel the new book has just as much of an artistic leap as the last one. There s a lot of I definitely am. A lot of the video game stuff in Scott Pilgrim seems based in the 8-bit Nintendo period. the characters are just fat.
There was an opportunity to write it for something else. Do you have any p articular advice on getting works seen. there s a little of that in there. which kind of sealed the deal. really good I d on t know how to describe it. Way older than me. it ll be seen by way more people than you can even conc eive of. That s how I started. I think I ll probably wind up doing more webcomic s in the future. I was going to think of. Yeah. [laughter] I think his influe nces are completely different from mine. I really like Kaz Strzepek. like. I was doing. As comics expands. and it doesn t take a lot o f effort. He really likes porn. Dragon Ball] kind of comic Yeah. and I think the industry is continuing to expand these days. he had already seen my webcomics. And it s also kind of like Dungeon. so I m not really w ith it. and I think I ve read maybe one of them. He recently listed off his top 12 comic s. like to a young artist? I strongly believe in webcomics. and then that fell though. I d already sent him st uff before I met him in real life. You should buy it. who does King City He s older than me. that s here somewhere. Slump. We did this comic called Bear Creek Apartments a couple months ago. I met him I think in 2001. and I think she was planning to draw it . He s at the Bodega booth. and it s really easy to show to people. Just having yo urself on the internet is really cheap and manageable. she had already written it. webcom ics. It s almost like an Akira Toriyama [Dr. [laughter] Yeah. It s a no-brainer to me. And then if the right person see s it. and it s about these little dudes in this fantasy kingdom and there s this rebellion. or was that a different collaboration? She did. but it s really weird and really individual. or if it catches on. and it caught on like nothing else like I d ever done quite like that. Did she do a full script for you. [l aughter] He has a comic called The Mourning Star. It got seen by millions of people a day. Are there any younger artists these days that you follow around. it s really. His book is square. He u sed to do these porn comics. Do you get anything from looking at those works? Do you have any specifics? I haven t read a lot of them. you should do that. he s into Moebius and that school. like. or however he pronounces his stupid name. or is the const raints on your time too much? Well. when I met James at Oni. the French comics [created by Joann Sfar & Lew is Trondheim]. Brandon Graham. A lot older. there s a lot of different venues for creators to get stuff out. He s pretty heavy into European influences. I also moved to a town where we don t have a comics store. Yeah. On that particular comic you were working with [spouse] Hope Larson. and I ve never read any of that stuff.e? Yeah.
it s all erased. delve too deep into it. it finally got done. Edgar Wright is the director [audience member laughs] Sorry. . Michael Cera is in i t. like why is it that Wallace puts up with so much of Scott s crap? [laughter] Like. It s true. like Mike Cera. it s not a rumor. I noticed as the series goes on there s some kind of increasing prevalence of themes of same-sex attraction and love. Becaus e you could probably get way more insight into it than I really have. [la ughter] But. Because a lot of stuff like that is. th at s all I ve got. ah. s o it s been around for a while. And a little bit of computer graphics. I drew the girls kissing because I thought it would b low certain people s minds. a lot of bu zz about the movie. and I m especially curious about the true nature of the relationship between Sc ott and Wallace. [AUDIENCE #2] Could you give us anything about the movie buzz? Like. I support the gay rights movement. that was one of the reasons I w anted to do this comic in the first place. if ther e is one? But I think what I produced looks ok. I really like w atercolors. I m sorry. I can t. I m trying to remember everyone s name. it just kind of trickled out. I ve always wanted to do a watercolor comic. Simon Pegg is not the director. I don t know if you actually made a statement? [laughter] Sorry. So. ok. As for Wallace and Scott. I don t think I used them in the right way. Let s see I think we ll turn it over to the audience. like. and she was really mad at me for the entire eight months. I suppose. But I think you re correct. I think we ll turn this over to the audience for some questions.for herself originally. That comic was watercolor. and Ramona s past with Roxanne Richte r. Oh. wh ich is really bad. you know. actually. You there! [AUDIENCE #1] Hi. I just keep s tuff for fun. And I noticed this in the way that Knives and Kim Pine share a moment. It took me eight months to draw 16 pages. Just anyone. script by Hope Larson You used some interesting color effects there. what are his motivations? Is it just kind of protective or is there something more he feels for him? Uh [laughter] I feel that you should write an essay on that or something. And to learn. Were you experimenting with color in that? Yeah. Edgar Wright is the director. Like right now. a lit tle bit of crayon because I have a box of crayons. the option was signed in 2005. From "Bear Creek Apartments". it s just I used to have a gay roommate. y know. it was a lot of fun. Right. Um. But the timing was weird. and Mary Elizabeth Winstead is in it. And I want to do more I started doing watercolors a few years ago just to make money when I was poor. she was already starting her next book. so I offered to draw it. I thought it d be really cool as an exp erimental sort of thing. Or whatever? I don t really have that much insight into it. Yeah. and I I d on t want to. What time is it? It s almost a quarter of four. and that s all I can tell you. and Simon Pegg as director? Yeah. You can pic k. [laughter] I didn t really have a deeper motivation for that.
But my priorities lie elsewhere I think.How do you feel about feel about it moving to the next medium. Which I never really did. Nothing against it. I don t think they have as much in common as people think they have. and I don t think my art was th at strong. [laughter]. so when he beats the guys. And I didn t particularly want to see it animated. from eel it s constraining your story. so they end up being three pages long. [laughter] I m not really into animation anymore. y know. third an d fourth ones he kind of eludes that final fight. It s not really a good te ndency. Because a lot of this is a big fat metaphorical construct for certain thin gs. So. but in t his particular case I don t see any way how it could have gotten made if I wanted it to be animated. So it s just one element among many. like. the evil ex-boyfriends. and he does and he beats him in the end. and what was the thinking behi nd that? I really like being anti-climactic. y know. I like drawing fights. So it s I like fighting but I don t really like I mean I don t like fighting. I feel like. or do you feel. [laughter] It s so much work! I don t really want to draw that much [AUDIENCE #6] Ok. I don t think especially when this de al had started I had only finished the first book. it s suppos ed to be real people. do you f No. Yeah. where the final basketball s cene is seven volumes long or something? I do. So I d like to see it with real people. It s going ok. I feel like it has no relation to my story. 5) [JOE MCCULLOCH] I like that a lot of the evil ex-boyfriends are kind of defeated by their hubris. I mean intellectually. [AUDIENCE #4] What are you doing after Scott Pilgrim? Uh. I m onl y interested in comics. sorry. The next one has more of a final confrontation. But. So that was one of the reasons why I wanted to do it. mostly. and they di sappear and turn into coins or 1ups or whatever - . like - or. the comic figures just sort stand in for real p eople. If I told you it d tot ally change by the time it came out. I feel like as it goes on I m less and less int erested in the concept of evil ex-boyfriends. [laughter] It seems like they sho uld. It s not really a logic al reason. From "Scott Pilgrim vs. and I m not interested in moving t o film. I li ke the idea that comics have fighting in them. but . Do you ever feel the urge to do. the Universe" (vol. [AUDIENCE #3] Do you think that it would be better if they used the animation me dium instead of film? No. and no one asked any way. I can t tell you. which is no t enough. [laughter] It s very deeply in the works. but I don t like taking up a lot of the book with fights. but in the second. it s a feeling thing. a Slam Dunk. you set up that Scott has to fight the evil exes. I m sticking with it. it s about it s not supposed to be about cartoon people. [AUDIENCE #5] In the first Scott Pilgrim. but [laughter] I don t know. And. almost all the time.
and she wants to kind of tr ansition more into writing for other people. or was it too traumatic? It was traumatic for her. But I might! [laughter] It s. and she wa s. I think they re a good place for people to kind of start. mostly. y know. it had the twist thing going for it. because I was just inching forward. [ laughter] No. I know you ve been in some anthologies wh at are your feelings on anthologies versus putting something on the web for peop le to access? I just turned one down. mass murderer ] I m kidding. I guess. W ill you all be working together. is that tr . yeah. like. [JOE MCCULLOCH] Actually. and then you see something that s just 16 pages and it was complete. script by Hope Larson The storytelling and the art were perfect. and maybe I can conceivably answer the question in the series. She s a good writer. Because there s not really I feel like there s a lot of them lately. on that point. I did do it. [laughter From "Bear Creek Apartments". [AUDIENCE #7] While we re on the subject of Scott Pilgrim. But I m not. Are they dead? Um Did he kill them? [laughter] I ve actually been asked that before. I guess. she s a really good writer. Sorry I m not good at answering questions. Bear Creek Apartments was brilliant. and Thank you.This is going to be a big question. but you also had a lot of insight into the character. I don t ue? I would say there are more. it w as just you read a lot of anthologies and things and you see people take their p ages and they go nowhere with it. Image alone has like Oh yeah. I don t remember if I think I just ran away. Five to ten Yeah. And tightly I mean it was a 16-page story that was a complete thing. [whispers] it s a metaphor! [laughter] I don t know. it was funny I mean. [high-pitched voice] do you want to do it or not? [laughter] But I did wa nt to do it. ah. And it was fun for me to kind of apply what I wanted in Sc ott Pilgrim to something that s not Scott Pilgrim for the first time in a while. and I would like to do more stuff with her eventually. I don t I don t want to answer. and there was the potential for it to be. which is that s her first step in tha t direction. so much more than what it was. and the story was written great. because the series isn t done. Sorry .
Kid C hameleon. I mean. I feel like I there s this weird give and take between what they want of me and what I want of them. I d just like to ask you. 2006]. manga or comics. [AUDIENCE #8] Can you talk a little bit more about your choices as far as using video game tropes? Because I think at the surface there s initially that kind of n ostalgic appeal. but I also think obviously you re aiming for more than that. Well. I think the first step is to try a nd tell stories about your own experiences rather than the girls with toast in t . even just to yourself. which wouldn t necessarily trick you in to believing that you lived them. It didn t last very long. and where the video game stuff comes from. consolidated dream version of what I was just d oing while I was drawing the book. was all kind of a twisted. y know. I always talk about like how I used to just kind of blur my memories of what really happened and. video games are like a self-insertion kind of storytelling. And I guess in Scott Pilgrim that approach is just another way of telling the story of your own life. I guess? If I had a short story I w ould probably just put it on my website. I m not quite done exploring it. like. The life stuff. Especially for stuff that s n ot going to get into. I just wanted to explore that. it s like you d id live through it in some weird way. and the band was not really anything like mine. like. Where does the playing in a band stuff come from? I played in a band at the time. you were Mega Man for a while. 3) [JOE MCCULLOCH] Since I think we re kind of running low on time here. I m g onna be staying up for months. so I was kind of curious as to what you pick and w hy. But that s where that stuff came from. an d you kind of interact with them a lot differently than you do with anime. and sometimes it jus t doesn t work out. because it was really trickling. because of course video games are kind of a different narrative entirely. So a lot of the friends are sort of based on my friends. I don t really know what I would s ay about that. to u se them kind of as metaphors. And like I said earlier. what happened in Resident Evil. but are the way that you interpret them.anywhere else other than the web for short stories. so I think my lecture on t he topic is being explored in Scott Pilgrim. being at the Small Press Expo and all. the Toronto stuff. the fri ends. where y ou re the protagonist. Right. and it was just kind of ridiculous. what do you think about the c ontinuing effect of manga on people getting into small press comics? What would be your advice on synthesizing what they read in manga into what they re doing wit h their own comics? You still see a lot of people drawing manga that looks exactly like something ou t of a shojo magazine or whatever they re into. A nd so these crazy things that happen are not necessarily the things that literal ly happen. My band was more lik e the band in the third book [Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness. but they re just as valid as an experience. you played that game. and that just gives me so mu ch mental trauma. it just it s not worth it. So everything is sort of presented from Scott Pilgrim s own worldview-thing for the most part. the [Best] American Comics this year. From "Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness" (vol. I don t really f eel the need to participate in them anymore. li ke. [laughter] So I wanted to extend that to pixel games. I also feel like if someone asks me to be in an anthology I ha ve to come up with something specifically for that. I just like playing music with my friends. trying to come up with something. So my band had seven people in it for a while. were I to give a lecture on the topic. Like if you experienced playing Mega Man 3 when you were 12 years old. [AUDIENCE #9] We ve heard where the romance stuff comes from. the reason I start ed writing Scott Pilgrim was just to entertain my friends.
. (and the same with that king city guy) It just seems like it s ripping on mainstream american cartoon takes on big eyed manga. The comics Internet in two minutes Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resource s Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment says: June 28. 2010 at 12:52 pm Thanks for clueing us in Mang. I ve drawn pi ctures of myself with toast in my mouth. to blazes with school.M.the cartooning wasn t what I expected at all . but now that O Malley has green lit video games. For the re cord Cartoon network was doing this in 1998. how this is some kind of revolution. and then I started trying to tell stories about my experiences. Unless you are a girl with toast in your mouth. Reply vollsticks says: June 28. Y know. *** 8 Responses to A Conversation With Bryan Lee O Malley versation With Bryan Lee O Malley SPX 2008 says: June 27.] Read it at Comics Comics.....heir mouth. I feel like that s sort of been my growth p attern. [.. so [laughter] But yeah. I guess.. 2010 at 11:28 am [. 2010 at 11:07 am Everytime I look at his style I can t help but think of Powerpuff girls. No. Everyone is talking about how this is a mix of american and manga style.] SPX 2008 RADIOMARU. 2010 at 9:28 pm [. Reply Comics A. try and relate it to your own experience. you should pl ay video games. I think O Malley has i ntegrated his influences with his own thing really smoothly those covers are still f . Just for the traditional final question: what message would you like to give to your readers? I thought it was going to be. it s new . [Comics Comics] [.] Creators Joe McCulloch transcribes a Q&A session with cartoonist Bryan L ee O'Malley from the 2008 Small Press Expo. its trophy unlocking time! Reply mang says: June 28.] Reply Frank Santoro says: June 28. 2010 at 2:09 pm I was really put off by the covers of those books but a friend more-or-less FORC ED me into reading a couple of volumes .. like. and those characters kind of just evolved. who would you have dinner with? [laughter] Wha t message? Don t play video games? [laughter] Work hard instead. and I think if you can start doing that successfully then the drawings will kind of follow.com A Con Reply biLL says: June 28. I used to try to draw exactly like Sailor Moon. 2010 at 3:43 am what great advice at the end! video games have way too serious a hold on my free time. His line s a lot less slick and livelier in the interiors.
2010 (Of course. Anyway. big eyed begets a lot of variations. 2010 at 2:35 pm Actually. not their usage of sur face-level anime/manga signifiers.80s (just off the top of my head. where the characters were called the Whoopass Girls. Craig McCracken was working in the powerpuff st yle since his student days at CalArts in 1992. I for the sake Reply says: at 2:40 pm m setting aside the stated RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER connection of digression ) . though! Reply joe mcculloch says: June 28. I don t think SCOTT PILGRIM and KING CITY look much alike at all. the big-eyed look would date back at least as far as Ben Dunn s early stuff in the mid.uckin atrocious. Reply joe mcculloch June 28. while Frank Miller was working through Goseki Kojima s gekiga influence in RON IN starting in 83. there s probably some earlier preciden t). to clarify the record. mechanics and format. There s a long history of that in NA comics. But there were NA comics pursuing an anime-manga style befor e that. even just sticking to superficialitie s like. I don t eve n think I d use that designation for Brandon Graham s stuff what s particular about the works in any case is their themes.