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NYCC 09: Oni Press Presents Scott Pilgrim vs. the Panel

Posted by Sarah LeBoeuf On February - 8 - 2009

The line for Oni’s Scott Pilgrim panel is impressively huge. Luckily, I just jumped to the front of the line (thanks press pass and convention volunteers!) so that I could get a front row seat. Hit the jump for all the news from the Scott Pilgrim panel.

-It’s a packed panel room and the crowd is excited for things to begin. Writer/artist Bryan Lee O’Malley comes onstage to massive cheers.

-The Q&A begins. Bryan talks about the origins of Scott Pilgrim. Part of it came from being in a band and other life experiences, part of it came from his relationship with Oni, and part of it came from being about to get married and wanting to commit to a longer series.

-Six has always been the plan for the number of Scott Pilgrim digests.

-What sort of preparation went into designing the characters and story? “Probably not enough.”

-How many drafts does he do of each script? Two or three, but a lot of changes happen between one and two.

-The tone of Scott Pilgrim has gotten more somber, was that planned? Yes.

-Bryan says that all of the cultural references in Scott Pilgrim are a way of getting all of that stuff (video games and other aspects of geek culture) onto the page and out of his life. It didn’t really work.

-Scott Pilgrim was very much based on Bryan’s life when it started, is that still the case? It’s gotten a bit more fictionalized; Bryan is a professional writer, after all.

-How deliberate is the look of the series? Is the style a choice, or just the way Bryan makes art? He would like to think it is a choice and that he would be able to do many different styles.

-He refers to the current point in the Scott Pilgrim story as the “second act low point”. Screenwriting references! Love it.

-What are Bryan’s feelings toward Scott? “I still really like Scott. I think he has a little of me in him. I think he has a little of everyone in him.”

-He wants all of the characters to have “more or less” a complete story arc.

-Were there any characters that surprised Bryan by how large or important they became? Yes, particularly Kim.

-Someone asks about the upcoming Scott Pilgrim movie. It has been optioned by Universal, it’s starting filming in April, and Bryan is involved as a script consultant. “Hopefully it will be a good movie. I don’t know.”

-What is the inspiration for the “seven evil ex-boyfriends” that Scott must defeat? His former girlfriend (now wife) telling him that she dated three guys named Matt, and Bryan thought that it would be an awesome story if they were evil.

-Someone asks about the use of music in the book, since there are a lot of bands in the series. He writes some of the “songs” fairly quickly, but wants the readers to use their imaginations about how awesome they are.

-Any plans for full-color reprints? It’s been talked about, Bryan was against it at first but is coming around to the idea now. Nothing is concrete, but it’s an option.

-Gideon was always planned to be the last ex-boyfriend, and Bryan has big plans for him.

-When he first started Scott Pilgrim, he was not a “big famous dude” and was just writing for himself and his friends, so the characters he based on real-life people are made fairly obvious (like Scott’s sister Stacey being based on his sister Stacey, because he thought it was funny).

-Bryan is a big fan of manga, but wouldn’t call Scott Pilgrim manga. “But you can call it whatever you want.” It is manga-derived, though. “It wants to be a manga in a lot of ways, but it’s not.”

-Bryan often “breaks the fourth wall”, so to speak, just because he likes to. There’s no real direct inspiration behind it.

-One of the good things about drawing so many girls in nice clothes in Scott Pilgrim is that “it always gave me an excuse to be looking at girls.”

-Someone asks about his first memories of the comic industry. The first thing he can remember is lettering a comic for a friend back in 2001, which helped him break into the industry.

-Someone addresses the rumor that portions of the movie would be animated. “I don’t really know what he’s talking about.” It’s too early to say anything about that.

-He talks about his wife, cartoonist Hope Larson: “She’s awesome.” Everyone applauds. Bryan says “Yay!” They’ve worked together before, and he hopes to do so again.

-Does he imagine the bands in the series sounding like any real bands? He didn’t really have any specific ideas.

-Does he show his early drafts of scripts to people? He does, but didn’t until about the fourth book. “All writing is rewriting.”

-The fanbase and popularity of Scott Pilgrim has been a gradual build, so Bryan has had time to adjust and “stay normal in my head.”

-Michael Cera has been announced to play Scott Pilgrim in the movie, but Bryan can’t really talk any more about that. “He’s working out… I think he’s capable of a lot more than people give him credit for.” He also says that Cera did a parody of the Christian Bale freakout and that we should look it up.

-Scott Pilgrim was influenced by video games; would it ever be a video game? “The problem now is that since it’s a movie, it would be a crappy movie video game, so we’re trying to not have that happen.” But they are talking to developers. He just doesn’t want it to be stupid “like that Dragonball the Movie game.”

-Bryan has at least three ideas for future projects. “I’ll be back.”

-Someone asks Bryan what other comics he would recommend. He reads lots of manga, “I tend to order a lot of stuff from Japan because I’m really pretentious.”

-Bryan doesn’t know yet who Scott is really meant to be with. As for Kim, “Whatever.”

-Would he do more Scott Pilgrim stories after the last volume is done? If he does, it would probably be focused on one of the other characters, not Scott.

-What will we see first, movie or sixth book? “I think sixth book, I think I can outpace Hollywood.” He’s not very far along on the sixth book yet.

-A guy who keeps asking questions asks if he has any fun stories regarding fanboys. “You’re a fun story!”

-Will we see Evil Scott again? “There’s another book!” Bryan refers to that Scott as “the Nega-Scott.”


5 Responses so far
  1. alice Said,

    Thanks! This write-up definitely made up for not being able to go in person.

    Posted on February 9th, 2009 at 12:34 PM

  2. What I Did This Weekend: NY Comic Con Said,

    [...] was good times at the panel, but you can probably get more details elsewhere. Good times at the interview, I kinda liked finding out that Michael Cera is now working out to [...]

    Posted on February 9th, 2009 at 1:20 PM

  3. » Blog Archive » NYCC 09: Sunday Recap Said,

    [...] hands-on time with Wanted: Weapons of Fate. Then it was time to hit some panels: Marvel/Activision, Scott Pilgrim, and Mondo Marvel. There was no time for lunch, but we did actually get to hit the floor to do some [...]

    Posted on February 9th, 2009 at 2:26 PM

  4. Sarah LeBoeuf Said,

    @ alice:

    Glad you liked it! Scott Pilgrim is awesome and hilarious, but I had no idea it had such a huge following. Good for Bryan and Oni, though.

    Posted on February 9th, 2009 at 8:11 PM

  5. » Blog Archive » NYCC 09: The Ultimate Wrap-up and Photo Dump Said,

    [...] Panel Gears of War Panel Gabe and Tycho Spotlight Mondo Marvel Scott Pilgrim vs. The Panel DC Universe Marvel’s Cup O’Joe DC Nation Marvel: X-Men Dark [...]

    Posted on February 16th, 2009 at 11:51 AM

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