I am not a fan of alternate covers of comic books. I get the reasoning, of course (buy more copies, make more sales, pay employees, rinse, lather, repeat). But I’m not a fan of them. I bought my issue of the comic I want to read. Its quite rare I will buy another copy of the very same comic unless it is as a gift to someone else, a very very very VERY very special issue, or I’m having BBQ right after my trip to the comic shop. (I do love me some ribs).
So where do I stand on color editions of formally black and white runs of comic books? Hmm… see, now I need some kind of example. You know what? I’ll go with the title of this GUARDicle and talk about the Color Editions of Scott Pilgrim, written and drawn by Bryan Lee O’Malley, that have been coming out. Yeah, that was in no way planned, because you and I? We’re having a nice little internet text chat, where you can’t respond until you read this whole thing. Okay, actually that’s not true. You could just skim down and leave a comment about my buffoonery and how I wear too much plaid. Please don’t do that. I am a fragile little man.
Anyways, I was writing about the Color Editions of Scott Pilgrim. The most recent being the Volume 3 edition: Scott Pilgrim & The Infinite Sadness.
I don’t want to go into the story too much, but for the uninitiated, Scott Pilgrim is a story told in six volumes about a slacker who falls in love with a girl and wants to date her, but to do so, he has to fight her seven evil ex-boyfriends. Its comic book meets manga meets video games. And the synopsis I just gave you? Doesn’t even come close to the scope of just how far this story unfolds. It really is so much more well-written than that basic synopsis deserves to become.
Quick Nate Tangent: Okay, no seriously, dig it. This story delves into actual human flaws and character development. The main character, Scott Pilgrim, is actually something of a jerk. No bones about it. But I was surprised by how many of my friends actively hated Scott. I never did though. I saw him for the very misguided and selfish person that he was from the very beginning. He never means harm, he’s just a coward. But that’s what makes him someone I can relate to so well. Because I was (and still am) a coward in a lot of respects. Being an adult? Making decisions that affect not just random people, but your friends and loved ones? I’d rather run. But this story is about learning how to stand tall. To see how you messed up, acknowledge that you messed up, and then do something about it. And what’s really interesting about this story, what touched and affected me, was that the chances for mistakes never stop coming, but neither do the chances to redeem yourself. Anyways, that was my “quick” tangent about the soul of the story of Scott Pilgrim.
There have been two other color editions of Scott Pilgrim.
If you are a traditionalist, then you probably won’t pick up these color editions (even if they’re all badass and hardbound!). You’ll probably want to buy the original black and white versions. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that decision. I mean, those were the editions I read, and look how I turned out!
….okay, that was a bad example, I admit that. But you see, that is the magic of Scott Pilgrim. Mistakes = Made. Redemption = Just Around the Corner. Its okay to love the original run. The black and white is even more reminiscent of manga.
At this point, it seems pretty obvious where I stand concerning whether or not you should fork over the cash for the color editions of Scott Pilgrim. And I am heartily FOR it. These color editions are excellent. Not only are the colors by Nathan Fairbairn exceptional, but they actually add a whole new dimension to the story. And each color edition has increasingly awesome bonus material by O’Malley himself. The latest edition has two short comics, deleted scenes (fully colored), and lots of notes. And the past editions even had photo to panel comparisons. These new prints have a lot going on for them. I highly recommend buying them.
Quick Nate Tangent: Huh. That colorist’s first name is so charming and masculine. I bet it even smells like thunder, victory, and gunpowder. Nathan Fairbairn. Nathan. “Naaaaaathan”… I wonder if I’ll ever realize why I like it so.
And for those of you who were already sold, but wanted more. More. MORE!! Well you’re in luck, because there is a special limited run of each of the Color Editions. They’re called the “Evil Editions” and have even more bonus material than can be measured by any known science or math. I’m lying of course, its easily measured because its a limited run of 1000. Haven’t you been listening? The first thing you should know about the Doctor is… The Doctor lies. So if I’m not even the Doctor, I must lie a whole lot. Anyways, the Evil Edition is like so:
Hunt them down for your collection as you see fit. I don’t know if there are any more of the Volume One or Two Evil Editions kicking around, but you at least have a great shot at the 3rd Evil Edition. Either way, they look friggin’ awesome. Buy either these or the Color Editions! They are worth the dollars.
And for those wondering what else Bryan Lee O’Malley has in store for us…
Not much is known other than the title being “Seconds” which is also the name of the restaurant in the story. The story is about the restaurant and its employees as they do… stuff…? Its due out in 2014, so just kick back and read your copy of the Color Editions that I’ve been ranting on and on about till then.