Comics212.net: So Scott Pilgrim 5 is coming out in February?
Bryan Lee O’Malley: Yes. Feb 4th in-store.
Comics212: Your art’s been getting tighter and tighter with every volume, in my humble opinion. Do you think your artistic style or ideology has evolved as you’ve worked on the series, or do you think it’s more that your abilities have been honed to the point where you put down on paper exactly what’s been in your head all along?
BLOM: I think it’s a little of both. I definitely am more comfortable with my abilities – I’m at the point where I can usually put a page together in a satisfying way, and draw the things I need to draw. My Inking is still pretty variable, but ink and brushes and paper are so fickle, so I like to blame the tools.
I think my “style goals” have also evolved (or developed from nothing), but it’s all in tandem. Can’t have style if you can’t execute it properly.
Comics212: I understand that you’re not taking on any other projects until Scott Pilgrim is done (commendable!). But if you could draw one thing that wasn’t SP right now, what would it be?
BLOM: Honestly, nothing. I have a few ideas for future projects, but I’m enjoying the gentle sound of them percolating in the back of my head. Part of the Great Experiment of Scott Pilgrim is to increase my overall abilities to the point where I can start future projects from a totally different place, craft-wise, than where I started Scott Pilgrim.
Comics212: Not that you get a say, but, as a dude who’s got a movie coming out based on his comic book, would you be happier if the trend of big comics-to-film adaptations stayed popular through the SP film release? Or would you rather it died-down and cleared the deck a little so that the Scott Pilgrim film was judged independent of other efforts?
BLOM: I really think the trend/wave of comics adaptations has little in common with Scott Pilgrim, aesthetically or culturally. All I can think of is superheroes, and while it uses a little bit of that language, Scott Pilgrim is much broader, and the movie studio talks about it in those terms (like “four-quadrant hit!”). Really, though, I feel like the wave has already crested, we’re doomed, and Scott Pilgrim will probably be the last major studio picture before we all go to the salt mines.
Comics212: How do you feel about much of your oldest work remaining online in various places? I’ve seen you give shit to Halliday or whoever when they bring up ‘Winged Misa‘ or ‘World End Solution‘ but you do archive that stuff. Is it tempting to revisit your past characters and ideas?
BLOM: I like to keep my old stuff around (some of it) for those people who are interested in looking at my development as a creator, or whatever. Aspiring cartoonists can look at my stuff from ten years ago and realize that it’ll all be okay and they can’t possibly suck that bad. And I give shit to the people who bring up my old stuff because they’re usually bringing it up in order to give me shit.
Is it tempting to revisit? Kinda yes and kinda no. A lot of old ideas just naturally get recycled or organically re-created in new things. I mean, elements of Scott Pilgrim date back to high school. But then, many aspects of my unfinished works were just derivative of bad influences, like superficial cues from anime or video games, that sort of thing.
I think the germs of the unfinished works, and sometimes characters and titles, are things that I keep in the back of my head in case they ever apply again.
So, yes and no.
Bryan Lee O’Malley used to live with me, but now he lives in North Carolina. He’s the creator of Scott Pilgrim, a character and series of graphic novels published by Oni Press. His website is radiomaru.com. I will be 5 Questionsing more creators soon.