Scott Pilgrim Creator Talks About Manga Inspirations

posted on by Gia Manry
Sailor Moon, Ranma 1/2, Range Murata were Bryan Lee O'Malley's early influences

In an interview with's Deb Aoki, Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O'Malley spoke about the manga and anime that influenced his work. He cited Sailor Moon as his entry point, watching it on television with his younger sister. He then recalled buying "floppies" of Ranma 1/2, which VIZ Media (then called Viz Communications) released in comic book-style single-chapter volumes.

O'Malley also discussed the difficulties of being a manga-influenced creator in North America. Asked how he was able to "escape the label of being an 'original English language manga creator'" O'Malley recalled reading a post on a forum in which a user complained about Scott Pilgrim being shelved with manga. He suggested that the shelving was due more to the trim size of the books than the content, which he said was intentional. Having once tried to emulate the style of artists like Range Murata (Last Exile, Blue Submarine No. 6) and Tsukasa Kotobuki (Saber Marionette J), he decided he didn't have the technical proficiency for it. He then joked that he could be like Rumiko Takahashi, if he "[had] 15 assistants like she does!"

Scott Pilgrim is currently available in 13 languages, but according to O'Malley, agents are only now attempting to get the series licensed in Japan. Throughout the rest of the interview O'Malley spoke about the origins of the Scott Pilgrim movie, comparisons to superhero comics, and advice for would-be comics creators.

Bryan Lee O'Malley has been active in the North American manga scene, drawing a cover of VIZ Media's magazine Shojo Beat and commenting on Tokyopop's controversial Manga Pilot Program pact.

Image © Bryan Lee O'Malley

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