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Questions & answers II

Q. How did you meet up with the chillest bros Anamanaguchi?

A. Anamanaguchi are the chiptune band that did the Scott Pilgrim video game music. When we were putting the video game together at Ubisoft, the producer called me up and said they got Paul Robertson on board as the lead artist. i was like ‘whaaaaaat’ and then i suggested they get Anamanaguchi to do the music, and they did. I didn’t realize anamanaguchi were like still in high school or something at the time. I just wanted more music from them. I had been listening to them for a few years, me and Edgar were vibing to them ‘before they were famous’.

Q. Did you go to college for art and if so did you learn most of your technical skills there or were they mostly picked up on the job/through hobby?

A. I didn’t go to school for art. I didn’t learn anything at school. I was a bad student. I dropped out and went away and learned on the job / semi-apprenticed with friends. Refer to history here.

Q. Alright. I need to get this out of my system. BREAD MAKES YOU FAT!?

A. ok, everybody leaves out the rest of the dialogue… look at this!

Bread makes you fat… BUTTER makes you fat.

Eating all carbs and no protein for the rest of your life without even stopping would make you fat. I stand by that statement!!!

Q. When you finished Scott Pilgrim did you have a concrete idea of how Seconds would play out? Or do you have a vague idea of a concept then make it concrete along the way? I guess I’m really asking: what is your thought process when coming up with a new story?

A. To be honest, I came up with the basic idea of Seconds in 2004, a few months after finishing the first scott pilgrim book. There were moments during the series when I wished I could quit scott pilgrim and go off and do Seconds, this other unrelated book, but I was good & patient & I waited until I was finished.

Anyway, over those years (like 6-7 years thinking about it before I started really writing it), the idea grew and evolved along with me. I don’t think I could have done it properly at any time before now, but it’s still the same basic idea from 2004.

My actual process is to have 1 idea, write it down somewhere, then have idea 2, 3, 4, etc (all stemming from the first idea?) and write them all down, and then go back over everything i’ve written and try to figure out what i was trying to say. What is the point? What’s the core of the idea, what are all these little ideas orbiting around? Once you figure that out, that’s kind of the first real step.

Q. Do any of the Scott Pilgrim books (or Lost at Sea) have any personal experiences or contain any characters based on your personal life?

A. This is a really funny question to ask a writer. The answer is… “yes”. There is no way to write without having personal experiences to draw from. If you’re asking more specifically like if certain scenes in the book/movie were things that happened to me… then the answer is also yes?

Q. I loved Scott Pilgrim and am equally excited about the next series you are working on, but considering how big SP has got recently (arguably the most popular it’s ever been) were you never tempted to just tell a new story with the same old characters that everyone is now growing to love? And is this something that you plan to come back to in the future?

A. I have to be honest, if I was doing a new scott pilgrim book in 2012 I could make a LOT of money and get a LOT of tumblr notes (lol). But listen, I’m really married to the idea that stories have beginnings, middles and ends. I set out to make a story that had an ending. I’m always bummed out by manga that goes on for 30+ volumes and just seems to be going nowhere. I set out to tell the story of Scott and Ramona in this limited scope. I think I was only like partially successful all-around, but I at least accomplished my goal.

If I do more Scott Pilgrim stories in the future, it would have to be a ‘new saga’ that had a different focus. I’ve had a few ideas for that, but I don’t have any specific plans to return to SP anytime soon, because I want to start a whole new unrelated series. That’s my plan for immediately after “Seconds” (which is a stand-alone book).

Q. If you could remove any character from Scott Pilgrim, who would it be?

A. i have to say that this is a really weird question. But I do have an answer. It’d be Stacey Pilgrim. She is based on my real life sister (also called Stacey) and I kind of did remove her as the story went on… you’ll notice that she’s barely in the books at all after the first few volumes. I just felt weird about putting my sister out there in the world as the books got more popular. So anyway, I probably would have changed Scott’s sister’s name or something, if I was smarter. I’m dumb.

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