A few weeks ago, right before all the San Diego Comic-Con madness kicked into full-gear, I was in Toronto to check out a pretty special event: the midnight release party for Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour at The Beguiling. The arrival of this volume, the sixth and last in Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim graphic novels series from Oni Press was cause for celebration for many reasons.
For one thing, it meant that fans would finally find out if Scott would defeat the last and most powerful of Ramona's evil exes, Gideon Graves. But on top of that, the release of the final volume of this video game and manga-inspired romantic comedy also marked the start of a multi-week publicity blitz to promote the August 13 theatrical release of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, the feature film adaptation of the entire 6-volume series as directed by Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shawn of the Dead).
So Toronto welcomed back its favorite comics creator with a bash that attracted over 2,000 fans who enthusiastically and peacefully filled Markham Street in front of The Beguiling as they enjoyed the live bands, played the video game demos by the Hand and Eye Society and voted for their favorite Scott Pilgrim cosplayers in the costume contest. Actress Ellen Wong (who plays Knives Chau in the film) was also there, but the main attraction was O'Malley.
Hundreds stood in line for the chance to see, greet and get their books and posters autographed by O'Malley, who signed at two sessions: one earlier in the evening and one after midnight. To his credit, O'Malley signed over 1,250 items and didn't leave until almost 4 am, so that no fan left disappointed.
Check out my Scott Pilgrim 6 Midnight Release Party photo gallery, featuring shots from the early evening through the costume contest and until well after midnight with the post-release autograph session.
Also, check out my recent interview with Bryan Lee O'Malley and see how he explains the manga and anime influences behind Scott Pilgrim and his advice for aspiring comics creators.
Photo credits: © Deb Aoki, © Bryan Lee O'Malley