In my never-ending quest to get more into comics (because I asked myself, “could I be any more of a geek?” And the answer was “yes.”), I borrowed a pair of books that I suppose are best described as “American Manga.” It’s very cool to see whatever lessons we were supposed to have learned from reading Japanese comics filtered through American (OK, Canadian) eyes in Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life. Dripping with video game references and retro rock band T-shirts, Scott Pilgrim works its characters’ twentysomething (I know, I know, I’m not in that club anymore) angst out through, well, mostly through the same witty banter and awkward situations that you’ve seen in a hundred 90s independent movies, but also through the occasional magical battle. Any comic whose badguy summons “demon hipster chicks” to battle the hero and his garage band (plus assorted groupies/roommates) gets a gold star in my book.

Sharknife, on the other hand, is relatively angst-free, although its hipster quotient seems to be pretty high. Actually, I’m still not clear on what Sharknife is about; I’m pretty sure there’s a plot and some characters in there somewhere, but it seems to be mostly about the action — the semi-l337 dialogue and high-velocity style of drawing left me scrambling to catch up, but I’m pretty sure there were some pretty slick Super Desperation Moves pulled off. Comprehensible or not, though, it was way cool.