Moderator Scott McCloud began Thursday (July 23) afternoon's Bryan Lee O'Malley Comic-Con panel with a slightly snide joke about how he planned to talk comics for 40 minutes with the "Scott Pilgrim" creator and then people in the crowd would be able to spend 20 minutes asking movie questions. 

Actually, McCloud misjudged the crowd and with more than 15 minutes for public queries, Edgar Wright's "Scott Pilgrim vs. the Word" came up only a couple times, generating less interest than the Plumtree song that inspired the name of O'Malley's title character (but little else about the series).

Thus, fans (and reporters) hoping for reassurances that Michael Cera was going to kick evil-boyfriend butt as Scott Pilgrim (overcoming what many devotees considered questionable casting) were left disappointed. 

Instead, O'Malley stuck to a simple line that seeing his beloved series brought to the big screen was exciting, but also boring. Boring?

"It's fun, but also extremely boring," he said. "If you've ever been to a movie set, especially if Edgar Wright is shooting it and he's doing 250 shots of this one sword fight and each shot is like a quarter of a second long."

O'Malley continued, "So it gets boring. But it's really fun. It's really cool to meet everyone and it's cool to see stuff when I actually get to see the little bits that they've cut together.... I just want them to be done so I can see the whole movie."

Lest you worry about the boredom, O'Malley raved at Wright's handling of the action scenes, which he said have caused him to raise his own game on the series' later books.

"The fights are going to be way cooler in the movie than I would ever care to be, because I don't give a crap. I'm not like a team of Chinese martial arts experts," he laughed."

While there was some fanboy unrest about the absence of "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" presence at this year's Comic-Con, O'Malley explain that Wright was still shooting in Toronto and that the production and post-production on the project won't be finished until at least April. That means that the movie could still be awaiting release in time for a full showcase at next July's Comic-Con.

O'Malley explained to the crowd how pitching future "Scott Pilgrim" arcs to Wright helped him figure out the plots for the third and fourth books and emphasized that even though the script for the movie was completed long before he'd determined the conclusion of the books, the movie would have a definite end.

And speaking of the definite end of the books, how far along is O'Malley on "Scott Pilgrim 6"?

O'Malley, who had previously explained that he keeps the scripting and drawing phases of his books separated, said that he's finishing the script of Book Six and that he'll begin drawing in August. That left him targeting next summer, possibly late in the summer, for a release.

Asked to define his series, which includes video game-style brawls, subspace portals and brilliantly droll Canadian hipster comedy, O'Malley replied, "I'm doing Manga set in Toronto. That's what it is."

Universal has at least 10 months to figure out how to make that play to a mainstream audience.



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A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.