The Scott Pilgrim comics are six volumes (each about the size of a manga collection) of black-and-white excellence, written and drawn by Bryan Lee O'Malley. The series is a somewhat surreal homage to video games, crappy bands, post-college malaise, Toronto and growing up for real. Scott Pilgrim (unemployed dude in a band) falls in love with Ramona Flowers (who makes Amazon deliveries on rollerblades through Scott's dreams) but her seven evil former lovers have formed a League and will fight him for Ramona. Ramona is unimpressed. Each book is full of video game references, and each book is like a level of a game, with each "Evil Ex" as the boss (until the seventh book, anyway).
While the first two volumes are more than a little wobbly on the Bechdel front, and on the manic pixie dream girl front, the next four turn that around beautifully. One of the great strengths of the comic is that, because of its length and rambling style, it has a wonderful supporting cast. Scott Pilgrim himself is something of a Nice Guy douchebag to start, with some very immature behaviour, but, amazingly, he grows up. Ramona Flowers is the manic pixie dream girl with a dodgy past, but we get to see her make decisions for herself and grow up, too. There are numerous female characters who interact with each other at length, and certainly not all circling around the main characters. Envy Adams, Knives Chau and Kim Pine in particular leap off the page and do their own thing - and so does Ramona. There are also several characters of colour, though only Knives has a major role, and several gay men and bi men and women (though no lesbians as such).
The comic is a solid Bechdel Pass. Female characters discuss music, their jobs, ninjas, their relationship to each other, their thoughts on a successful female musician, the beach and ideas about parties and costumes.
The movie is rather different. Time constraints have cut out most of the side characters' storylines to focus on Scott's story. Even Ramona gets very little of her story told. Knives is more prominent in the movie - and Ellen Wong is terrific - but this comes with the nasty addition of casual and really unnecessary racism and violence directed at her, and an oddly flat ending. A few characters - Knives, plus Wallace Wells, Lucas Lee and Stacy Pilgrim - are even better than in the comic, and others - Julie Powers, Gideon Gordon Graves - embody their characters to a frightening degree, but Michael Cera is very flat in the lead, and the pacing is really off, not something I expected from Edgar Wright. The last comics wasn't actually finished when they started filming, so maybe that's part of the unsatisfying ending.
Most characters' conversations are about or with Scott, but the movie still scrapes a technical Bechdel pass. Knives and Julie both talk to Envy about her blog and jeans respectively; Roxy and Ramona talk about their former relationship. That's less than a minute total out of the entire movie, which has a lot of women in it, because the rest of the movie is all Scott, Scott, Scott. I wish it had been a TV series instead - one of those 6 hour BBC style miniseries would have been awesome.