***This is part 1 of a bio that wrote about Bryan Lee O’Malley (who is one my favorite artist/author) for a YA literature course. I share this because despite his fame, there is not too much info about him out there.***
Bryan Lee O’Malley is a Canadian comic book artist and musician. O’Malley’s unique mix of Japanese and Western drawing styles, hip characters, and ample amounts of pop-culture references has helped his works solidify a prominent place in indie-culture. His highly celebrated six volume graphic novel series, Scott Pilgrim has reach a level of popularity that is beyond the world of comics, as it is not only representative of the young adult novel genre, it has been turned into a film and video game.
Part 1: O’Malley’s Precious Little Life
The half-Korean and half-French-Canadian, O’Malley was born on February 21, 1979 in London, Ontario (Medley). He explains his experiences growing up as bi-racial boy: “I felt kind of out of place everywhere”, “but I was also a nerd and stuff, so it just kind of augmented the whole outsider thing” (McAlpin). He first discovered comics when he was living in the north, “in the boonies” as he puts it (ibid). Since his family did not have cable, he could not watch “Transformers”, a show that he was “really obsessed with” (ibid). He says: “So I found the comic one day at the drug store, or whatever. Transformers #19, and that was my gateway drug, pretty much. Within two or three years, I was reading X-Men. I was really a Marvel person all throughout childhood. I’ve still never read very many DC comics at all” (ibid).
O’Malley enrolled in the film studies program at the University of Western Ontario after high school, but dropped out shortly after (ibid). He explains: “Well, I went into the field because I wanted to try to apply it to comics. I think that was my goal all along. It’s not like I was stupid; I was just a really bad worker. I wouldn’t really pay attention. I’d just be doodling during class and stuff. I couldn’t deal with tests and essays and all that kind of stuff, so it didn’t really work out” (ibid). He then moved to Toronto, where he quickly became involved in the city’s comics scene.
O’Malley is married to graphic novelist Hope Larson, who has created Salamander Dreams and Gray Horses. They have moved around Canada and US few times, most recently, they “ moved from North Carolina, where they’d been living for a couple of years, to Los Angeles, a city he first visited and fell in love with in 2008” (ibid).
The [very long] bibliography is available in the attachment: YA Author Profile: Bryan Lee O’Malley: https://irayamaterials.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/ya-essay2.pdf