Weekend Cooking: Comics for food nerds

Those of you who have been reading this blog may know that two of my loves are books and food. So I’m always thrilled to find books that have to do with food, whether fictional or not. And what is even better than foodie books? Foodie comics!

Now first I have to clarify. This list does not include manga as I had previously put up a list of awesome cooking manga. Check that out for more great foodie reads.

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Relish by Lucy Knisley

I am not a big Lucy Knisley fan although I have read most of her graphic novels (ironic perhaps). I love her cute drawing style and the colours she uses but she can get a bit too anxious and fret over minor things (case in point: An Age of License where she stresses out about a trip to  Europe). But I really quite liked Relish, and even bought a copy for my sister! The best parts in Relish where the illustrated recipes. Now if only all cookbooks were that way!

 

 

 

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Seconds – Bryan Lee O’Malley

You can’t get more foodie than this graphic novel with a chef as a main character and a restaurant setting. But this is Bryan Lee O’Malley so something strange happens, with some magical mushrooms no less. O’Malley’s manga-like art is always a fun read but this story has a slight melancholic tone to it.

 

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In the Kitchen with Alain Passard – Christophe Blain, Alain Passard (Recipes) (my thoughts)

For three years, Christophe Blain followed Alain Passard (he of three-Michelin-starred L’Arpège) (some real photos of L’Aperge in this New York Times article here). A graphic novel for any aspiring chef and foodie as it provides an insight into this great chef’s thought process, also a behind-the-scenes look into his kitchen and the restaurant’s gardens. L’Arpège is known for its vegetable tasting menus.
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initiates
The Initiates: A Comic Artist and a Wine Artisan Exchange Jobs – Etienne Davodeau (my thoughts)

The title is pretty self-explanatory! Davodeau, a comic artist, and respected winemaker Richard Leroy learn from each other. Even if you’re not much of an oenophile, this bande dessinée is  a fun read as we learn about tending to vineyards, making wine, and about comics.

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Over Easy – Mimi Pond
This graphic semi-memoir is set in a diner in California in the 1970s, so you know drugs are going to be involved. But it’s also a coming-of-age story of young art student Margaret who starts work at the diner when she’s denied financial aid. Kind of charming in that clueless-girl-becomes-savvy-waitress kind of way.
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chew
Chew –  John Layman, Rob Guillory (Illustrator)
Now this is a bit of a gross one. Tony Chu is Cibopathic, which means he gets psychic readings from what he eats. So that means if he eats bacon, he ‘sees’ the whole process from pig to slaughter. And that also means at a crime scene, he might have to take a nibble at a corpse. Disgustingly lovely. Gross and weird, but fun.
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Get Jiro – Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose, Langdon Foss (Illustrations)
I can’t say anything about this as I’ve yet to read it. But the synopsis sounds awesome:
In a not-too-distant future L.A. where master chefs rule the town like crime lords and people literally kill for a seat at the best restaurants, a bloody culinary war is raging.On one side, the Internationalists, who blend foods from all over the world into exotic delights. On the other, the “Vertical Farm,” who prepare nothing but organic, vegetarian, macrobiotic dishes. Into this maelstrom steps Jiro, a renegade and ruthless sushi chef, known to decapitate patrons who dare request a California Roll, or who stir wasabi into their soy sauce. Both sides want Jiro to join their factions. Jiro, however has bigger ideas, and in the end, no chef may be left alive!
starve
 Starve by Brian Wood, Danijel Žeželj (Illustrations)
Also another I have yet to read but it has a promisingly deranged cover.
Here’s the synopsis:

Once the world’s most famous chef, Gavin Cruikshank’s been in a self-imposed exile for years. His little foodie television program has since evolved into STARVE, an arena sport that pits chef against chef for the pleasure of their super-rich patrons. It’s a stain on a once-noble profession, and Chef Gavin is ready to go to war to stop it. Two things stand in his way: his arch rival Roman Algiers, and his adult daughter Angie, who probably just wants her dad back and acting normal.

 

Have I missed out your favourite foodie comic? Let me know!

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Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, beer, wine, photographs

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20 thoughts on “Weekend Cooking: Comics for food nerds

  1. Never knew such wonderful books existed. Thank you for writing this post. I haven’t read foodie books at all. I cannot take my eyes off Over Easy’s cover. Perhaps, I must start with that. 🙂

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  2. That’s a wonderful selection of a genre that’s totally new to me. You didn’t say if you had actually tried to cook using the recipes or descriptions in the books. I wonder how that would work out?

    I think I had an illustrated cookbook when I was a child. It was in verse, too. I’m sure my mother never made any of the recipes and kids weren’t allowed to cook, so I don’t know how the recipes were.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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  3. Great list! I too have read Relish, but not the others. I’m going to use your list to match against our library’s list. I’ll probably pass on Chew because, as you said, it does look a little gross. Thanks for the great suggestions.

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  4. What an awesome list! There are at least 3 I haven’t read or heard of. Thanks so much. Now off to track down my copies. I own the first vol. of Chew but haven’t yet read it. What’s wrong with me?

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  5. I laughed at the description of Get Jiro! I haven’t read any or heard of most of the authors/illustrators on your list, but you’ve definitely sparked my interest.

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