Saturday, November 08, 2014

Comics About Food!

This post originally appeared on Panels

Books about food are everywhere nowadays. Whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, memoir, or a more academic observance, books about noms run the gamut and tantalize us from our nightstands, backpacks, and library shelves. Imagine my delight when I picked up my first comic about food, French Milk, by Lucy Knisley. To Knisley’s credit, the book is also a fine travel memoir chronicling six weeks she spent in France, and it’s full of humor and charm. In short, a home run for this reader.
I’m consistently fascinated by our emotional connections to food. A whiff of gravy or a tongue taste of pumpkin pie can send us reeling into our pasts whether it’s a fleeting return to childhood, a trip abroad, or any number of other memorable moments. Knisley did such a great job illustrating this idea with her words and images in French Milk, there was no way I could help falling in love with comics involving food. Her follow up to French Milk, the full-color rumination on growing up with foodie parents, Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, was even better. Beautifully drawn, beautifully written, and a gorgeous book all around, it’s worth owning. And there are recipes!
secondsCasting the net a little wider recently, I grabbed Bryan Lee O’Malley’s newest graphic novel, Seconds. This is my first foray into foodie fiction in comics form, and it was just as delectable as Knisley’s books. Seconds combines elements of magic and fine dining for a whimsical literary combo platter. The story follows Katie, a young chef determined to open her own restaurant. When she has the opportunity for a redo on some big life decisions, things quickly spin out of control. O’Malley’s illustrations really push this one over the top. The candy-colored artwork and cuteness of it all won me over in an instant, though that’s not meant to downplay the moral lessons and subtly nuanced themes in this one.
While I’m not an expert on web comics, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a blog and a web comic for you right about here.
Cooking Up Comics was created by Alisa Harris, and it’s a blog/web comic about vegetarian cooking. Harris updates the recipes weekly, and they are beautifully illustrated from start to finish. While the creator has some other projects on the go, the recipe posting has slowed down, but it’s completely worthwhile to explore the recipe index for something to feast your eyes on and to add to your weekly meal plan.
rutabaga
Rutabaga: Adventure Chef is a web comic by Eric Fuerstein (aka, Eric Colossal Beast), which is updated on Mondays and Wednesdays. It chronicles the adventures of a man named Rutabaga who is sick of cooking with the same old ingredients. The series begins with him finding an ancient magical sword (think Sword in the Stone), but he’s really only interested in the rare mushrooms that grow on top of it. Throw in one sidekick named Pot (he’s a pot), some magical creatures, and a lot of adventure, and you’ll waste more time reading at work than you intended. Ummm, trust me.
Comics about food is a slippery rabbit hole to fall into, but there’s hardly anything more pleasurable. Food + comics = heaven. Go out and treat your senses and your imagination to one of these winners.
Check out more Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads


23 comments:

  1. Great post. Many more foodie comics than i would have imagined.

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    1. Thanks, Tanya! There are scads more, I just need to read them so I know if I can recommend them! lol

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  2. I've never come across comics about food - how fun! I think Relish sounds particularly good.

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    1. They're a little under the radar, but there are lots! Looking forward to reading more. And I think you'd love Relish.

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  3. With how much I love to eat, I can't believe I don't read books, comics or not, about food.

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    1. You should definitely try some!

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  4. I loved French Milk and Relish and need to look for those comics. I think we have a comics store around here somewhere.

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    1. Definitely! Try Rutabaga since it's a free web comic.

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  5. Okay, now I want to read all of these.

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    1. Yay! I love pushing comics. hehe

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  6. The only graphic novel I read was French Milk and it didn't really work for me. I am curious about Relish though. I think that might be a better fit! I hadn't heard of Seconds before but I like the look of that one. I may need to give graphic novels another try!

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    1. Relish is a little more sophisticated, I think. Definitely worth giving a go! Seconds is SOOO much fun and beautifully illustrated.

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  7. Seconds looks so good, thanks for sharing.

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    1. It's excellent! I hope you love it.

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  8. I've now ordered up Seconds. Loved the Lucy Knisley books. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

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    1. Awesome! I hope you love Seconds, Carole!

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  9. Love what Knisley does! It's clever, fresh and tasty! I love books with food injection. There something that is so comfortable about them. It is also great for Christmas reading. Come back to Booktube Andi! I need some sanity and your great videos! :D

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  10. I've heard of the print ones you mention from Weekend Cooking before, I think, and every time I think I need to read them! I like the idea of foodie comics on the Web, which I hadn't heard about, too.

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  11. Fun post! I'm looking forward to reading Seconds!
    Not sure if you read manga, its something I'm just venturing into myself. But there are quite a few food manga, like Antique Bakery and Oishinbo!

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  12. Cooking up comics looks awesome. And it's vegetarian to boot!

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  13. Oh Rutabaga is totally new to me!! And I forgot about Cooking Up Comics -- must get that on my weekly reading. I was out of town all weekend, so forgive my late visit.

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  14. I didn't even know you get comics about food!

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  15. Relish is awesome! I really liked it. I will have to see if my library has the others.

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