Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Good Eats

Anthony Bourdain and Joel Rose (writing); Langdon Foss (art); Jose Villarrubia and Dave Stewart (colorists); Todd Klein (letters): Get Jiro! (DC Comics; 2012; ISBN 978-1-4012-2897-9).

In the not-to-distant-but-somewhat-unspecified future, food and foodies have come to dominate the world, or at least Los Angeles. In the battleground drawn by the corporate mega-giants (personified by Bob) and a loose-and-shifting alliance of back-to-nature, sustainable-and-local, communists-and-socialists and even survivalists (personified by Rose) steps in Jiro, a highly-skilled sushi chef with amazing skills in presentation, flavor...and knifework.

Anthony Bourdain first came to my attention with Kitchen Confidential. It's a vastly amusing book about life in the restaurant industry (I had a few years, summer work, and then have revisited a couple of times between figuring out what to do with MRE's in the Army and a large number of volunteer hours in a kitchen for charity work, so the book really interested me). He went on to write some fiction, a lot of non-fiction and to start in a number of very funny and very intelligent and well-written shows such as A Cook's Tour and No Reservations (recently ended, alas).

Get Jiro! is his first graphic novel effort, set in a world where food rules. Bourdain manages to be funny, be bloody, but to be educational (not only do we learn the proper way to eat sushi, but the best way to separate an attacker's lower limb from his upper limb, without damaging the bone in the arm). I detect hints of any number of samurai and gangster films/television shows in here, as well as (to me) things like Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash (oddly enough, this is the second graphic novel I've learned of in a week that is related to food).

Will Jiro survive the machinations of Rose and Bob to get him on their sides? Will small independent restaurants and suppliers survive? Will people learn not to ask for the California Roll? Get thee to the bookstore and grab a copy before supplies run out. Fun stuff, great art and writing, highly recommended.

1 comment:

Paul Weimer said...

I had no idea Bourdain was collaborating on a SF book...