Cooking comics isn't a genre you see too often in American comics. Sure this about cooking, but it is more than that. It takes place in a future Los Angeles , were chefs now rule. Here chefs can literally get away with murder, and reservations (or ressies) to the great restaurants are made years in advance. There are two chef "warlords" who run the city, and most of all control the food supplies. All of the other chefs are under their thumb in a way, and are looking for free themselves from the bad guys.
This story owes quite a bit to A Fistful of Dollars. With both warlords trying to get Jiro to side with them. Jiro just wants to run his little sushi bar in the "outer circle" of the city, but he is soon forced to pick a side(s). There is a lot of over top violence here, that is actually kind of funny. There are large melees with knives of course, but also rolling pins, immersion blenders, juicers, and frying pans of chains (like a flail) amongst other weapons. The members of each gang are hoodlums for sure, but they can also appreciate a good souffle.
I wasn't sure about Anthony Bourdain as one of the co-writers, but he seems to be genuine comic book fan, and he has written a number of books (fiction and non-fiction). So, I really don't doubt his credentials. A lot of the chefs in this story had an air of superiority, so that definitely rang true with me (Side note: I worked with chefs for about 12 years). The art by Langdon Foss was pitch perfect for the story. Realistic, but no too much so. With the chops to show the fighting action with confidence.
The end of the comic ended a bit different than I thought it would. Always nice in any story. I went into this book expecting to like it. I ended up loving it. Highly recommended.
I'll definitely be reading this. One of my friends is a big Bourdain fan, and I'll likely borrow it from her. But I've read Kitchen Confidential, so I know firsthand that Bourdain can write.
I ordered this for the library, so I was planning to read it. But now I'm looking forward to it!
This is one I'll be reading sooner than later. The Mrs. and I are both Bourdain fans (she more than I, but not by too much), so I was planning on checking it out anyhow, but the praise it's been receiving from everyone who's read it has solidified its "buy" status.
The library has had this for awhile, but it was always checked out when I wanted to read it! So I made the right call in ordering it, but I'm late getting to it. Before I found this thread to resurrect, I found Cap's review, which was pretty negative. I'd say my feelings fall somewhere in the middle. I agree with Cap that Jiro isn't very sympathetic; in fact he's a bit of an enigma, even by the end of the book. The one thing that's clear is that he's fiercely independent. And once his plan to set the two ruling chef warlords at each other's throats starts to take shape I was definitely pulling for him (especially since the warlords are both aggressively unsympathetic). I found the basic idea of a world ruled by chefs hard to fully accept--I have a similar problem with the setup of Chew, another food-oriented comic--but it did give Bourdain a perfect setting to use his knowledge of food and the restaurant industry. So I didn't love it, but it was an enjoyable read.