Oni Press 2016
Created, Written & Illustrated by Natalie Riess
Designed by Hilary Thompson
Space Battle Lunchtime is a hit show broadcast all over the universe, and the new season is about to start! When one of the competing chefs drops out at the last minute, an aspiring baker from earth, Peony, gets the opportunity of a lifetime (and a chance at a 20,000 Solarbuck prize!). But is she ready for the cutthroat world of intergalactic cooking?
This is extremely cute! I’m not normally one who gets into these kind of books but it’s a number one and I thought the concept is appealing to me, i’m a huge Top Chef fan! The all-ages interior artwork really does have a nice appeal and Natalie makes it fun, expressive and full of verve.
We open up with this frog woman coming into a shop to get some coo-fee lates when she meets Peony and admires her little cakes. That’s when a phone call comes and suddenly Peony is asked if she thinks she has what it takes to be the Greatest Chef in the Galaxy. Well who doesn’t like to think they have what it takes? So yeah off we go, though I have to admit I wish they’d taken the boy behind the counter with her as well not really sure why but I do.
So the rest of this issue sets everything up as Peony has to come to grips with the fact that there are aliens, she’s in space and way out of her element. Much to her credit however I think what Natalie does here is showcase Peony’s awe and wonder at the situation that overcomes any kind of shock or fear. The dialogue is wonderful, it’s engaging, interesting and just full of that wide eyed innocence that is relatable to.
The characters we meet are diverse, familiar and extremely well portrayed. I’ve never been on television show set before so i’ve not dealt with people like this but we’ve seen them portrayed like this on other television shows, enough so it’s represented well for the dramatic effect. From meeting Aris the cameraman who seems to be kind flirting with her an alien that may have taken her breath away all to the moment where the competition begins things are just well constructed.
I love that it has the feel of a show like Chopped I can’t wait to see what kind of twists and turns Natalie is going to throw at us with this. It’s a galactic competition cooking show things won’t be as nice, polite or easy will they? Is there going to be some nefarious plot going on or if you lose what exactly happens to you? It’s the possibilities that make you think more than you probably should but it’s also exciting and will make you come back to follow Peony’s foray into the world of Galactic Cooking!