Image Comics 2015
Created & Written by Brian Wood
Created & Illustrated by Danijel Zezelj & Dave Stewart
I’m a sucker for first issues because you never know what you are going to get and then i’m also a fan of Brian’s and his work so this was one definitely intrigued me. So a man running from his past as culinary super-star ending up somewhere in Southeast Asia going native and loving having gone native. He seems happy in his life now but ever present in his narration and description is his love of food and the way the local cuisine is depicted makes me want to try it. I wonder how much research into cooking and the region's cuisine Brian did to make this feel so authentic.
The interior artwork here is pretty interesting as well. Very dark and stylized giving this series a seriously hard edge to it that makes it stand out. While I’m typically not a huge fan of this style it really is eye catching and powerful here, so much so that I’m almost entranced by it. Not being able to tell if the darkness I see is in the style or the characters and the world they live in. There really is a delicious creepy factor to it that you wouldn’t normally associate with this kind of culinary tale. However as we see Gavin is no typical man at all.
When Gavin left he left a contract that hadn’t been finished yet, he’s still obligated for eight more episodes and now all this time later they’ve come to bring him back and fulfill his obligations. I’m fascinated by Gavin he’s this kind of guy you can’t really define into a clear role, other than incredible chef, and his ecclectiveness really has a strong to appeal to me as a reader. Flirtatious, bold, daring and carefree but not really a daredevil just a man who’s found a way to be comfortable in himself and understands he has to finish what he started.
With a gorgeous grown daughter and an ex-wife who’s more shark than anything else his return to his life is anything less than turbulent. A whirlwind of one setback and shock after another and it seems to really shake him to his core that this part of his life should be so out of his control and disastrous. While he may have created Starve and starred in it, it’s no longer his baby it’s been taken from him, his ex-wife having him declared dead and taking control of his former life and fortune has put a damper on the life he was living in Asia.
There’s something exciting happening here with all these characters being introduced and setting the stage for what is sure to be one of the most unique culinary challenges we’ve seen. As a fan of Top Chef it’s kind of neat to see it taken to the extreme like this where the United States has seen the middle class go away and the disparity of the rich and poor grow to such heights that there’s this underlying message happening in the show and truly an unlikely hero trying to emerge is going to make for new groundbreaking reading. Something Brian is all too familiar with accomplishing and if this continues he’ll have done it again.
It’s kind of like Top Chef meets Escape from New York!