"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Food Fight! Anthony Bourdain goes graphic

by Julie on January 7, 2011

in Food News

All the rage - food manga

The inspiration of Anthony Bourdain

You’ve heard of Food Porn, of course. Get ready now, for Food violence. Food fighting of the graphic novel variety.

Rock star chef Anthony Bourdain announced this week that he would be at San Diego’s Comic Con this July to pimp his upcoming  graphic novel, “Get Jiro!” which features a lot of futuristic ultra-violence on the cook line, in a world where food and its preparation is power.

Tarantino will nod approvingly (assuming he likes the art).

Pretty edgy here, perhaps. But in Japan you can already find any number of food-related manga (Japanese comics), such as Yakitate!! Japan (a young man makes bread of the gods) and Mixed Vegetables (two high school culinary students fall in love, even though their specialties are different). Like your food manga a little edgier? Try Toriko. (the gourmet ingredient hunter.)

One title in particular, Iron Wok Jan, is sometimes credited as being the inspiration for the Food Network’s much-watched Iron Chef.

Oishinbo a la carte is wildly popular in Japan, and has been developing a cult status here as well, especially since Viz Media. started publishing it in English a few years ago. It involves all the over-the-top drama you’ve come to expect from your manga. And it all has to do with food and its preparation.

The coolest aspect of these comics about cooking? You can actually learn things from them.

I can’t fathom why Bourdain felt the need to dip into the world of graphic novels now (isn’t he sorta busy these days?), but it no doubt has a lot to do with how popular food manga have become.  The fact that a celebrity chef is getting involved in this dish at all suggests one thing:  Food comics will be the next black.

Better sharpen your inking skills, foodies.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

La-la-Lookey January 8, 2011 at 7:08 pm

I love love *love* food manga. Especially, Oishinbo, in which the food pretty much rises off the printed page and into your olfactory system . . . As Julie Davis writes, in Jason Thompson’s brilliant “Complete Guide to Manga,” about Iron Wok Jan, “The artwork is intense and kinetic; in [Shinji] Saijyo’s hands, even daily cooking is as dynamic as a karate demonstration match.” I hope Bourdain gives the genre due respect, and does it justice.


Bruce January 9, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Okay, that is just about the coolest thing ever. I see it as Tampopo crossed with Lone Wolf With Cub…

Too damned cool!


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