Starve by Brian Wood, Danijel Zezelj, and Dave Stewart
If you put Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations series, Iron Chef, and the Hunger Games in a blender, you get Starve. This graphic novel features a mean and vulgar cook who disappears into the depths of depravity in Southeast Asia on a food, alcohol, and marijuana bender before finishing his final contracted season of his hit TV show Starve. The world economy collapsed while he was away, and when he is brought back to finish the show, he wages a fight against Starve itself, which became a competition show to entertain the poor masses where only the .01% can afford the ingredients. Gavin Cruikshanks, our protagonist, is not a lovable character, but you root for him to complete his mission: to reclaim his life, reconnect with his daughter, to film eight episodes and then burn Starve, the deformed and symbol of the .01% having everything, to the ground. Watch him. This first volume from the writer of DMZ was so good, I can't wait to see how it turns out.
Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley
If you had a chance to magically change all your mistakes, would you? When Katie, a young chef at Seconds, is given a magic mushroom and instructions on how to change a single, terrible day from a mysterious glowing girl in the middle of night, she feels happier with her direction in life. However, when she discovers the mysterious girl’s stash of mushrooms, Katie then decides to change every decision she ever chose that made her and others unhappy, with serious consequences. With each change, Katie realizes that she doesn’t recognize the new world or the future she has created and doesn’t know how to go back. This book, from the writer and artist of Scott Pilgrim, is realistic blend of comedy and drama that occasionally breaks the fourth wall, and has excellent art and color.
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley
A memoir in comic format, Relish tells Knisely’s adventures centered around food, from her foodie parents and the early days of the New York City food revolution, to upstate New York farms, and time spent in Mexico, Venice, and Chicago, among many others. The descriptions and drawings are positively mouthwatering, and her memories of food will invoke intense memories of favorite foods with friends and family of your own. She includes drawings of her favorite recipes, which are very useful and laid out in a pleasing and tempting format. This book taught me how to make and effectively roll sushi. I hope you will discover a new technique and recipe like I did!
Toriko by Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro
In this manga, the world is obsessed with exotic and dangerous foods, but how can these foods be captured? By gourmet hunters such as Toriko! When head chef Komatsu is sent to recruit Toriko to capture the massive Garara Gator, the most prized alligator in the world, he embarks on a great adventure. Accompanying Toriko while he captures Troll Kongs, Underbite Dragons, Puffer Whales, Devil Pythons, and many more tasty monsters, Komatsu realizes that this monster of a man is on his own quest: to create the perfect full course meal! Along the way we meet some equally interesting gourmet hunters and fight a lot of monsters! This is a very fun and light series for all ages.
Chew is the most hilarious, weird, tragic, and disgusting graphic series I have ever read. We follow Tony Chu, a police detective who also happens to be cibopathic, meaning he gets a psychic impression from anything he eats. Therefore, if he eats part of a murder victim, he can see the victim’s whole life to their last few moments, even their killer. Such a talent is incredibly useful and incredibly disgusting, so when he is caught taking a bite out of a serial killer to find the names of all his victims, he is fired and then immediately hired by the Food and Drug Administration, whose sole purpose is to curtail the illegal black market chicken industry after the avian flu wiped out millions of people. Black market chicken attracts a lot of crime and a lot of bodies, and Tony certainly has his work *gulp* cut out for him.