Staff Picks (November): Hungry Ghosts #1

Chef and author Anthony Bourdain and writer Joel Rose cooked up a fairly strong first comic with their 2012 hit, Get Jiro! Combining both a satirical look at the culture of food with an over-the-top violent grindhouse aesthetic was a bold decision, but one that led to a story with unique vision. Which is why I’m very excited for their next joint effort, Hungry Ghosts.

The setup is somewhat like a frame story for a horror anthology. A circle of chefs are dared to partake in the classical Japanese parlor game of Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai, wherein one hundred candles are lit and extinguished in sequence with a spoken horror story or tale of folklore. When all one hundred candles go out, it is said to create the perfect conditions for summoning a spirit. Each issue will contain two or three of such framed stories told by the various chefs, and all relating to food in some way. Many of the yarns being spun are variations of classical Japanese folklore involving existing yokai.

If you were a fan of the art in Get Jiro! then you’ll be sure to love it Hungry Ghosts as well. While Langdon Foss is absent from the art team, Jose Villarubia is back and lending his rich sense of vibrant color to the work. Vanesa Del Rey and Alberto Ponticello have taken over penciling and ink and share between them a strong control of line and a penchant for deep shadows and deeper blacks that create an eerie sense of unease in all of their work.

Luke Martin

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Item Code: NOV170012
Release Date: 1/11/18
SRP: $3.99

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