So I’ve been on an Anthony Bourdain kick lately, thanks to ABC’s show The Taste where he is a judge. (If you haven’t seen it, watch it. It’s like The Voice, but with food.) Anyway, coincidentally I was going through a pile of graphic novels that I’d been neglecting the other day and came across a memorable cover with, “New York Times Best Selling Author, Anthony Bourdain” displayed at the top. I know it’s been awhile since the release, but after reading the story I had to write about it. From, Vertigo, Get Jiro!, written by Anthony Bourdain and Joel Rose, with art by Langdon Foss left my stomach growling and my head satisfied from reading such a distinctive plot.
We begin in a futuristic version of LA, that is entirely dominated by food culture. Two chef warlords rule the city: Bob, a supporter of finer imported things, and Rose who supports all things locally grown. The story focuses on Jiro, a headstrong Japanese chef with a very particular style, especially when it comes to rice. His business becomes affected by the way things are going in the city, and he decides to take matters into his own hands to bring peace to the people.
I have to say that I’ve read a lot of books dealing with futures much different than the present day we all live in, but I’ve never encountered something quite like this. Food is obviously the star of the tale, and I can assure you that at some point while reading you will say, “I have no idea what that is, but it sounds and looks delicious.” I assume that’s where Anthony Bourdain really came in handy when working on the comic. The people that live in this city are completely obsessed with food. It’s very interesting to watch a multitude of characters fight for reservations at a restaurant. At one point, a woman exclaims that if she isn’t allowed into a certain place to eat she will kill herself.
Jiro is a unique main character, that clearly has a complicated past. We don’t really get to hear much about his background, but his behaviors and actions say it all. He’s one tough guy, that isn’t afraid to step out of his comfort zone—especially when it involves food. The plot is pretty intense and fast paced. You can count on a lot of action packed, surprising scenes. Once you start reading, you won’t be able to put it down. Unless of course you become so hungry that you take a break to grab a snack. Although I will warn you, Langdon Foss can illustrate some nice dishes, but he can also create some stomach turning graphic scenes. There is a decent amount of gore throughout.
The ending left me a little deflated as far as the warlords go because I really wasn’t a fan of Bob or Rose’s characters. However, I did love the taco guy! I guess the main point is how Jiro’s story ends, and I won’t spoil that here. Overall, I would recommend Get Jiro! to foodies. If you have an appreciation for food and how competitive these communities can get, you will enjoy the story.
Christine Marie is a Staff Writer at Bleeding Cool, and bibliomaniac with a love for all things creative. She hopes to one day be a Superhero/Disney Princess/Novelist. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @AWritersWay or on her blog writerchristinemarie.wordpress.com.