Friday, May 18, 2018

Flavor #1 Review


Flava!

Written by: Joseph Keatinge
Art by: Wook Jin Clark
Colors by: Tamra Bonvillain
Letters by: Ariana Maher
Culinary Consultant: Ali Bouzari
Publisher: Image
Reviewed by: Andrew McAvoy


Quirky book of the week goes to Flavor (or Flavour as we call it this side of the pond), which opens with the immortal line, "Follow that Truffle!!". Yes, it is a culinary adventure set in a walled city, with a first issue that surrounds the custody of budding, unlicensed but keen chef! Too young to run the family kitchen?? Not so fast. It's time for the main course, lets tuck in!



Well, this book is certainly pleasing on the eye, although alas not the taste buds. Well, I never tasted it per se, but I can imagine that even with Image Comics' fine quality of paper that it still wouldn't be the most palatable. Yes, Tamra Bonvillain's colors shine off the page, each filled with so many different colors all neatly interacting with one another. The range of colors adds a level of detail to the appearance of this book. That is aided by Wook Jin Clark's art style which is intricate while also being clean and neat to look at. The characters are rendered in a very Archie comics-meets-Attack of the Titans-esque style, and it is a very aesthetically pleasing and fully rendered little world that is built up within the book's pages. Image Comic's description refers to a Miyazaki-esque look but I don't see that specific style within the art.


Story-wise it wasn't what I expected from the cover, which implies that this issue will throw us into the cut and thrust of the short order chef. Rather it lays a quite elusive story about an uncle (Uncle Geof) who comes into town, incentivized by the subsistence payment he is promised to seemingly assume guardianship over Xoo. The strange arrangement seems to be-be overseen by the bossy Mrs. Tee, who holds a grip of authority over the ability of Xoo to continue on the family restaurant. The guardianship situation is also made odder by the fact that both Xoo's parents seem to be alive although her father is wheelchair bound. Meanwhile, the book ends with Xoo showing Uncle Geof the ropes in the kitchen and a sense of accommodation being found between the two.


Bits and Pieces :

This book made much of the fact that it was bringing on board a culinary consultant (a Kitchen Aid some might say...) to assist with its development. Aside from the opening mention of truffles there wasn't that much input that I could decipher as belonging to Ali Bouzari. He sells books on Amazon and has given Ted talks though so I'm sure his expertise will shine through more as the issues continue. As it stands this was an aesthetically pleasing book that I'm glad I read, but I didn't really seem to be guided very well as to the plot context, and so it scores on curiosity value as much as anything else. An opening installment that was hard to dislike, but I did feel a little lost at sea.

7.1/10
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