Editor's note: Aaron Sagers is a New York-based entertainment writer and nationally syndicated pop-culture columnist. He has specialty knowledge in "paranormal pop culture," has lectured at conventions nationwide on the topic and is a media pundit on supernatural entertainment. He covers pop culture daily at ParanormalPopCulture.com and can be found on Twitter @aaronsagers.
Throughout the years, Anthony Bourdain has been cast as a punk-rock chef or as a food snob who will say anything to stir up a controversy.
For some he is the taste-making adventurer behind Travel Channel’s “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations,” the eight-season strong series where globetrotting is experienced through a cinephile’s eye, an audiophile’s ear and a gastrophile's stomach. Still others just think of him as that dude who ate warthog anus that one time.
But actually, Anthony Bourdain is a nerd.
Just as a comic book nerd can obsessively debate the merits of publishing companies, artistic elements, story arcs and creators, Bourdain is a food nerd who knows his restaurants, ingredients, dishes and chefs. He is a collector and communicator of food data, and you can add movie, music and, yes, comic book nerd to his list of labels as well.
This isn’t exactly groundbreaking news. Bourdain uses his literary confessional “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly” and “No Reservations” – along with his blogs, essays, books, writing gig for HBO’s “Treme” and presumably his upcoming weekend show on CNN – as a playground to sate big-kid wishes and hang out with icons like Alice Cooper and Harvey Pekar.
Now he is finally able to pursue a successful fanboy’s dream of writing a graphic novel for DC Comics. Published through the Vertigo imprint, Bourdain’s “Get Jiro!” is a satirical thriller set in a “not too distant future” where master chefs are mob bosses who pull the strings of power in Los Angeles.
(DC Comics, like CNN, is owned by parent company TimeWarner.)
The comic's two ruling “families” are the food-savvy but withholding “Internationalists” (led by an Alain Ducasse-meets-Robert Irvine kingpin) and the hypocritical locavore “Vertical Farms” (led by a pretty obvious Alice Waters stand-in). While the outer rim of the city is loaded down with obese, fast-food-gorging denizens, the inner rim is a place where a reservation at primo joints is a sign of influence. Then there’s Jiro, a mysterious sushi chef who wishes only to serve his culinary craftsmanship without getting caught up in the politics of the kitchen crime world.
Co-written with Joel Rose (“La Pacifica,” “Kill Kill Faster Faster”) with art by Langdon Foss (“Heavy Metal”), “Get Jiro!” is like “Ratatouille” meets “Kill Bill: Vol. 1,” where deliciously gratuitous violence is juxtaposed with painstakingly accurate food nerd details. And Bourdain’s commentary about celeb-chefs and our food culture is about as sharp as Jiro’s tanto knife. FULL POST