Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Booknote: Wonton Soup

James Stokoe, Wonton Soup. Portland, OR: Oni Press, 2007. ISBN:  9781932664607.

If you like Iron Chef (the original Japanese show, not the new American clone) and tales of truckers in space, this is the comic for you.  Johnny Boyo is a chef prodigy who could have had it all, but he walks away to become a space trucker with his pal Deacon. Together, Deacon and Boyo run cargo and deliveries all over space. Along the way, they try to stay safe from obstacles such as space ninjas. Trucking means seeing the galaxy, so Boyo gets to sample and learn a wide variety of new, strange, and exotic recipes. He thought his life was good, but then he gets called out for one final cooking duel.

The art on this comic is totally surreal. It has an intricate gonzo quality that draws you in, getting you to just look over every small detail. The stories are fun, and then there's the food. Boyo discovers and discusses all kinds of recipes and cooking techniques that are out of this world. Stokoe has quite the imagination with the many creative cuisines he depicts. That is a great reason to pick this volume up. The wonderful recipes make the book worth reading. All in all, the book is a really fun space trucker opera a cooking competition element blended in.

This volume collects two major stories: the story leading to the cooking competition, and a story that takes place afterwards where our truckers meet a civilization made out of clones. Personally, I found the first story to be better, more developed, and satisfying in terms of drama, humor, and tension. Still, this new volume is a good compilation overall.

I am giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Works with similar appeal that I have read:

 Disclosure: The mandatory stuff I have to type to tell you that I read this as an e-book review copy via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. You know, so The Man is satisfied everything is kosher. 

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