Brian Wood, Danijel Zezelj, and Dave Stewart
Published by Image Comics
So I’ve been really thinking about cooking lately.  Not just how to cook, or where my food comes from, but the whole process, how something goes from a pile of disparate ingredients and becomes something else.  I’ve also been reading “Starve” by Brian Wood, Danijel Zezelj, and Dave Stewart.  Much like a fine meal, a comic that is more than the sum of its parts.
“Starve” is the story of runaway reality TV Chef Gavin Chruikshank.  After the collapse of the global economy and the ruin of his marriage, he disappeared into the wilds of Southeast Asia.  Three years later, the network comes looking for him, to force him to fulfill his season contract on a show that is very different than the one he originally began.  “Starve” is no longer a travel show, but a competition for the benefit of the 0.1%, still on top despite economic and environmental catastrophe.
Starve is a fun little near future drama, with Gavin fighting for the soul of Chefdom and the love of his daughter against his estranged wife and the rival who stepped into his shoes.  It’s politics, aside from F*CK THE 1%, are tough to pin down, but it is a joy to watch anarchic, barbarian chef Chruikshank work his magic.  He’s nasty, belligerent, and entirely too much fun.  He’s Hunter S. Thompson in a white jacket.  While he is a master chef, the comic aims to shock rather than hunger.  In the first issue, Gavin is asked to prepare a dog.  Rather than being horrified, as is the intention, he carves up a slice, narrating that people all over the world eat dog.
The art is moody and heavily inked, with dark, brooding figures even under blazing stage lights.  The washed out color palate further emphasizes the crushing blandness of the excess “Starve” represents.
If I had a complaint, it is I wish they would do more with Gavin’s sexuality.  This is hardly a romantic book, but so far, (three issues published at the time of writing) Gavin’s homosexuality has been raised as an important character trait, but never explored.  It’s simply treated like another vice, or another thing his ex-wife holds against him.  He has had some interaction with his male handler, but almost all of his important relationships are with women.
While it may not whet your appetite, “Starve” is far from slight.  Check it out on Comixology or in your local comics shop.

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