If you’ve never been lured into watching an episode of ‘Master Chef’, or any kind of cooking/baking shows, the comic series ‘Flavor’ is definitely not for you. Created by Joseph Keatinge, Wook Jin Clark (Artist), Tamra Bonvillain (Colorist) and Ariana Maher (Letters), the comic is a burst of colors and all about food.
The first issue starts with teen protagonist Xoo racing through the city to bag an ingredient that apparently ripens only once in 100 years. Xoo’s parents are both wheelchair bound due to a recent accident and she needs a legal (and able) guardian to look after her, or the authorities will shut her family restaurant down, where she happens to be an underage chef. Luckily, a reluctant uncle arrives on the scene, and might be the answer to her problems.
The artwork is bright, filled with eye-popping shades, but Xoo’s character design is a little too rudimentary. Some readers have compared the series with Studio Ghibli’s work, although as someone who has seen all their films (except Earthsea and Earwig), it’s hard to spot any similarities. Neither in the art, nor in the storytelling.
Not a lot happens in #issue 2 and despite being only 30 pages long, I didn’t really feel like finishing it. So it took two days to get through the rather small comic. Although, the second comic is a lot different than the first one and has more of a Harry Potter vibe than Ghibli. Things end in a cliff-hanger – Xoo arrives at an underground black-market to buy some ingredients, but is going to have to fight for them.
Not sure if non-food enthusiasts will enjoy this comic-book series. The creators actually have an award-winning culinary consultant onboard to help with the story – Ali Bouzari. But the first two issues are pretty generic and don’t give readers any fascinating insights about any kind of food, except for the fictional ‘Garuda Truffle’, the one that ripens in a century.
It’s a 3/5 from me.
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