Updated: Jul 11
Editor: Kylar Merrell
Publisher: Foreign Press Comics
Comics from the Kitchen is a cozy anthology by and for people who love food.
My review copy wasn’t the full book (only about 75 of the 200+ pages), but I feel like I got a nice sample of the anthology’s offerings. Most of the comics in the sample seemed to be memoir–and those were the ones that resonated the most with me as a reader–though the Zoop page and blurb note that the stories included will cross a multitude of genres. Art styles vary as well, bringing a unique personality to each comic. As different as each style is, they all shine especially when depicting the featured food in each comic.
The emphasis on the comics and the recipes feels equal. This isn’t like a recipe blog where you want to scroll past a 5000-word saga to get to the recipe, nor do the recipes feel like a bonus afterthought. Each story and recipe pair holds their own and feels thoughtfully included. It has the vibe of a modern community cookbook, which I suppose it is, collecting recipes from the indie comics community rather than collecting from a church group or cul-de-sac.
Combining a variety of genres and aesthetics with a variety of recipes, Comics from the Kitchen offers up a diverse and flavorful journey that’s sure to have something for everyone.
The recipe pages are all designed with an easy-to-read, handwritten-style font. The backgrounds feature pencil illustrations of some of the ingredients, and the foreground features a drawing of the food in the comic artists’ style. The recipes require a varying amount of time and skill to cook. The one drawback I noticed in the recipes themselves was that some don’t include ingredient amounts. While this is understandable and even common in recipes that have been passed down, it can make a recipe a bit harder for beginner home cooks.
Given that there are so many recipes included, I opted to cook two of them, and honestly, it was incredibly difficult to pick just two. Almost every recipe looked like something I’d love to make and eat. Since I’m currently recovering from a minor-ish surgery, I wasn’t able to pick the recipes that would’ve taken more time or energy (the cannoli cream layer cake, meatballs, and lasagna recipes are high on my list after my recovery!). With my husband’s help, we picked the “$100 Pizza Slice” and “Shipwreck.”
The $100 Pizza Slice (comic by Sophia Hickerson) was so much fun to make, and honestly is getting added to our family recipe rotation as a low-energy, high-reward dinner. Essentially, you make yourself little personal pizzas out of a loaf of French bread. This is as customizable as a normal pizza; we both made ourselves veggie versions. I was a little worried that the bread would dry out and get super crunchy and hard in the oven, but we ended up with just the right amount of crunch and softness.
Shipwreck (comic by Luke W. Henderson, Aaron Brown, Tom Lynott) is an easy hash that would make for a good hangover food. In the comic, it’s depicted as being made over a campfire, but it’s just as easy to make on your stovetop. We put ours over some hash browns, and the crispiness really complimented the cheesy, egg and meat hash. It’s very filling and savory, and reminded me–in the best way–of the kind of food I get from my local diner. It’s a good nostalgia food, even if you’ve never eaten it before.
Comics from the Kitchen is crowdfunding on Zoop now!
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