Please Serve More of Anthony Bourdain’s Hungry Ghosts #2 & Beyond

26 Feb

null14By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

  • Mild Spoiler Alert
  • Due on shelves Feb 28th

Anthony Bourdain‘s Hungry Ghosts is getting even more sinister with issue #2. Due to hit shelves this week, this continuation offers even darker delights in two stories certain to fright. The opening narrative is limited to a page so more of the tales within a story is offered. I find the artwork is becoming more sinister, especially in how Leonardo Manco instilled the frights in “Salty Horse.” The Nightmare is a favourite monster of mine (whether that’s in Dungeons and Dragons or Magic the Gathering).

The simple black and white sketch in the table of contents of this horse looked like a creature the Grim Reaper would ride. As he loomed mightily over a very scared Don, I was immediately flipping to the next page and loved how this human is just as much of a beast with the close-ups and renderings over what he was eating. Through the art, I recognized he is a wealthy owner of a sprawling horse ranch. The characterization of this individual is simply exquisite. If gluttony had a name, this person would be it!

This story may well be my favourite of this series run. As detailed in my review of the first issue, only a handful of stories will be told and they are given an international feel than developed as a tale catalogued from the game of 100 Candles. After reading this work, I was flipping through my copy of Japandemonium Illustrated (Amazon listing)ir?t=wiupgeatthmo 20&l=am2&o=1&a=0486800350 trying to find an entry of this obake (ghost) in other works. So far, no luck.

Trying to figure out if the supernatural came from Japanese folklore is a game in itself. I thoroughly enjoyed this first tale.

The second one takes on a different flavour. A comic tone is seen and felt about the story about the relationship between an apprentice hired by an exiled chef. There’s more happening in this particular kitchen populated by goblins. They crave human meat and will stop at nothing to get at it.

This story is likeable. I’m assuming the entities are Rokurobubi — a Yokai with the ability to have their heads come off completely to fly around and terrorize the countryside. Other versions say they can stretch their heads. Tales exist throughout the lower Asia about similarly designed creatures. They have appeared in a few cinematic treatments (none have made it to North America to view) and perhaps the most fearful is the Chonchon from South America.

With this comic book series, I’m liking how the victims are trapped in a universe where the yokai, if you do them wrong, will return in kind tri-fold. I am yearning for more. Thankfully I have all of Drawn & Quarterly’s Kitaro as additional bedside reading to go through. The supernatural and I are like bedmates. Instead of cuddling up with something light, I rather get a good fright. I’m ready for the next issue of Hungry Ghosts to be served.

In what’s upcoming are:

    • Hungry Ghosts #3: “‘The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’ takes on a whole new meaning as an accomplished young chef returns to his small-town home from the big city to find insatiable mouths to feed. And in the backroom brigade of a fine French kitchen, an abusive master chef gets what’s coming to him in the most unspeakable of manners.
    • Hungry Ghosts #4: “In the frozen Nigata Prefecture, a country cook learns discretion the hard way after an encounter with the cryptic, but irresistible Snow Woman, and Hungry Ghosts seal the insatiable fate of famine-stricken villagers in the most voracious, unthinkable way possible when a stranger comes to town.”

March 7 Update: The trade paperback has a street date of September 19, 2018 for those wishing to read this work all in one go!

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