Recipes Highlight Dark Horse Comics’ Hungry Ghost Compilation

3000822By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Dark Horse Comics has a collected compilation of Anthony Bourdain’s Hungry Ghosts ready to release October 2nd. I find myself in a conundrum, do I want to buy this work again? All I can hear from this great chef’s spirit, “You’ll want to go back for seconds, you will not be disappointed.” This release offers new material to sink my teeth into, and thankfully the preview I looked at affirmed the new content is indeed very delicious.

The added content is perfect for those who do not know their Japanese folklore. Everything people wanted to know about these particular figures used in this work but were afraid to ask is summarized and given a lovely illustration like it was drawn from a Japanese artist. This also includes the game of Hyakumonagatari Kaidankai (100 Candles)! In brief, Samurai challenge one another to scaring one another with supernatural tales and at the end, one of the candles is blown out. In the end, a real terror is lurking in the darkness. Bourdain’s work gives the tales a culinary twist. My review of the first issue and subsequent issues can be found here. and by fllowing the trail of links after each article.

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The Fourth Dish in Anthony Bourdain’s Hungry Ghost is Best Served Cold


By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

  • Spoiler Alert

The final issue of Anthony Bourdain‘s Hungry Ghosts is coming this week, and this work sums up why the best is often left for last. Irene Koh illustrates The Snow Woman, perhaps the best-known spectre from Japanese supernatural lore and whose tale been retold many times in media. This artist’s visual style is very elegant and perfect. When considering she is better known for drawing the Legend of Korra graphic novel series, her character designs are the best! Yuki is beautiful. This lonely spirit will be haunting this unnamed boy for a while. This work takes a few ideas from the film, Chinese Ghost Story and reverses it. Thankfully, there is no greater force at work to challenge this supernatural romance.

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Who’s Up for Another Course of Hungry Ghosts? Issue #3 Review

Hungry Ghosts #3By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Only one more course is expected in Anthony Bourdain‘s Hungry Ghosts! I am sad this series published by Dark Horse Comics is coming to an end and I seriously hope a second series will be developed. I said this in past reviews; after all, at the rate of two stories per issue, out of the 100 needed tales in this game of terror (known as the Hyakumonagatari Kaidankai), there’s 94 more to relate before it can come to a devilish end.

The third issue arrived this week and the tales are getting far more sinister at every turn. Sooner or later, I knew a story featuring Japan’s most iconic spirit, the Kappa, will be told. “Deep” delves into places not often talked about, whether that’s behind closed doors behind a kitchen or about certain parts of the body giving grief. This issue has a theme going, as both tales deal with threats from within!

Much of this yokai’s origins are well-known, and there are times this figure can be considered “heroic.” Just how it saves the day needs to be seen to be believed. Readers should be warned. The gore quotient in both tales is mild. Some of the art design and appeal hits the same levels of zaniness in Nobuhiko Obayashi‘s 1977 film, House. Sebastian Cabrol deserves praise for making the first tale read quick and feeling dangerous. The characters have a life to them, and I can feel what they are holding inside. Whether that’s with frustration or hate, these drawings are alive.

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

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).

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You Don’t Have to Ride a Dark Horse to run away from, er read Hungry Ghosts!


By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

  • Mild spoiler alert

Author and chef, Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential) and novelist Joel Rose are back with more culinary shenanigans in Hungry Ghosts. They wrote Get Jiro!, a send-up about food culture for DC/Vertigo six years ago and their play on words with this new title (published by Dark Horse Comics) is not a send-up on the traditional meaning, where ancestral spirits are forgotten by future generations.  With this new work, veneration is explored in a different sense.

On a dark, haunted night, Mr. Fedachenko, a Russian oligarch dares a circle of Michelin star international chefs to play the samurai game of 100 Candles—where each storyteller has to tell a terrifying tale. Each of them better pray they can survive the challenge. This game is not like Russian Roulette. Instead, it’s a test of courage and perhaps a means to summon the undead. By the time the last candle is blown out, the hope nothing demonic is present.

Issue #1 is due to hit stands January 31st. In my preview, I was salivating over the modern delights of this retelling and modernization of supernatural lore from Japan. I find this culture’s — and my own (China) — take on the paranormal far more phantasmagorical than their Western cousins. Nothing against Europe and the gothic tradition, but in Asia, the often colourful and misty backdrop makes for a far more worrisome world for mortals to live in. In Japan, this world is revered. In Europe, it was often feared.

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