I don’t have much history with graphic novels. My husband has a collection of Marvel comics from the 1970′s, featuring superheroes flanked by large-busted women in metal bras. I avoid the dusty, lurid pile. I read Babymouse and Diary of a Wimpy Kid because my children were reading them. I am not completely immune to the charms of Babymouse - how else would I have been introduced to a fairy godweasel? And as for Diary, I would be culturally illiterate without an understanding of The Cheese Touch. Still, the appeal of graphic novels eluded me until…Relish.
Here is just the book for your artsy, foodie book group. Lucy Knisley’s childhood with food-obsessed parents is remarkable to read about and view in these charming comics. The prose isn’t memorable but it doesn’t have to be. The illustrations are so appealing and the pictorial recipes (I love recipes laid out with drawings or photos of the ingredients) make me want to dive into the kitchen. Read this, make a couple of the dishes with your group and relish the results!
Knisley has another graphic novel, French Milk, published in 2008. The visuals are in a spare style, not colored or as generous and eye-comforting as her work in Relish. This reminds me, I recently enjoyed another culinary graphic novel, Bon Appetit, the delicious life of Julia Child by Jessie Hartland. I forgot about that one because it’s supposed to be a children’s book but it’s truly for anyone interested in Julia Child.
Thank you to Ryan Warner, my recent guest blogger, for loaning me Relish. Only my scruples kept me from stealing it.