The horror (comics)! The horror (comics)! #13: Hungry Ghosts
What’s that, another horror comic? Well, isn’t that swell? Like having an old friend over for dinner.
Nothing here is vegetarian, quoth the Hannibal (I might be paraphrasing). Hungry Ghosts from the late Anthony Bourdain and Joel Rose is, if a comic can be said to be so, far from vegetarian. In the collection of eerie tales centered around food, we have a variety of short stories which draw on mythology and food.
The artwork throughout Hungry Ghosts is brilliant—at times putting me in mind of classic EC horror comics, something matched by the darkly comic tone of the stories (it really wasn’t a surprise to discover that both Anthony Bourdain and Joel Rose were EC fans).
The stories themselves cover a wide range of nasty things including Boil on the Belly which involves a belly that comes across a little like Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors...
Then there are disembodied heads, and a rich man obsessed with horse meat—it’s a varied gathering of twist-in-the-tale stories which often has a smack of body horror about it, which can only be a good thing.
At the end of the collection are recipes from Anthony Bourdain and, while I’m yet to try them, it makes for an interesting addition to the number of horror comic books steadily growing on my bookshelves.
There is (sort of) an overarching story; an oligarch instructs a gathering of chefs cooking a banquet for him to participate in a game of 100 Candles. Each chef has to tell a terrifying story and pray to survive the ordeal. The set-up is really just to allow Rose and Bourdain to tell their odd tales of culinary horror.
There are stronger anthology comics—Twisted Dark, for example, which Matt brought to the horror comics table a few weeks ago—but the unique culinary twist on the anthology format makes this a memorable horror comic and well worth taking a look at.
Next time we’ll be taking a look at...
Another offering from BOOM! Studios so if you like your protagonists hard-nosed and chain-smoking then you should definitely take a look.
Remember to support your local comic book store. Our favourite Chaos City Comics has an online store so there’s really no excuse! If you have any suggestions for comic books you think we should be covering then get in touch.