Review: Starve #1

Starve01UTENSILS DOWN, HANDS UP! WELCOME TO STARVE! Once the world’s most famous chef, Gavin Cruikshank’s been in a self-imposed exile for years. His little foodie television program has since evolved into STARVE, an arena sport that pits chef against chef for the pleasure of their super-rich patrons. It’s a stain on a once-noble profession, and Chef Gavin is ready to go to war to stop it. Two things stand in his way: his arch rival Roman Algiers, and his adult daughter Angie, who probably just wants her dad back and acting normal.

Written by Brian Wood, with art by Danijel Zezelj, Starve #1 quickly fleshes out a world, something Wood excels at. Through dialogue, as opposed to relying on visuals, we’re painted a world where the haves and haves not are even more separated. Starve #1 comes off to me as Wood again taking on politics through comics, though this time with a slight twist.

Wood in the first issue hints and explores a little the fetishized world of food, and the focus of food entertainment programs on meals and solutions for the haves, not the people who actually might need help when it comes to meal planning and learning to cook. If the series continues this focus and direction, it’ll be a truly fascinating one. Not only commenting on the celebrity chef, but also the incorrect focus of their lessons.

The comic begins with the excess that seems to be common in the cooking world. Excessive partying, drugs, drinking, it’s a rock star life for some. And for those that I know that are chefs, this isn’t unheard of. To see Wood jump in with that is entertaining in that it both gives us an idea of who the character Gavin Cruikshank is, but also… it’s the way it often is! Cruikshank is an asshole no doubt, and there’s a reveal about the character I don’t want to ruin.

Zezelj provides amazing art. It reminds me a lot at times of Wood’s earlier work, especially DMZ. It’s a rough, almost dirty style that is fantastic when the world is indeed supposed to be exactly that, which this one is. It works especially well in the beginning of the comic when Cruikshank is still in the slums.

Overall, the first issue is a fascinating start. It’s a comic I’ve been looking forward to since it was announced at Image Expo. The first issue doesn’t disappoint, and sets up a strange world and topic that’s rarely seen in comics. It’s unique for sure, and that helps it make it beyond entertaining.

Story: Brian Wood Art: Danijel Zezelj
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review