Within a strange walled city, an unlicensed chef discovers a mystery that threatens to end it all. Flavor is a culinary epic adventure-FLAVOR-where chefs are the ultimate celebrity and food is the most valued commodity. The high-stakes competition of Hunger Games collides with the lush in this delectable new ongoing series featuring culinary consulting and bonus content by Ali Bouzari, renowned food scientist and author of the IACP Award-winning cookbook Ingredient: Unveiling the Essential Elements of Food.
Flavor #1 feels like the opening sequence of an adorable animated film by Hayao Miyazaki. The series focuses on Xoo, a young girl with her dog Buster who are basically living on their own while her parents are incapacitated. Writer Joseph Keatinge and artist Wook Jin Clark, the two co-created the series, open the issue in a way that allows us to focus on a fully realized city. It’s an action sequence that’s a feast for the eyes, teaches you about the city in which it takes place, and allows you to get a feel about the characters.
It’s all adorable and cute in that kids animated movie sort of way.
What Keatinge and Clark set up is beyond interesting as the issue continues and layers are added to the story. There’s Xoo attempting to run her family’s business. The introduction of her absent Uncle who is called in to help her. And then there’s the twist ending which adds a new layer and shows there’s so much more to this world than just a girl attempting to live and take care of her parents. It’s a mystery that’s unexpected and makes it all more interesting.
Clark is joined on art by Tamra Bonvillain who helps add to the animated feel of it all with the coloring chosen and the way it’s presented. It at times looks like animated cells on a page. It’s just wonderful and full of life and while the city itself seems pretty well off all of it together but the small details makes it also look lived in and slightly dirty. The lettering by Ariana Maher also adds a whimsical sense of it and the overall sense of fun for the issue.
I loved this first issue and it’s an entertaining comic that at first seems like it’d be great for kids and adults alike and then you get to the end… and I’m rethinking that aspect. I have no idea where this is going, I just know I want to read it and find out.
Story: Joseph Keatinge Art: Wook Jin Clark
Color: Tamra Bonvillain Lettering: Ariana Maher
Culinary Consultant: Ali Bouzari
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review