Usually whenever I see that a celebrity is involved with doing anything, I am wary. Most of the time it is either mediocre, or they are being assisted by someone else (i.e. ghost-written).
However, I have no idea what drew me to the original Get Jiro. I had no particular fondness for Anthony Bourdain (nor any hate, I just didn’t consume much of what he was producing). But, food was involved, which means that I was definitely going to read it one way or the other.
I have to admit, when I read the first Get Jiro, I was pleasantly surprised. Bourdain (and assisted/co-written by Joel Rose) crafted a tight story, giving us a compelling tight-lipped, hero (who has quite a temper if you eat the sushi disrespectfully), and Langdon Foss’s art was a great match for the story.
The over-the-top dystopian nature of Bourdain’s Los Angeles (I am not sure to call it futuristic, more like an extension of how people viewed L.A. in the ’90s) is great fun, which Foss is able to complement with both humor as well as the gore and horror that Bourdain also wanted to infuse the story with.
Overall, the first volume of Get Jiro was a fun read and something anyone would enjoy, from foodies (the food descriptions were great and there are plenty of them) to comic book fans (the opening sequence of Jiro working is worth it alone).
The second volume, Get Jiro: Blood and Sushi, is a prequel to the first volume, giving us the background to the mysterious, tight-lipped Jiro. The story takes place in Japan and Bourdain shows off some serious story-telling chops, dropping hints of manga storytelling craft in the plot as well as more American sensibilities.
Unfortunately, while Bourdain does a great job, he is not well served by his art team. For some reason there are two artists, Ale Garza and Jose Villarrubia, to bring the story to life. Their styles do not mesh well together and so there are strange art shifts for no reason, making the reading experience quite distracting.
So, while the story was compelling and a great read (very different from the humorous first volume), the art team lets the reader down, leaving a sour taste.
Compelled by what I have said? (You should be!) Buy them now:
//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=GB&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=panpa-21&marketplace=amazon®ion=GB&placement=B00DEK5800&asins=B00DEK5800&linkId=&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true” target=”_blank”>Get Jiro (Vol. 01)
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