Alright, I’m pretty shameless but I just wanted to put this out there. I recently read this comic called Starve. I love it. It’s funny it’s witty, it’s rated M so don’t give it to your kids and most importantly it’s about a cooking show. Now I love cooking shows –mostly because I’m inept in the kitchen- partly because there’s so much for me the viewer. Though Starve is an interesting take on cooking shows.
In the beginning of the comic there’s a guy named Gavin and he absolutely loved to cook until it all went sour and he ended up who knows where fighting and cooking. Then there’s his agent who finds him once again when the company he worked for decided to enforce his contract and pushes him back into the world of TV cooking once again.
The first introduction back into the modern world and Gavin is already trying to start a fight, something he’d been known for since he started cooking as a young adult on the streets –also because in this world cooking is like Battle Royale had a baby with the Fast and Furious movies. He finds himself disgusted with the world he started. That greed and gluttony have over taken something he once love and sees so much of himself in the beast he left to raise itself, vowing to rip it apart and making it fresh and new again.
After spending much of his time battling on stage and off –usually fighting his ex-wife- he comes to realise that he cannot fight a monster on its home turf and turns his effort elsewhere.
The thing I find interesting about Starve is how it talks about food, with an almost religious type of love despite Gavin’s insistence that it isn’t. Every dish is more than just a battle or source of substance or even just a survival mechanism it is a very ingrained part of their lives. The first of the two graphic novels proves this very well; displaying a world where the economy has collapsed and everything has become privatised. The idea of eating for pleasure is a reality many of this world’s inhabitants cannot muster, made evident by the Ramon referring to dog as the common meat in the first round of the new Starve.
I find it intriguing because it’s something that’s hardly brought up in the real world. You have food network, a corporation building shows on the idea that nutrition and food do not have to be laborious tasks but can in fact be fun and engaging when the reality is a quarter of the population cannot even afford the food that would make a nutritious meal and for some people, even the time.
Volume two of Starve gets out of the studio, pointing fingers at the destruction caused by the privatisation of one of man’s most basic needs. Gavin heads down to the ghetto, picks out the most disgusting restaurant he can find –that just had to be a chicken joint- and decides to flip it. He installs a new ideology, rather than try and turn a profit to compete with a global market that’s realistically beyond the residents of this broken neighbourhood’s reach; he instead makes them look toward their community.
This where the idea of a food co-op is introduced and while the comic makes it sound that easy it has its charms. Source local chickens, vegetables, talent to cook and work in the kitchens and serve the customers who are themselves local to build a community from the inside out. It’s a nice dream and has actually seen success in your real world.