Today, DC Comics imprint Vertigo releases the second comic book from culinary explorer Anthony Bourdain, Get Jiro: Blood and Sushi. Bourdain's first comic book, Get Jiro!, was released in 2012.
Get Jiro: Blood and Sushi is a prequel, and was written with Joel Rose. Dave Johnson designed the cover; Alé Garza illustrated the interior. As previously noted, according to a release, the story and design is "reminiscent of a Yakuza action movie." Set in Tokyo, it reveals how Jiro pursued his love of cooking even while working for his father's mob.
Bourdain explains his reason for writing the prequel (besides the all-out success of the first book): "I wanted to take the story back to its beginnings — in Japan (albeit a slightly-in-the-future, dystopic Japan), and indulge my own enthusiasms for both the place and the many classic genre films that have been made there. This is fun for me."
Bourdain recently talked to Men's Journal about his inspiration for the Jiro character, and the extremely violent nature of the story:
It's aspirational in a lot of ways. I was sitting at Sushi Yasuda in New York, and the chef there is a friend and somebody I really respect. I'm well aware of the many, many years it took him just to learn how to cook rice properly before his master allowed him to work with the fish. And I was sitting there as these two wealthy knuckleheads sit down at this bar and immediately start stirring a big wad of his hand-grated, fresh wasabi into a dish of soy sauce with the intention of dunking, unseen and untried, his sushi in there, and I saw a look of pain and discomfort. I thought, man, wouldn't it be great if he could just reach across the bar and slice their heads off. So that was the jumping off point. Wouldn't it be nice if we lived in a world where disrespecting good sushi could get you killed and no one would care? In my fiction, people who don't know how to eat or who do terrible things to food tend to get killed.
It's been successfully argued that Get Jiro helped launch the Golden Age of food comics. The release of Get Jiro: Blood and Sushi proves that this age is thriving.
Get Jiro: Blood and Sushi hits shelves and is available for digital download now. Below, find a look at some of the interior artwork: