Get Jiro

Graphic Novel Review As Sushi Menu

Synopsis Roll: A blithe twist on Elmore Leonard, as Jiro kicks, slashes and sushimis his way through villainous schemes.

Lateral Roll: As I was reading Get Jiro a scene from my favorite Northern Exposure episode appeared in my head. Chef Adam is addressing his nascent staff before a huge party Maurice is giving, telling them how he is hungry, and he asks them “Do I want something you made? Noooo…I want something that I made!!”

Author Roll: It was with this in mind I opened my copy of Get Jiro, Chef Anthony Bourdain’s new graphic novel. Tony (okay, I feel like I’ve read enough and seen enough of his work to call him Tony) has written mysteries like Bone In The Throat, and the workaday Kitchen Confidential. This is his first graphic novel.

… rogue sushi chefs par-excellence in place of the beneficent outlaw.

Honor Roll: Why dedicate the book to Jack Kirby? Because Jack Kirby draws a better Silver Surfer than Moebius. Everyone from Quentin Tarantino to Denzel Washington knows that. Seriously, Get Jiro is an homage, not only to Kirby but also to the real life Jiro, still kicking-ass as an octogenarian in a ten-seat sushi nook in a Tokyo subway station.

Archetype Roll: Cackling wild-eyed food lefties, and a thuggish, suit-wearing corporate-captain-on-the-right foodie.

Eastwood Roll: Get Jiro could be a postmodern western of chefs instead of sheriffs; rogue sushi chefs par-excellence in place of the beneficent outlaw.

Sushi-Slinger Roll: Jiro is the outlaw that can’t settle, anywhere he tries people tempt him, a pure soul; he does the right things for the right reasons.

Armament Roll: Double-cross slashes; two-cup ladle cudgels.

Landscaper Roll: Food-punk landscape, contraptions out the yin-yang and plenty of wasabi for that sushi…duck!

Theme Roll: There is temptation, transformation, renunciations and California Rolls…duck!

Jiro Roll: Jiro is a culinary Han Solo, a sushi-scented shaman with smarts, a heart and a decisive moguro bocho that he wields like Luke Skywalker in the face of more than just tuna.

Utensil Roll: Get out your acorn-studded rolling pins, get out your corporate Buddhas, most of all get out your chopsticks and tat needle (you’ll love the back art in this graphic novel).

Credit Roll: Anthony Bourdain & Joel Rose writers; art by Langdon Foss with Jose Villarrubia; published by Vertigo / DC Comics 2012

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