Saturday, February 2, 2013

DIGESTATE: A Food & Eating Themed Anthology

Digestate: A Food & Eating Themed Anthology $19.95 Birdcage Bottom Books 324-A West 71st St New York, NY 10023
Like the title says, this is a food and eating themed comics anthology. Food is a popular topic these days, pop culture is dripping with it. Food shows rule the land of television, and chefs have replaced musicians as the hippest amongst us. It seems only natural that the underground comics world should have something to say about it all. The editor, J.T. Yost, states in the beginning that he has been a vegan since 1992, and although not every artist in this comic is vegetarian/vegan, the topic is at the forefront of this book. Digestate is an ambitious project which, from my perspective, really turned out great. There are some fantastic artists in here, and some really great stories. Standout artist for me include but aren’t limited to (there are so many) Cha, Josh Bayer, Noah Van Sciver, Al Ortiz, K. Thor Jensen, Victor Kerlow, Nichole J. Georges, and J.T. Yost, whose “Slaughterhouse Stories” was really hard to read and look at, but I felt it important to do so. The story is an illustrated testimonial from a long time meat packing employee who worked for years on the kill floor in a variety of positions. I’ve known about the horrors of mass meat production for years, you can’t be involved in the zine world and not know this stuff, J.T.’s rendition of this guy’s stories, however, was a pretty goddamn effective and needed reminder of why it is so important to do some basic research on where your food comes from. Bacon worshipers (of whom I know many) should read this, and hopefully make wiser choices when buying it. This book is not all one big bummer though, there’s a lot of humor, and pure weirdness scattered throughout as well. Digestate is an incredibly entertaining and thought provoking read start to finish.