You’d think with the number of cooking shows in existence we’d all be cooking a lot more and fast food would be in big trouble, but alas we like to watch our cooking a lot more than actually doing it. Regardless, I’m digging the fact that there’s a comic book cooking show to read about each month thanks to Oni Press. I really enjoyed the first issue–it was endearing as hell, but the actual cooking competition is on in issue #2. Is it good?
Space Battle Lunchtime #2 (Oni Press)
So what’s it about? Check out the full preview to find out!
Why does this book matter?
Art, writing, cover art..it’s all by Natalie Riess who has managed to cram a lot of heart and character into a somewhat slower paced comic. The pace is actually part of its endearing quality as Peony is the perfect amount of positive yet doubtful, and also somehow confident in what she can do. We don’t know much about her beyond the fact that she’s probably in over her head, but it’s her positivity that’s going to get her through this.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Six contenders must make any food they like with a mystery ingredient for each contestant and of course these ingredients are alien. Time for a cooking montage! Most of this issue is in a montage format as Riess cuts between the six contestants trying their best to win the competition. It’s not all cooking though, as some funny business is afoot and someone isn’t playing fair. By using the TV show host as a way to check in on each contestant we get a bit of flavor (heh) from each character, but also move about the kitchen. This allows the reader to check out some wicked alien cooking technology and ingredients, which is a lot of fun.
Riess continues to flesh out Peony by showing us how damn cute she is, but her interest in an alien contestant continues to move forward too. At the same time jokes are littered throughout the issue, like a rival TV show that I’m sure Peony is happy not to be on–and you have to love the science fiction vibe with all of them. This is the type of series where you have to wonder why no one came up with it before, as the humor and plot screams “Why didn’t I think of that!”
At the same time there’s some incredibly inventive elements in play here. Can anyone say “Flesh Oceans”? Like…what does that even look like? Is it one giant ocean of muscle and meat? Gross! Stuff like this permeates the issue and it amps up the inventive science fiction fun quite a bit.
Reiss’ art continues to be inventive with the layouts that seem to change quite a bit from page to page but continues to be easy to read throughout. Some pages might only have five panels each–simple, but effective in progressing the story. This is the type of read where nothing feels wasted and the pace is just right. The style has a Nickelodeon cartoon vibe most people will find easy on the eyes and it suits the comedic story.
It can’t be perfect can it?
It’s still early, but beyond Peony being a bit lovestruck with one of the contestants and a quiet, endearingly sweet character I don’t know if we know her well enough at this juncture. There’s no backstory and really she boils down to nice human and not much more. The story itself isn’t requiring a deeply complex character, but I want her to be a bit more than what she is so far.
This page really pops!
Is It Good?
Funnier than the first issue with a lot of cooking action that’s quite exciting. If you like cooking shows, science fiction for all ages, or all of those combined, this is can’t miss comics. It blows away any cooking show you’ve seen on TV.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!