by Ryan J. Downey
He cooks, he's cool and now he's written a graphic novel.
Anthony Bourdain, who cut his teeth in the CBGBs punk world back in the day, was at San Diego Comic-Con promoting Vertigo's "Get Jiro," the celebrity chef's futuristic graphic novel set in a world (of possible fantasy wish fulfillment?) where cooks rule the streets like crime lords.
MTV Geek's Steven Smith sat down with the "No Reservations" star to talk about his foray into geekdom.
"I've been a serious collector of comics since I was six years old," Bourdain said during MTV Geek's live stream. His love of pre-code comics took over not long afterward. "I liked antisocial, violent comics. Early EC's, Mad Magazine, Jack Davis, Wally Wood, Will Eisner." He collected early '60s Marvel Comics and Batman. But next came the underground; stuff like R. Crumb. "When the first underground comics came out […] my tiny, pointy little head exploded. I very much wanted to draw comic books. Between the ages of eight and 13, my greatest aspiration was to write and illustrate undergrounds."
Bourdain and co-writer Jose Rose, who worked with Paradox Press on "A History of Violence," had talked for some time about collaborating on a graphic novel together. "I was intereted in doing an accurate to a nerdly degree food comic book" that included "some really lurid violence."
"The idea occurred to me of a sushi chef hero for whom inappropriate treatment of his life's work might result in decapitation," Bourdain explained.
Watch the video below for the rest of the in-depth conversation, including details about what it takes to be a real sushi chef, the differences between the type of writing Bourdain has done before versus the comic book medium and more.