If you ask me, there isn’t enough food in comics. Characters don’t eat enough, the subject of food isn’t brought up, and food certainly isn’t the focus of stories. …Until now! Oni Press gives us a galactic food battle, but is it good?
Space Battle Lunchtime #1 (Oni Press)
And with food stories comes television shows. Oni press describes this book thusly:
Space Battle Lunchtime is a hit show broadcast all over the universe, and the new season is about to start! When one of the competing chefs drops out at the last minute, an aspiring baker from earth, Peony, gets the opportunity of a lifetime (and a chance at a 20,000 Solarbuck prize!). But is she ready for the cutthroat world of intergalactic cooking?
Why does this book matter?
Aside from this being a truly unique story it’s also the first title published from the 2015 open submissions call. That call requested fresh ideas that broke the boundaries as far as sex and race. Plus this title is written and drawn by one person, Natalie Riess, which means we’re getting a cohesive work indeed!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
First off the premise is solid and is downright fun. The protagonist rolls with her predicament much like the story rolls along: never asking questions and always pressing forward. Frankly this is the type of story some folks might not dig because it has a less serious air about it. Peony happens to work at a bakery and happens to be chosen for a galactic cooking show. The person who chooses her is a bit of a mess, but also endearing and that’s where the magic lies in this first issue. Riess has managed to tell a simple story, but one that’s incredibly endearing.
Cool stitching machine!
Peony is offered a chance to prove her excellence at baking things, and is thrust into it. It’s really that simple, but at the same time it isn’t. Riess infuses the characters with positivity and naiveté that’s infectious. Peony wants to win, and soon she and we are surprised by where this contest is taking place. The story also involves a spark of love, a talking Octahedral, and a setup much like the hit show Chopped. There’s also a bit of humor in the issue too.
Riess’ art is simple, but in some ways perfect for a story like this. The layouts tend to stick to a lower count which slows things down and puts more emphasis on character reactions. The style has Adventure Time vibes at times, which helps sell the weird aliens and the admittedly weird premise.
It can’t be perfect can it?
While the story reads at a good pace I do wish it progressed a bit further along once we reach the “To be continued.” It’s a minor gripe and probably telling I dug the heck out of this and wanted more.
I’m a sucker for priate map dashed pages!
Is It Good?
Space Battle Lunchtime has a fun premise that’s well paced with a unique story that makes it feel special. The characters are endearing and the story is too.