Yarrow is a passionate foodie and talented cook. Her particular passion is preparing food made from insects, to the extent that she moved halfway across the country in the hope of getting a job as a line cook at a new restaurant that serves insect-based food, which Yarrow beliefs is the "food of the future". First, she must convince the chef, Chanda, that she understands the culture and context from which the dishes come and isn't just out to serve insects as a gimmick to lure customers. At the same time, Yarrow develops a friendship, which may blossom into something more, with Milani, an artist who undervalues her own talents.
Meal is the creation of American comic artist Blue Delliquanti (of the Lamda nominated Oh Human Star), and Vietnamese American chef Soleil Ho, host of the podcasts Popaganda and Racist Sandwich. It's a quirky story that is partly a lesbian romance, but with the addition of themes of cultural appropriation and ideas about what is seen as "normal" to eat in different places. It's also about food and the joy that can be found in cooking, eating and sharing it.
The back of the book contains an essay by Soleil Ho about entomophagy (that's my word of the day- impress your friends!- It means eating insects), as well as some recipes. Meal is an unusual graphic novel for adults that will especially appeal to lovers of food.
Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Iron Circus Comics, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Published: December 2018