Graphic cookbook and more

Recommended reading: Lucy Knisley’s Relish: My Life in the Kitchen (First Second, 2013). It’s a graphic memoir (about Knisley’s growing up) combined with a gentle introduction to eating and cooking, tailored for kids but equally useful for inexperienced adults.

The cooking advice covers a range from American comfort food to more adventurous stuff (like making sushi at home).

An incomplete selection of topics covered: chocolate chip cookies, spaghetti carbonara, sangria, sushi, huevos rancheros, cheeses, pickling

Hat tip to Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky, who observes that the book is offered as a Young Adult book, because, she supposed, it was about growing up and had no sex in it. (There’s no explicit sexual action, but menstruation and pornography are both covered, and male masturbation is alluded to indirectly.)

Relish is a graphic memoir. Wikipedia on autobiographical comics:

Autobiographical comics (often referred to in the comics field as simply autobio) are autobiography in the form of comic books or comic strips. The form first became popular in the underground comics movement and has since become more widespread. It is currently most popular in Canadian, American and French comics [but also occurs in e.g., Japanese]

Graphic memoirs are often labeled graphic novels, because most of them combine features of fiction with personal reminiscence. So, for the famous Maus:

Maus is a graphic novel completed in 1991 by American cartoonist Art Spiegelman. It depicts Spiegelman interviewing his father about his experiences as a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor. The book uses postmodern techniques — most strikingly in its depiction of races of humans as different kinds of animals, with Jews as mice, Germans as cats and non-Jewish Poles as pigs. Maus has been described as memoir, biography, history, fiction, autobiography, or a mix of genres. (Wikipedia link)

Alison Bechdel‘s graphic memoirs — Bechdel has come up on this blog a number of times — also incorporate passages in other genres, though they are mostly about her life.

(In addition, Jon Lighter has complained on ADS-L quite a few times that for some people, novel has has come to be used, ignorantly, to mean, roughly ‘book’. A semantic extension.)

The Wikipedia entry on autobios includes a big list of them by decade, beginning with the 1960s:

1960s: Shinji Nagashima created “Mangaka Zankoku Monogatari” (Cruel Tale of a Cartoonist) in 1961

1970s: Justin Green is generally acknowledged to have pioneered the genre (in English-language comics, at least) in his “Binky Brown” stories, notably the 1972 comic book Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary, an extremely personal work dealing with Green’s Catholic and Jewish background and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

And on from there.

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