Pullbox Reviews: Savor – A Tasty Twist on the Hero’s Journey

An adventuring chef must face five deadly restaurants, assemble the ultimate knife, and defeat a band of pirate cooks to save her island and the woman she loves.

Warrior chef Savor Batonnet has returned home, to the island of Earth’s Oven, after years away. When she learns that a crew of demonic pirate cooks has captured both the island and her family, Savor has to take on her very first quest as a newly minted hero! But are being called a “hero” and a handful of skills all the ingredients she needs to face five deadly restaurants, forge the world’s most powerful knife, save both her parents and the woman she loves?

Creators Neil Kleid (Brownsville, Kings and Canvas, Powers: The Secret History of Deena Pilgrim), John Broglia (God Complex, Zombie-Sama) and Frank Reynoso (Kings and Canvas, The Sweetness) serve up a bite-sized story about finding your way, food fighting, family, fun and adventure! Fans of video games and cooking competitions will enjoy this all ages graphic novel.

When you review creator owned and independent comics you’re always looking out for something different. There are a million scifi-westerns, horror books, mysteries, and a million-and-one superhero books. There are not many post-apocalyptic kung-fu islander chef books. In fact, I can only think of one….Savor!

Coming in at a healthy 136-pages, this all-ages adventure has the workings of a fun animated feature like you would find on Netflix. A young girl sets out to sea and comes back to find her home overrun by anthropomorphic hippo-pirates (you read that right) and she sets off to take her homeland back. Fighting more than just hippos, Savor and her partner Cori go on a video game type adventure. Traveling to new levels to fight new bosses on a quest to reunite the pieces of an ancient weapon that can defeat the final boss. It’s a failure formula, but Kleid and Broglia toss in the chef/food theme that makes this feel like an odd, but fun, mix of Moana and Cloudy With a Change of Meatballs….with some Kung-Fu Chef tossed in.

I do feel a strong need to highlight the art by John Broglia and Frank Reynoso. We don’t often see that George Perez level of detail in comics anymore. There is a lot to look at on each page and I found myself lingering on the panels well after I was done with the text. Readers, especially readers of YA comics, will see a marked difference from what they are used to. Lots of very specific details, and even story elements, in every panel.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t sure what to expect when Paul first sent this one over, but as a proud fan of films like Shaolin Soccer and Kung-Fu Hustle I had a feeling there was something thing in this for me. It’s a high adventure book with just the right amount of quirk to keep you smiling.

Score: 11/13

Buy it here!

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