Introduction

Everyone needs to eat, and, as a result, food plays a major role in our lives. This month, we’ve got a list for you to devour: food-themed graphic novels! From memoirs to romance, to fantasy, we hope you’ll find one that appeals to you.

Bake Sale

Sara Varon

Cover Image

This truly bizarre world where food bakes food and eats food is also a super cute story about friendship. Cupcake is getting tired of baking for his shop every day and would love to go on vacation to Turkey with his friend Eggplant and meet his hero chef Turkish Delight. Can Cupcake sell enough baked goods to buy a plane ticket?

Appeals to

Anyone who loves cupcakes and friendship.

Recommended by

Martha Boksenbaum

Bloom

Kevin Panetta

Savanna Ganucheau

Cover Image

Ari helps out in his family’s bakery, but he feels that his true calling is making it big with his band friends in the city. When Hector, a culinary school student who finds strong connections through food, starts working at the bakery, Ari finds his viewpoints shifting. This is a sweet story of food and family that will be sure to warm your heart.

Appeals to

Fans of coming of age stories such as Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me and LGBTQ romances such as Heartstopper.

Main Character Identities:

  • Sexuality: 5362
Recommended by

Megan Rupe

Cook Korean

Robin Ha

Cover Image

This graphic novel cookbook will teach you to cook real Korean recipes. The methods are portrayed through pictures that will help you know what to look for and how it should look at the end. The illustrations are fun, vibrant, and make you want to head straight to the kitchen-or to call for Korean takeout!

Appeals to

Cooks, fans of cooking shows, and those who enjoy exploring cultures through food.

Creator Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: 6858

Main Character Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: 5871
Recommended by

Martha Boksenbaum

Initiates

Etienne Davodeau

Cover Image

A comic artist visits a wine artisan and learns what it's like to make wine for a living, while the wine artisan learns about comics. The reader benefits from this exchange through their journey learning about each other's work. You’ll learn plenty about comics, terroir, building barrels, manure, and of course drinking wine.

Appeals to

Gourmets, comics lovers interested in the creative process, and documentary-style memoir comics.

Recommended by

Martha Boksenbaum

Kitchen Princess

Miyuki Kobayashi

Natsumi Ando

Cover Image

Najika is a great cook and loves to make food for others. She’s just started at the prestigious Seika Academy and she doesn’t fit in, but she’s determined to stay. She thinks she will find someone from her past at the school and is determined to find the boy who touched her heart and gave her a silver spoon with the school’s crest on it. Is the boy one of the handsome students at the school? There are plenty of delicious things to eat in this romance manga.

Appeals to

Fans of romance and cooking will eat this up!

Content Notes

There is some bullying and one of the major characters has an eating disorder.

Creator Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: 6849

Main Character Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: 5397
Recommended by

Martha Boksenbaum

Laid Back Camp

Afro

Cover Image

This comic about camping spends lots of time showing and talking about what to eat when out in the wilderness. From hot soups to grilled meats and more, much of this manga centers on the delicious foods the campers eat to keep themselves warm and energized on their adventures. This slice of life comic will have you taking your food outside to dine al fresco.

Appeals to

Readers who enjoy slice of life stories that are slower paced and focused on enjoying life's experiences.

Creator Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: 6849

Main Character Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: 5397
Recommended by

Martha Boksenbaum

Meal

Blue Delliquanti

Blue Delliquanti

Cover Image

Yarrow moves from California to pursue an opportunity cooking in a new restaurant focusing on insect cuisine, but she offends the owner Chanda during her interview. Yarrow has one chance to convince her culinary hero that her interest in entomophagy is genuine. Can she do it and possibly win over her crush Milani? Find out in this sweet queer romance!

Appeals to

People who like sweet LGBTQ romances; people who are interested in food culture and history

Content Notes

Brief discussion of cultural erasure and the Khmer Rogue

Creator Identities:

  • Gender Identity: Nonbinary

Main Character Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: African-American, Japanese-American, Multiracial
Recommended by

Megan Rupe

Measuring Up

Lily LaMotte

Ann Xu

Cover Image

Cici loves grocery shopping and cooking with A-mả, but she has to give that up when her family moves to Seattle from Taiwan. Determined to reunite with her grandmother, Cici enters a cooking contest in order to raise money for a plane ticket to bring A-mả to America for her seventieth birthday. The only catch is: Cici only knows how to cook Taiwanese food. Can Cici overcome the odds? This is a heartwarming story about family, food, culture, and self-discovery that will have you smiling and thinking about your own family cooking memories.

Appeals to

Fans of Raina Telgemeier and readers who might be too young for some of Gene Luen Yang's work

Creator Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: 6983

Main Character Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: 6644
Recommended by

Megan Rupe

Moonstruck

Grace Ellis

Shae Beagle

Cover Image

Magic, drama, and coffee feature in this love story between two werewolves. Mythical creatures are everywhere as Julie and Selena begin dating at a café where Julie works with her centaur bestie Chet. The dreamy illustrations will draw you into this caffeinated, inclusive world of fantasy romance.

Appeals to

Appeals to those looking for LGBTQIA romance, body positivity and magical creatures.

Creator Identities:

  • Sexuality: 7031

Main Character Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: 5357, 5421
  • Sexuality: 5363
Recommended by

Martha Boksenbaum

Our Dining Table

Mita Ori

Cover Image

Yutaka has always felt alone, but when he meets a young boy named Tane and his big brother Minoru they start cooking together and he starts feeling happy for the first time in his life. As Yukata and Minoru spend more time together they become close friends, until their friendship becomes something more. They all get to know each other through sharing meals together and from the pictures you'll want to pull up a seat next to them and dig in!

Appeals to

Fans of slow-burn romances, cooking, and those who think kids are cute.

Creator Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: 6849

Main Character Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: 5397
  • Sexuality: 5362
Recommended by

Martha Boksenbaum

Relish

Lucy Knisley

Cover Image

Cartoonist Lucy Kinsley shares her key memories as a member of a food-loving family and community. From sautéed mushrooms to croissants, this is a heartwarming collection of food and love. Readers will also enjoy the recipes scattered throughout the narrative!

Appeals to

Foodies; fans of memoirs

Recommended by

Megan Rupe

Restaurant for Another World

Junpei Inuzuka

Takaaki Kugatsu

Cover Image

Nekoya is a restaurant that looks normal at first, but every seven days, doors open from the restaurant into many other worlds and all manners of fantasy beings such as elves, demons, and dragons come to eat the delicious food the chef makes. The illustrations of each visitor eating and enjoying their food will make your stomach rumble and your mouth water.

Appeals to

Some implied nudity and fan service.

Content Notes

There is also a light novel series with the same name that preceded the manga which is still publishing new volumes.

Creator Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: 6849

Main Character Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: 5397
Recommended by

Martha Boksenbaum

Rutabaga the Adventure Chef

Eric Colossal

Cover Image

Rutabaga and his magic pot set out on adventures through a fantasy world where you never know what creature you’ll meet next. They join a quest to defeat a dragon, cook for their fellow travelers, and search for new and exciting ingredients-and even save the day with cooking!

Appeals to

An adventure story for those wondering what travelers eat on their epic journeys.

Main Character Identities:

    Recommended by

    Martha Boksenbaum

    Seconds

    Bryan Lee O'Malley

    Cover Image

    Katie is a successful restaurateur, opening a second restaurant after the first became successful. But the second restaurant is taking too long to get ready to open and her love life is not going well at all. When she discovers instructions for a do-over that involves eating a mushroom and going to sleep, she gives it a chance, and suddenly the bad things in her life never happened and she’s got a chance to do it over. But what happens when something seems too good to be true? Things go wrong.

    Appeals to

    Appeals to fans of stories where protagonists try to fix the past and surreal and creepy situations.

    Recommended by

    Martha Boksenbaum

    Stepping Stones

    Lucy Knisley

    Cover Image

    Jen’s parents get a divorce and her mom moves Jen to the countryside where she is forced to learn about farm life, including caring for chickens, waterproofing the path, and working the farmstand with her mom’s boyfriend’s daughters, Andy and Reese. This is a sweet story about getting a new family, adjusting to life on a farm, and growing up.

    Appeals to

    Fans of Raina Telgemeier's slice of life and coming of age stories and similar authors

    Content Notes

    The boyfriend can come across as extremely difficult, which might be frustrating or upsetting to some people.

    Recommended by

    Megan Rupe

    Tea Dragon Festival

    K. O'Neill

    Cover Image

    In an isolated mountain village, Rinn is trying to become a cook’s apprentice, yet they also find great joy foraging in the mountains. During one of their trips, they find Aedhan, a guardian dragon who has been asleep for eighty years! Aedhan feels guilty for missing so much of the village’s history, but Rinn has an idea for the upcoming tea dragon festival to make him feel welcome! You’ll fall for this sweet story about discovering new loved ones, all connected together with food and love!

    Appeals to

    Fans of O’Neill’s other work; fans of cute fantasy stories

    Creator Identities:

    • Gender Identity: Nonbinary

    Main Character Identities:

    • Gender Identity: 5370
    Recommended by

    Megan Rupe

    The Lunch Witch

    Deb Lucke

    Cover Image

    Ok, so this comic won’t make you hungry, but it will make you laugh and might be a good one to read if you have to wait a while until your next meal. When Grunhilda’s potions store goes out of business she gets a job as a lunch lady whose food you really don’t want to eat. In fact, she would rather cook children than be nice to them. Because witches should never be nice! Lots of creepy cooking in this one, with a pinch of magic, some bats, and a dog to serve up a disgusting concoction.

    Appeals to

    Drawings of bugs, bats, potions, scary witches, and strange-looking stains, this book is for those with strong stomachs who like scary and gross stories.

    Content Notes

    Some scary and icky images you might expect to see with a witch about.

    Recommended by

    Martha Boksenbaum

    Umma's Table

    Yeon-Sik Hong

    Cover Image

    This story follows a Korean artist who moves to a house in the country with his wife and new child, excited to start a garden and a new life. We learn about him through the food he grows and cooks for his family, as well as the food his mother cooked for him as a child. He hopes to make enough money to move his sick parents out of a basement apartment in Seoul, but his mother’s many trips to the hospital create bills he has to pay making that dream harder. The characters are depicted as cats with black and white panels that create a stark contrast between the clean sketched detailed happy times and the harder ones shown with great swathes of black and blocks of darkness. The food is detailed and looks delicious, and will make you want to cook a meal for your family.

    Appeals to

    Fans of memoir, cooking, and history.

    Creator Identities:

    • Race and/or Nationality: 6857

    Main Character Identities:

    • Race and/or Nationality: 5454
    Recommended by

    Martha Boksenbaum

    What Did You Eat Yesterday?

    Fumi Yoshinaga

    Cover Image

    Shiro Kakei is an uptight lawyer, who also happens to be a closeted gay man. His passion is cooking for himself and his boyfriend Kenji. Enjoy this sweet story as Shiro and Kenji navigate their lives and meals. Be ready to learn recipes as you read!

    Appeals to

    People who really like learning about new food;

    Content Notes

    some homophobia; some implied night life entertainment

    Creator Identities:

    • Race and/or Nationality: Japanese

    Main Character Identities:

    • Race and/or Nationality: Japanese
    • Sexuality: Gay
    Recommended by

    Megan Rupe

    Yakitate Japan

    Takashi Hashiguchi

    Cover Image

    Kazuma’s never gone to school to learn how to make bread, but he has magical bread making hands that make everything he bakes taste delicious. He joins a competition for a job at a famous bakery chain with only one goal- to make a Japanese bread so delicious that it becomes world famous like those from France and Germany-and he’ll call it Ja-pan! Can he keep up with others who have been formally trained? Can he make his Ja-pan world famous?

    Appeals to

    Fans of baking shows, school competitions, and bread of all kinds.

    Creator Identities:

    • Race and/or Nationality: 6849

    Main Character Identities:

    • Race and/or Nationality: 5397
    Recommended by

    Martha Boksenbaum

    • Megan

      | She/Her

      Features Writer

      Megan earned her MLIS from Simmons College and is currently the evening librarian at Bay State College in Massachusetts. She satisfies her voracious appetite for graphic novels and manga through regular visits to her local public libraries and puts her love of graphic novels to good use by adding to Bay State’s collection whenever possible. Megan maintains a personal blog, Ferret with a Strobe Light, where she discusses awesome books she’s read lately. When not engaged in reading or library work, she likes running, drinking tea, and working on her own stories and art.

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