‘What are you looking for?’ It was always, ‘Arterial spray,’”
January 5, 2016 9:59 AM   Subscribe

“If there was an unfortunate incident here [in the sake bar], and we were called upon to dismember a body into its constituent parts, I would probably be a good guy to have around,” quips Bourdain. “If inclined to help you out with this problem, I would certainly know what to do and pretty god damn quickly.” Bryan Reesman reports on Anthony Bourdain's comic book, written with Joel Rose, for mentalfloss.
posted by valkane (39 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Arterial spray

Without the context given in the article itself, I was confused by this (Is that a product you can buy at a hardware or medical supply store? What's it used for??).
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:16 AM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I must have watched too much CSI because I didn't need context!
posted by sio42 at 10:22 AM on January 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yeah...uhhh....cool Tony.

He's just a big an attention whore as the thing he claims to hate, Mr. Donkey Sauce, he just manifests his neediness slightly differently. No one was clamouring for a Bourdain penned comic.
posted by Keith Talent at 10:23 AM on January 5, 2016


If I had to bet money? I'm thinking he was thinking of this scene from RAN (warning: arterial spray).

Akira makes stuff that you can't forget.
posted by valkane at 10:27 AM on January 5, 2016


No one asked for TekWars, either, but Shatner brought it into the world. Creatives gotta create, I guess.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:28 AM on January 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


Well, I can only hope Bourdain and Rose approach and treat Japanese culture with respect.
posted by qcubed at 10:30 AM on January 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


I didn't read the article but that comic better damn well be called Bastard Chef.
posted by bondcliff at 10:30 AM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


bondcliff: "I didn't read the article but that comic better damn well be called Bastard Chef."

Kill Grill?
posted by boo_radley at 10:37 AM on January 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


I always use a light arterial spray to season my bone marrow dishes.
posted by dis_integration at 10:38 AM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Watching Bourdain slowly turn into exactly the kind of celebrity he railed against in Kitchen Confidential (a terrific book) has been so damn depressing.
posted by Frayed Knot at 10:40 AM on January 5, 2016 [10 favorites]


Anyone who cooks has committed a violent act. Whether it's chopping up a carcass for meat, or dicing a vegetable for soup. I think Tony has internalized this violence. And expressed it in the best way possible. Otherwise, he would be Hannibal.
posted by valkane at 10:41 AM on January 5, 2016


I read ... well, OK, I started reading the first Get Jiro and, yeah, it's basically exactly what you think a comic co-written by Tony Bourdain would be like. Exactly. You know if you're going to like that going into it. Me, well, it was fun and all, but it really wasn't a great comic. (And ... I suspect, beyond plotting, he may not have done much of the heavy-lifting in terms of the writing. Bourdain's a good writer -- this didn't really read like him, honestly.)

I was surprised it was enough of a hit for them to make another, but I realized comic fans aren't really the target audience for this. Bourdain fans are.

Anyway, I'm really into comics about food and so I was kind of disappointed there was nothing that excited me about the first one.
posted by darksong at 10:43 AM on January 5, 2016


Arterial spray

Without the context given in the article itself, I was confused by this (Is that a product you can buy at a hardware or medical supply store? What's it used for??).


Beauty product, but you have to be pretty vein to use it.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:54 AM on January 5, 2016 [15 favorites]


Bourdain is not my favorite Culinary Celebrity (that honor definitely goes to Jacques Pepin), but what's with all the snark? So he made a comic book? Help me understand. I love having celebrities to hate.
posted by dis_integration at 10:57 AM on January 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Love him or hate him, the 2006 episode of No Reservations in which he and his crew were trapped in Beirut during Israel's bombing of the city is one of the most fascinating and moving pieces of television that I've ever seen.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:08 AM on January 5, 2016 [11 favorites]


No one asked for TekWars, either, but Shatner brought it into the world. Creatives gotta create, I guess.

Bourdain wrote a couple of crime/thriller novels (with a chef as protagonist, naturally) quite a while ago (not long after Kitchen Confidential, I think. I read two of them, and... they weren't bad. Not great but entirely workmanlike and diverting. So he has kind of established himself as a fiction writer, and doing comics isn't that weird. So he's in a different class than Shatner, who, as an author is a mediocre actor.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:27 AM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well, I can only hope Bourdain and Rose approach and treat Japanese culture with respect.

Meanwhile, we got the manga that the owners of Mibu commissioned to celebrate their collab with Ferran Adrià when Hiroyoshi and Tomiko Ishida came to El Bulli to cook for a week.
posted by sukeban at 11:28 AM on January 5, 2016


I don't see at all that Bourdain has become what he hated. He's doing what he really loves, and has been pretty open at being astonished that people pay him oodles of money to do it. He doesn't gladhand, he doesn't do the celebrity bubble thing (acquaintances of mine managed to wangle having him over for dinner a couple years ago when he was in town--was a totally chill, normal dude who gets to go on adventures), he hasn't become Emeril.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:28 AM on January 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


Bourdain is not my favorite Culinary Celebrity (that honor definitely goes to Jacques Pepin), but what's with all the snark? So he made a comic book? Help me understand. I love having celebrities to hate.

Speaking for myself only, he has this haughty air of "I am such a great chef, all the other celebrity chefs are just in it for the money" or similar, with a special disdain for Guy Fieri in particular. But then he eats all manner of sketchy street food (with 3 cameras on him at all times, of course), ostentatiously visits strip clubs from Miami to Atlanta to Toyko (and took Alton Brown with him to the ATL one), and then promotes Sean Brock for an entire season of "Mind of a Chef," when Brock is essentially the thinking man's, pickle-obsessed version of Guy Fieri.

Basically it's the old trope of thinking his favorite things are awesome while other people's favorite things, which are fundamentally similar but distinct in a narcissism-of-small-differences sense, totally suck. And it can get aggravating even if you're with him on like 90% of stuff.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 11:46 AM on January 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


Oh and yes I have watched all of Bourdain's 3 series for the Travel Channel, and am working my way through Mind of a Chef, thanks for asking.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 11:47 AM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Don't miss the episodes with Magnus Nilssen (Faviken; he does things to a steak that are downright pornographic), and Gabrielle Hamilton (Prune; who is EXACTLY the kind of chef I want to work for) (with bonus Jacques Pepin deboning a chicken with his bare hands).
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:51 AM on January 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Haters gonna hate.

he has this haughty air of "I am such a great chef, all the other celebrity chefs are just in it for the money" or similar

He often says about himself that he's not a particularly good chef. Which I believe. What he is, is enthusiastic about food, and spent some time as a cook. His early sniping of Emeril ended with him basically saying, I hated the idea of the guy, but when I met him I found out that he's a really earnest guy and his food is actually good.

His critique of Food Network style celebrity chefs have always been that they don't actually care about the food, not that they're making a lot of money...
posted by danny the boy at 12:12 PM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Sean Brock for an entire season of "Mind of a Chef," when Brock is essentially the thinking man's, pickle-obsessed version of Guy Fieri.

Sean Brock is a Saint! (The Saint of Locally-Sourced Rice, Probably)
posted by drezdn at 12:16 PM on January 5, 2016


He often says about himself that he's not a particularly good chef

I think one phrase he's used is "a line cook of middling abilities."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:35 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wow lotta ill-informed shit talking here, it's kind of pathetic. Bourdain is fucking awesome, Parts Unkown is without a doubt the best travel show on television right now, and he's been very open about his failed career as a chef/restaurateur-turned writer/storyteller - so not sure where people are getting this "he thinks he's such a great celebrity chef"/"attention whore" garbage.

Every once in a while he spews some heated kneejerk quote about how Guy Fieri or Rachel Ray sucks and the internet jumps all over it and, whatever, get thee to the fainting couch if it bothers you but I think Bourdain is a giant net positive in the food+travel entertainment vertical.

Brock is essentially the thinking man's, pickle-obsessed version of Guy Fieri

Brock has a James Beard award, what are you even talking about.
posted by windbox at 1:26 PM on January 5, 2016 [10 favorites]


I'm really enjoying Parts Unknown; we're midway thru S2 after watching Chef's Table first. But I don't know that I'm the target for a comic/graphic novel.

is this the kind of thing I'd need to have read Kitchen Confidential to understand?
posted by a halcyon day at 1:42 PM on January 5, 2016


I've been a fan of Bourdain since Kitchen Confidential (the book) and the only possible negative thing I have to say about him is that the fucker took my dream job.
posted by bondcliff at 1:53 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


the fucker took my dream job.

Precisely, he is pretty cool guy who is aging gracefully who has been able to live every single one of my fantasies. I'm not too fond of the idea of a comic book, but the people who like what I do at my main job would probably hate my band.

There's been no other time when he hasn't treated a specific culture with respect and curiosity unless it is a passing reference to Al-Queda or some such.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:58 PM on January 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


I really love that about him. He goes somewhere and is like, "show me what you eat! not the tourist stuff, I want real food!" and somehow manages to avoid white tourist syndrome.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:01 PM on January 5, 2016


I usually avoid celebrity-writers crossing over into comics. Even established novelists and screenwriters struggle with comics as a form. The resulting works always feel "off" to me.

That being said, I still picked up both volumes of Get Jiro. They were...okay, kind of lightweight, but having some fun parts as well. I certainly enjoyed them more than anything with Frank Miller's name on them from the last ten years.

There was a fair amount of recycling going on. Bourdain mined a lot of material from his own articles and essays and put them in the mouths of his characters. He cribbed from a lot of movies as well. It would have been nice had the material felt more original.

As an aside, Bourdain's tv episode with Harvey Pekar is worthwhile. He seems to genuinely appreciate comics as an art form.
posted by Eikonaut at 2:16 PM on January 5, 2016


To be clear I'm not talking shit about Sean Brock; I want to eat everything he cooks. Rather, I'm complaining that Bourdain is an asshole to everyone he dislikes when he could instead grant that different people appreciate different cuisines, particularly since he gets such a hard-on about street food all the time. What precisely distinguishes a street food cart from a DDD destination? Whether you need a car to get there.

Brock has a James Beard award, what are you even talking about.

Fine. Perhaps his oeuvre is misrepresented on Mind of a Chef, but there's an awful lot of "then fry [ingredient] in lard!" or "then pour red eye gravy over [ingredient]!" both of which overlap substantially with DDD. I'm not saying you should hate on Sean Brock (or anyone else!) but more that one should avoid being a dick about more humdrum cuisine and the small, family-owned restaurants that produce it.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 2:19 PM on January 5, 2016


I'm complaining that Bourdain is an asshole to everyone he dislikes when he could instead grant that different people appreciate different cuisines

Watch the S2 (or 3?) episode of No Reservations when he goes to elBulli and you will see, in real time, him realizing how wrong he was about modernist cuisine.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:22 PM on January 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


I really love that about him. He goes somewhere and is like, "show me what you eat! not the tourist stuff, I want real food!" and somehow manages to avoid white tourist syndrome.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering


I've followed his recommendations/film locations in SE Asia, and gotta say, he finds the most obvious places ever, places a half step better than tourist trap, but certainly not undiscovered gems. Everywhere he filmed in Vietnam are places a moderately food interested semi-adventurous traveler would have found without seeing the shows. He never gets off the beaten track.

I've stopped using the shows as a resource, he rarely breaks trail, rather follows the heavily travelled path.
posted by Keith Talent at 2:37 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


They were...okay, kind of lightweight, but having some fun parts as well.

Were those the parts with, or without arterial spray?
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:42 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Bourdain is not my favorite Culinary Celebrity (that honor definitely goes to Jacques Pepin), but what's with all the snark?

I find his limp leather machismo persona very tiring, and the focus on authenticity, actually the opposite. I feel like he positions himself as a kind of anti-establishment outsider, but actually he totally establishment (and there's nothing wrong with that! But just own it dude). If you're familiar with the countries he goes to, the restaurants and food he eats are what any mildly gourmand tourist would dig up.

Everything has to be like "Edgy"; the pursuing authenticity like it's some kind of holy grail is a waste of time; I've had better Viet food here in Sydney than in Vietnam, whatever. I dunno, I find it irritating how he's all like 'cut through the bullshit', iconoclast dragon-slayer, unearthing secret treasures that no one knows about schtick. Actually I feel like he's just promoting a different type of mythos ; it's not original; in fact it's a very old, very male, very older male discourse. I don't like it in a lot of areas; I don't like it in cooking stuff, either.

I'm sure he's very nice in person, his brand exhausts me, though.
posted by smoke at 3:55 PM on January 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


Before Tony Bourdain was all that big, he also wrote a book about Typhoid Mary, and a few not-terrible crime fiction novels.

As celebrity chefs go (the tv kind, not the book kind), he's one of the more talented writers in the bunch. This is faint praise, but it's not nothing.
posted by box at 4:16 PM on January 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


I can't really criticize him much for his schtick. To go from heroin addict to world-travelling professional eater is an unqualified success IMO.

As he admits in his Reddit AMA a while back, he used to be the kind of person "you wouldn't want to know", "selfish, druggy, larcenous"...

Whatever else you might say, Bourdainnow is much better.
posted by iffthen at 4:19 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also, he'd probably make a damn entertaining travelling companion.

Not that I'm jealous or anything
posted by iffthen at 4:22 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


While I won't buy a comic book by Bourdain, his travel shows are my first choice for relaxing in front of the screen. Will now also try The Mind of a Chef, thanks for the hint.

If one is a frequent and curious traveller, his shows are obviously not a "ressource" (though I've bookmarked the episode on Peru), but they are lovely television escapism, and a lot of people never get to travel across the globe and eat all sorts of local food.

Some of the shows are edgy, too: Atom Eyes has already mentioned the one where the crew are trapped in Beirut. They've also visited Iran, which made for a great show. And there was the show about drug-addiction - I don't remember wether that was in one of the series or a separate feature.

From the foody point of view, the episodes where the food is just horrible are fun and edgy in a less political way - Finland springs to mind, and Namibia.
posted by mumimor at 5:07 AM on January 6, 2016


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