Story: Joe Brusha/Ralph Tedesco/Shawn Gabborin
Writer: Shawn Gabborin
Artwork: Babisu Kourtis (not covers)
Colors: Fran Gamboa w/ J.C. Ruiz
Letters: Fabio Amelia
Another amazing issue from Zenescope! You never REALLY know what goes on in the kitchen at a restaurant…do you? Well, in this issue, we are served a tantalizing tale that sure to leave your skin crawling with goosebumps and a something of a raw taste in your mouth, with a little dash of sweet and sour.
Meet Jake, a culinary school dropout with his eye on being a chef…and one of the waitresses at the restaurant he buses tables at. Poor kid gets harassed by Steve, the current Chef de Cuisine, on a nonstop basis, his every move, even his every breath, practically being ridiculed. Not to mention that Steve gets jealous at even the implication of Callie being with someone else. His Waitress friend, Callie, comes to his defense often (guys can’t possibly dig that too much) and tries to console him in his times of sorrow.
The customers seem to really like Jake. Especially one in particular, Mr. Cartwright. This is a man with so much money he can’t possibly know what to do with it all. It’s probably stacked in his bathroom to use for toilet paper, this guy’s so rich. He even makes a snide comment to to another customer who is having trouble getting a table at the hostess station. (Apparently, this is a really high-class joint. Almost “Black Tie” kinda place. I am sure that little hostess station has some fancy French name but, I don’t know it nor do I care enough to go look it up online.)
Over the next couple of days Jake sees a couple of things happen that, by themselves might be innocent enough but, altogether add up to more than just everyday life. I doubt most kitchens bring their meat into the kitchen in body bag sized black plastic bags. Co-workers come up missing. Steve has a new watch that resembles one that Jake’s friend from work had. Something’s just not right.
Through a very well executed but, unplanned little stunt Jake finally gets his chance to be A CHEF. His first task…to make mean, old Mr. Cartwright happy. Something that no one can do. But, given free reign, Jake carefully prepares a meal that the old muskrat loves. This earns him a permanent spot as a full-time chef.
His swift promotion gives him a newfound bout of confidence and he asks Callie out on a date. That doesn’t go as he had hoped. Neither does the rest of his night.
Poor, poor Jake. Rebuffed by Callie (for Steve, no less and for no other reason than because he IS a jerk, what kind of chick does that? “No, sorry, you’re a really nice and sweet guy and see, I just want to be treated in the worst way humanly possible and well, you just aren’t qualified to do that. Now see, THAT guy over there, he is an incredible douchebag and an amazingly abusive narcissist and that’s exactly what I’m looking for in MY ROMEO for tonight, right THERE!!!” SERIOUSLY???).
And yes, Steve is an ass. So Jake suspects he has something to do with all the weirdness that has been happening. So, he turns all creepy stalker dude and follows them on their date. (Nope. That’s not psycho at all. I’m sure Callie will be flattered.) First they go to a diner. No big deal. Lots of people go out for a bite on a date. But, then they go back to the restaurant…and that’s where things get OUTRAGEOUSLY jacked up.
And I’m not going to tell you how. (I must admit, I do enjoy doing that to you guys now and then.)
Even from the cover there are parts of this story that you can infer. Like the fact that, at some point, someone is serving someone else human flesh to eat. (I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.) There’s a lot of foreshadowing in this story leading you to the ultimate conclusion of what you already know and what you may not already know. The writing in this story is great. When you read it, it feels and sounds natural, not forced. It generally sounds like real people talking. That makes it so comfortable to read. It’s not choppy and disconnected verbally. But, as with a lot of issues, there may be things you already know and then there’s what the author WANTS you to already know…GTT loves to offer up little twists and turns to keep things interesting for the fans. They continue to have an array of talented writers who manifest not only new stories but, some old classics in the most genius of new ways. It’s always a pleasure to read one of these issues.
As with all GTT issues, our sexy little seductress, the little vixen I call Red all the time, still makes an appearance in this issue but it’s a small one. Two frames in fact. And it’s in the body of the issue, not at the beginning as the intro like they usually do. I enjoy that she’s almost always, if not always, included.
The artwork is fantastic. Babisu Kourtis is quickly becoming one of my more favored artists. The artwork is clean, lines are great and the detail in the facial expressions is amazing. The colors are also brilliantly used. I love the emphasis in some frames to show different lighting and ambiance in each scene of the story. Gamboa and Ruiz put together an articulate and vibrant depiction of the story that's written, so much so that you could almost know what’s going on without the lettering. (No disrespect meant to either the writer or the letterer here. Merely expressing how well the artwork tells the story.)
All in all, a fantastic issue. If you like horror comics, I think you should go get this one. It’s this month’s issue.