Anthony Bourdain vs. Harvey Pekar
This may seem like a setup for a bad joke, but the majority of comic book readers I know are also big fans of food. No, I'm not throwing daggers about stereotypes involving weight. I'm saying that for whatever reason, comic book reading seems to also make people hunt out really good food, either at a restaurant or for them to create in their own kitchen.
(As far as I'm concerned, a nice way to wind down after work when on your lonesome involves a delicious meal followed by sitting down on the couch with comics you've been saving for that very special evening. But I digress.)
In a world of "celebrity chefs" one of the few real stand-outs in terms of being genuinely interesting and talented has got to be Anthony Bourdain. His non-fiction books like Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour show him as someone who has a nice sense of humor, as well as a very adventurous side. After traveling around the world in A Cook's Tour in search of the perfect meal, it really was just a matter of time until the Travel Channel gave him his own show: Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, in which he travels around the world trying the local cuisines and taking a general no-holds-barred approach to whatever is thrown at him.
With a new season about to start, viewers can look forward to him traveling to places like Shanghai, Brazil, French Polynesia, and... Cleveland? Hey, wait a second, which comic book celebrity lives in Cleveland?
Harvey Pekar is an inspired choice for a guest on No Reservations. First, the general public may actually have heard of him, thanks to a little movie called American Splendor. Second, Pekar's a character and a half. I love that the clip they showed starts off with him saying he has no idea who Bourdain even is.
Best of all, though, the directors and editors of No Reservations clearly had a blast putting this together, complete with comic book panels shown to illustrate part of Harvey's thought process, and letting the video footage morph into line art and vice versa. It's a fun, sharp clip and it bodes quite well for the rest of the episode. I, for one, am really looking forward to it.
The new season of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations premiers on Monday, July 30th at 10PM (ET/PT) on the Travel Channel, with the Harvey Pekar episode airing on Monday, August 27th. Don't just wait for Pekar's appearance to tune in, though; the show is a great way to banish the summer doldrums.