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Ryan Dunlavey Gets Culinary All Over the Dirt Candy Cookbook [Preview]

I’m a pretty big fan of artist Ryan Dunlavey thanks to his work on Action Philosophers and Comic Book Comics, but I often find that as much as I love seeing his expressive cartooning, it does not allow me to solve the problem of being hungry. Honestly, it’s probably my biggest complaint about his work.

But now, that’s going to be taken care of, as Dunlavey is teaming up with Amanda Cohen, chef and owner of New York City’s Dirt Candy vegetarian restaurant to create a comic-style cookbook. According to a blog post by Cohen, “My problem has always been that I couldn’t think of a reason to add yet another cookbook to the already crowded shelves, but that all changed about a year ago when I had an idea for the kind of cookbook that would work for Dirt Candy: a graphic novel cookbook.”

When I asked Dunlavey, the cookbook came about, like all good things, as a result of giant monsters:
“About 2 or 3 years ago my work with Wizard was starting to dry up so I posted on one of Warren Ellis’ many forums that I was looking for paid work. Big mistake – people thought I was looking for creative collaborators and I got slammed with requests – flattering of course, but not really what I was looking for. Most of them didn’t interest me at all, but two of them were really good – one of which was from Grady [Hendrix]. It was a cool story involving Kaiju monsters but I didn’t feel like I was the right person for the project so I passed, but we kept in touch through emails and at the New York Comic-Cons. Last spring he approached me with the Dirt Candy Cookbook idea that he and his wife, Dirt Candy head chef/owner Amanda Cohen, had come up with. As a former grill cook and an avid home cooker I often daydreamed of doing an Action Philosophers style cook book — taking a seemingly complex subject and presenting it in an entertaining comic book — now suddenly here was that very project dumped right in my lap, and with a famous chef attached no less. It was just too awesome to turn down. I dove right in and last summer we made a 10-page sample chapter to help sell the concept, and it worked!”
Cohen and Dunlavey will be joining the ranks of DC’s Super-Heroes Super-Healthy Cookbook and that one page from the Untold Tales of Spider-Man annual with the recipe for Aunt May’s Wheatcakes in the summer of 2012, but as an appetizer to hold you over until then, we’ve got a few pages from the sample chapter, including an exclusive look at a step-by-step recipe for Spinach Soup:

If all goes well, you’ll end up with Dirt Candy’s signature Spinach Soup:

Or at least something close. Garnish with a side of M.O.D.O.K.: Reign Delay and you’ve got yourself a meal.

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