(Greentea Publishing, 2010/2012)
Recipes for the Dead:
#1 Dark Delight with Cranberries
Story by Vera Greentea
Art by Ein Lee
#2 Apricot Asylum
Story by Vera Greentea
Art by Allison Strom
I’m often amazed at the number of comic projects out there that I’ve never heard of. Wait…perhaps not amazed, perhaps dismayed is a better word. I would be amazed if all good comics were to pass by me on a conveyor, waiting to be picked up and read. That doesn’t happen. So, with the great help of social media, I’m able to connect in some small way with creators, writers and artists alike, who make it possible to see things that I might otherwise have never known of.
Vera Greentea is one such creator. I “met” her through Twitter and her amazing comic Nenetl of the Forgotten Spirits, a three-part fairytale beautifully rendered by Laura Muller that tells the story of an unremembered spirit trying to be remembered once again. The storytelling is poignant. I was amazed that this was coming from a first time creator.
Ah…dummy, use the Internet for something other than Dr. Who episodes and recaps of baseball games. This was most certainly not her first comic.
Ms. Greentea has two other books, both crowd-funded through Kickstarter, Papa and Recipes for the Dead. What a “dark delight” to find something else out there by a favorite writer. It’s akin to finding an album by your favorite band; a live album you’ve never heard or knew existed.
Recipes consists of two issues, for now, Dark Delight with Cranberries and Apricot Asylum, and follows the story of Veronica, “your average steampunk baker”, who is trying to keep her bakery in the black. She’s also in unrequited love with Elliot, the coolest kid at school. Veronica is invited to a housewarming party, and conveniently finds a cookbook sitting on the counter, one with amazing recipes that she absconds with. What might seem like a mundane story of young love and bakeries is certainly spiced up with shadowy creatures in the corners and a grandmotherly type who looks as if she’d like you in her cook pot. Think of it as The Neverending Story with cookies. (Ok. Not really. But both people stole a book, and I will hang my apron on that tenuous thread.)
One of the beauties I’ve found with Ms. Greentea’s work is her ability to find great artists, who are able to compliment her work with their own. Dark Delight has a definite Manga feel to the art, the large expressive eyes; the very pacing of it seems like a Manga book. This one was drawn by Ein Lee and is expertly done. Apricot Asylum has Allison Strom (Low Orbit Anthology #1) on the art, and keeps the look of the character while adding a more painted look to the colors. This book relies heavily on the art, for there is very little dialogue, but both are solid comics.
I bring this all up because Vera Greentea has just launched a new Kickstarter campaign to bring issue #3 of Recipes for the Dead to life. The new book, Steam Minted Meringue, promised more of the same, including the return of Allison Strom. What are the shadow-creatures? Who is the witch? Who is that dark person at the end of issue #2? Head over to Kickstarter and pledge a little dough, or help spread the word.
Vera Greentea has proven she has the chops to make a beautiful, compelling comic. And the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Which, judging by the Recipes for the Dead version, will cause you to puddle up in your seat and forget all past woes.
You can visit Vera’s Kickstarter page HERE.
Brad Gischia is a writer and artist living in the frozen Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He is married and has three kids and a dog, who all put up with his incessant prattling about comic books.