Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and comic writer Joel Rose continue with their horror compilation series “Hungry Ghosts” in its second issue. While the first one had some stories that left something to be desired, this second issue, while only have two stories, cranks up the quality in both artwork, storytelling and horror.
The first story, “Salty Horse” (artist Leonardo Manco,) is about a wealthy Spanish landowner who tries horse meat for the first time. This causes him to become obsessed with horse meat to a scary degree. This story is more messed up than scary and has a pretty crazy message. The art is great especially when we see horse’s heads on a platter. Those parts will haunt anyone who looks at them for too long.
The second story, “The Heads” (art by Mateus Santolouco,) is about an apprentice chef whose dies suddenly. He gets picked up by a guy who has a nice trattoria and is told he can live with him and his other employees. However, since this is horror, something is afoot. This is the better and is the longer story. The setup is wonderful: we do get emotionally involved with the main lead and the trattoria and everyone in it seem harmless and normal. That is why when the reveal happens it is that much more shocking.
Another thing “The Heads” does right is what happens to the apprentice. Most people assume one thing or another will happen to him after he finds out the truth. However, what does happen is irony in a messed-up way. The artwork also helps with this narrative. The character designs are fantastic, especially the monsters. These things, like the horses in the previous story, will give certain people nightmares.
“Hungry Ghosts #2” is much improved from issue one. The stories are much better written and are scarier. The art has also improved which is another plus for this issue.