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Indiegogo Spotlight | It’s sword vs. swordfish in Samurai Chef

Samurai Chef is an Indiegogo project that aims to create a comic based on a fake TV show.

That’s a little confusing, but bear with me. Mayamada is a T-shirt company started by a couple of self-described IT geeks. After some experiments that didn’t go too well, they decided their T-shirts would feature characters from anime-inspired shows on a fantasy television network. The key with something like this is coming up with a good hook for the shows, and once you have done that, you might as well do something more with it, right? That’s the sort of thinking that gave us Battlepug, after all — that Eisner award-winning webcomic started out as a T-shirt design as well.

Samurai Chef is a parody of Iron Chef featuring a monkey with a sword. Contestants vie to make dishes that will not so much taste delicious as withstand the destructive power of the host. And then an elite team of top chefs, who have been watching from a distance, come flying in on live TV to take over the competition with their own signature dishes — which come to life.

It’s a great concept for a comic, and the artwork by British artist Pinali sells it. That’s the upside of basing a comic on a T-shirt design — you start with good art. The creators have reached their funding goal, but the campaign goes on until August 29, so it’s worth stopping by and checking it out.

And maybe if the comic takes off, it will become a real animated cartoon some day.

Check out the preview page below.

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Marvel’s in the kitchen with Williams-Sonoma

Marvel and Williams-Sonoma announced today that they’re partnering on a line of bakeware merchandise, including cookie cutters, aprons and more, that will be sold by the retailer.

The products are available now on the Williams-Sonoma website, along with a custom comic book that features the Avengers fighting the Frightful Four while a shrunken Jarvis makes hamburgers (really). The 12-page comic was written by Marvel’s resident foodie, C.B. Cebulski, with art by Todd Nauck.

Products will also be available in Williams-Sonoma’s retail shops in the United States and Canada.

“Building upon our incredibly successful relationship with Williams-Sonoma Inc., we are excited to launch a great new line of merchandise at Williams-Sonoma stores, bringing the Marvel brand to another audience and product segment,” said Paul Gitter, President of Consumer Products for North America, Marvel Entertainment, in the press release. “We are working with Williams-Sonoma on helping kids and adults spend time together in the kitchen.

In the kitchen with Chris Onstad and a bucket of balls

Achewood in the kitchen

Achewood in the kitchen

Patrick Alan Coleman, of the Portland Mercury, pens one of the oddest cooking/cartooning articles ever when he records his conversations with Achewood creator Chris Onstad as they cook up a big batch of buffalo and yak testicles. Onstad’s characters talk about food a lot, so the strip has apparently attracted a following among the culinary-minded:

“What basically happened was that people who like cooking actually started following the strip.” Onstad says. “I came to Portland in 2008 to do a signing and cooks were coming in with these strips that had obviously been hung up next to their stations because they smelled like fryolator grease and were discolored.”

Furthermore, Onstad has self-published one Achewood cookbook already and is working on a second; the article includes several of his recipes. While Coleman’s enthusiastic descriptions of testicle prep may be wince-inducing for male readers, the article is an entertaining look at the creator and his quirks, and well worth a read. (Via ComixTalk.)

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