"Hot Dog Taste Test" is a satirical and sometimes somber look at our modern relationship with what we eat.
Lisa Hanawalt, best known for her technicolor renderings of anthropomorphic animals, will release Coyote Doggirl, her very first full-length graphic novel, in the fall of 2018. But her previous work, including 2016's Hot Dog Taste Test, is already on shelves and ready for your consumption.
The BoJack artist's most recent book delivers an absurdist and incisive look at foodie subculture and examines our 21st-century anxieties around what we eat. The 176-page hardcover is a smattering of clever comics, inventive art, quirky food diaries and ridiculous lists that—like her other work—serve as commentary on modern life, and the silly, weird and sometimes touching ways we go about it.
Featuring everything you can think about food (and some things you can't), the watercolor cartoonist's work attempts to draw direct connections between us, society, and what we put in our mouths. From loving animals that we then eat to how we fill our stomachs and eventually empty them, there is almost no corner of the human-to-food relationship Hanawalt doesn't cover.
The book, essentially Hanawalt's stream of consciousness, features a number of painted spreads, but if you are of the shorter attention span, there are also brilliant one-page gags. Watercolor is unmistakably her preferred medium, but Hot Dog Taste Test shows off Hanawalt's other expertise through crayon drawings and pencil sketches, including a slew of snarky spins on brand slogans, such as "Subway: Eat a tube of food." You can also see view what Hanawalt believes are the cons and pros of breakfast before taking to the empty page dedicated to drawing your favorite foods in the most unappetizing way. Or, get even more interactive as you intentionally stain another blank page with food.
Hot Dog Taste Test is a thorough and engaging if sometimes only half-scribbled exploration of Hanawalt's thoughts on and pains with foodie culture, delivered in all the dirty and charming cartoon glory Hanawalt is known for. The carefully curated collection of artwork not only shows her combined love for anthropomorphized creatures, inappropriate humor, and the imperfection of the human condition but will help you find the funny in food.