Space Battle Lunchtime Volume 1: Lights, Camera, Snacktion! by Natalie Riess
Publication Date: October 25th, 2016
Publisher: Oni Press
Imagine a high-stakes cooking competition, set in space, against other aliens! This is the basic premise behind Space Battle Lunchtime. Personally, nothing sounds more exciting, and each time I explained what the graphic novel/comic was about, they responded with the same “wow, that sounds awesome!” response. Yes, dear readers, it was awesome.
Let me preface by admitting that I rarely gravitate towards graphic novels or comics for my reading pleasure. I can’t really offer any explanation for it, it’s just a fact with me. Yet, when I received a comic sampler from Oni Press at Book Expo of America (who are now calling themselves simply BookExpo), I flipped through a few pages and immediately wanted to purchase it for our YA graphic novel collection and read it myself!
The story features Peony, a talented “Earth” baker who is being overshadowed by a boss who doesn’t appreciate her skills. When an alien named Zonda beams down from space to order some Earthling food (which is apparently what hipster aliens working in the TV biz like to snack on), she immediately recruits Peony to be a part of their new season of Space Battle Lunchtime. Sweet Peony has no idea what she’s up against; word on the street is that she’s there to replace the previous contestant who mysteriously disappeared from the set and hasn’t returned. Her fellow contestants have zero regard for each other and actively sabotage each others performance on the show. Peony realizes that she’s going to have to dig deep to literally survive this competition, because there’s some nasty business happening behind the scenes. But she’ll get by with a little help from her new friends, Aris and Neptunia. Did I mention how much I love Neptunia? Because I do. She’s so badass with her close-cropped, deeply-parted alien hair and #girlboss attitude.
While the story takes a few pages before you are able to orient yourself in this new world (much like our heroine, Peony), once you get into the story, the ending hits you before you’re ready and drops you off it’s massive cliff! Cliffhanger, that is! I haven’t been able to find any information as to when the second comic is going to be released in paperback, but the Kindle Edition is available for download on Amazon.
I highly recommend Space Battle Lunchtime if you enjoy baking/cooking competition shows, space, or awesome aliens who know their way around a brick of Moon Butter.