Thursday, January 10, 2013

Regional Relationships 3: Yock Yok by Feresteh Toosi & Neil Brideau

After too many days, I hit up my PO Box and found this package from Regional Relationships, a Chicago-based outfit that investigates the idea of "regional."

This third installment of the series is by artist Feresteh Toosi and cartoonist Neil Brideau. It includes a comic, dishtowel and audio interview on CD.

The project explores Yock, a noodle dish that goes by many names, including "old sober."  The comic takes the reader through the many legends about the tomatoey noodles through interviews, tall tales and even some true crime. The last line in the comic is "It's old food, and broke people eat it! Go eat some!" But there is no recipe. It is cute, thanks to Brideau's art style, but slight, and left me wanting more.

The dish towel was my favorite element. With its combination of utility and fantastic elements— it places the geographical area where yok exists in a mythical context—makes it an interesting and enduring item that will remind you of what you learned every time you use it. I especially like Brideau's sea monsters.
The presentation of the CD led me to I expect much more from the interview than a less-than-five-minute chat with a friend of the artists who makes a vegan yock and appears in the last two panels of the comic. It feels tacked on to the project and actually takes something away from the exploration.

I am not sure how this project fits in to the rest of the project but I'd like to find out. Subscriptions are pricey, but there is a budget option for $30/year.

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