Liam Cobb’s latest comic, The Inspector, tells the story of a Michelin inspector “travelling around the world, visiting restaurants to see if they meet the standards required to receive a coveted star”, he tells It’s Nice That. “It’s also a love letter to food programmes like Masterchef, which I watch a lot of; although they can be too over the top to take seriously”, Liam continues.
Published by Breakdown Press, the comic takes on the highs and lows of the jet-setting lifestyle of a Michelin reviewer, or to be more specific, the Michelin Man. “The Michelin Man works well as a protagonist, as I can project any ideas onto his vacant face” Liam says. “His constant smile is an odd contrast to some of the misadventures I create for him, but overall, I admire his optimism. When I first thought of him travelling the world, tasting exquisite food, I could already imagine the final comic.”
Liam’s recent work has mostly been produced in black and white, and The Inspector was an opportunity to explore colour, and how it might integrate with the delicate line work integral to his drawings. The comic was printed by Risograph studio PageMasters, in blue, yellow and fluoro pink, which Liam chose because of their potential range, “particularly some nice oranges, peaches and shades of green”. “The Risograph can print colours that create interesting patterns and textures when playing with opacity, and blend nicely when layered on top of one another” says Liam. “The hazy vibe comes through from the light colour palette and the use of fades, which create sunsets and give the comic the feel of twilight.”
A sort-of comedy of manners, The Inspector’s complex compositions are packed with atmosphere and humour, underpinned by Liam’s enviable eye for detail. In the comic, he manages to communicate both the scale and grandeur of the “vague European landscapes” he depicts; and the details of posture, manner and expression we associate with the fancier side of life. “The luxury lifestyle, in my mind, goes hand in hand with this kind of dining. As well as being pompous, I also found the affluence of these people or their ideals to be a source of amusement” Liam says. “Of course, it isn’t just Michelin star restaurants that are ripe for a bit of ridicule, but it’s a good place to start.”
About the Author
Billie studied illustration at Camberwell College of Art before completing an MA in Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art. She joined It’s Nice That as a Freelance Editorial Assistant back in January 2015 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis.