Ekiben vs. Colleen Coover


As if train rides weren't already awesome enough, the Japanese make them even better with Ekiben.

With all due respect to alternative comic book fans, a meal in a box is always going to be better than comics. Ekiben is a specific type of bento box sold at Japanese railway stations. It’s a lunchbox specifically to be eaten on the train. Personally, all I really want out of life is to eat and take a nice relaxing train ride. I really can’t think of anything more satisfying, and a lunchbox designed for this exact purpose may be one of the loveliest things humanity has thought up.

According to this article on the sweetly titled website Japan Welcomes You, the Ekiben tradition began in the 1800s, when rail travel was on the rise. Ekiben boxes featured different things at different stations, depending on the local delicacies, so a train ride through Japan became a culinary tour. The tradition continues, with Ekiben festivals and awards. This article features a slideshow that is making me very hungry.

This year’s Ekiben of the Year was this “gyuniku bento”, with rice and sukiyaki.

I know great comic book art is a wonderful thing, but even the best comic book can’t offer you delicious snacks in a tidy little box. (Although I will definitely be subscribing to any comic book that proves me wrong. This comes close.)


Colleen Coover

Still think comics are for geeks? Colleen Coover's Small Favors will blow your mind.

In my mind, this has already been won. A comic book artist vs. a lunch box? When I was growing up, all I wanted to be was a comic book artist. But then I have to realize that not all of you grew up on comics like I did and don’t necessarily think they’re very cool. That’s fine, then I guess Colleen Coover’s contributions to The Amazing Spider-Man and X-Men won’t impress everyone (even though everyone goes to see the movie versions, I don’t understand this at all). Anyway, if that doesn’t say anything to you, consider the fact that Coover has done a lot to advance gay awareness through her lesbian-themed comic book Small Favors. Opening peoples minds through such an accessible medium is pretty damn awesome. Um, and it’s pretty damn hot, too. I was going to say it could help expand kids’ minds but I’m not so sure they should be reading this stuff.

Oh, don’t be a prude. Plus, what’s going to keep you more entertained on a long train ride, a bento box or a copy of this? And if you’re not a fan of Coover’s more subversive work, her aforementioned work for those Marvel titles should not go unnoticed. Marvel Comics has always been a bit of a boys club and her contributions to that mainstream comics publisher helps pave the way for more female writers and illustrators in the industry. … Oh, and did I mention that her artwork is fucking awesome?

Published in: on January 12, 2010 at 10:27 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] man, if I keep getting introduced to awesome comic books that I never knew about during my comic-book reading days, I’ll probably end up collecting […]

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