Bloom – by Kevin Panetta and Savanna Gancheau – is about Ari, a high school graduate ready to move to the big city with his friends, but he has to tell his parents he doesn’t want to get stuck in the baking family; However, things change when he meets his potential replacement, Hector, and as the two grow closer, Ari wonders what he’s doing. really want after this summer. Meanwhile, Chef’s kiss — by Jarrett Melendez, Danica Brine, Hank Jones and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou — is about Ben, a college graduate determined to succeed as a writer, but when he realizes that life after college doesn’t guarantee not a career in your field of study, he finds a job as a cook, and what he originally thought of as a temporary position actually turns out to be his true passion, and in the midst of it all, he develops serious feelings for his colleague, Liam.
From their plot summaries, one can notice the similarities. Both stories focus on gay male protagonists trying to figure out exactly what they should be doing with their lives despite feeling pressured to pursue something that may not really be their passion. meanwhile, they also develop romances for the men in their lives that remind them of who they really are and what they truly love.
Of course, the plot of Bloom and Chef’s kiss — a person trying to figure out what to do with their life while developing romantic feelings for someone — is also something that’s a staple of countless coming-of-age stories for a reason. It’s something almost everyone has experienced, so the stories are inherently relatable.
This does not mean Bloom and Chef’s kiss are carbon copies of each other or the many coming-of-age graphic novels – that means they’ll appeal to audiences who are fans of that genre, and they’ll certainly appeal to fans of each other. Along with this, there are many differences that set them apart on their own and in the genre of maturity in general. For example, while there has been a boom in coming-of-age graphic novels, these are still underrepresented stories in the pop culture zeitgeist.
In addition to that, Bloom and Chef’s kiss break out of the traditional high school romance as well. Bloom — although it’s aimed at fans of the summertime romance genre – is a workplace romance, and the specificity of being in a bakery makes it an even sweeter story. There’s such a love for baking in this book, and it shows with characters, like Hector and Ari’s parents. He also captures the dedication, love and fun that can go into creating something with his hands, especially when it’s something to share with others.
In the same way, Chef’s kiss captures that love for food and creation; however, it goes beyond baked goods here. It’s not just what keeps Ben afloat financially, it’s what connects him to his friends, it’s what sparks his romance with Liam and, more importantly, it’s both his escape and his passion. Not to mention, as Bloomthe back of Chef’s kiss includes a handful of recipes, so the creators of these books, as well as the characters, share even more than their stories with their readers.
Also, both books address the same issue of what to do with one’s life, but they focus on different periods of one’s life. In Bloom, this is a traditional storyline for many young adult books, what do I do now that I’ve graduated? Where it differs from other young adult graphic novels that tackle this issue is that Ari starts off knowing what he wants, but he realizes, now that adulthood is no longer a fantasy, what he wanted, what he wants and what he needs can all be different. things.
Meanwhile, Chef’s kiss is about a young man in his twenties who realizes that, despite following the path he was promised would lead him to a stable career and a happy life, that there is no There are no guarantees in life, and what we are told will make us happy may be different from what actually makes us happy. It also shows that even when you are an adult, you continue to grow.
Both books have similar plots and themes, from queer romance to the importance of cooking and baking, to lessons on how what you really want in life can differ from your original goals and aspirations. For this reason, fans of Chef’s kiss should give Bloom a test, and vice versa. However, while they’re similar on the surface, they both bring something of their own, making these graphic novels a delightful couple for Pride Month and beyond.