Saturday Webcomic: Rutabaga asks, "What if the Monstrous Manual was a cookbook?"

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What James Stokoe's Wonton Soup is to culinary science fiction, Eric Colossal's webcomic Rutabaga is to high fantasy foodstuff. This webcomic is the tale of a wandering adventurer who is driven not by heroism, revenge, fame, or money, but by a desire to experience all of the mouthwatering delights his magical realm has to offer. But the life of a dungeon delving chef is not a safe one. Sometimes it means battling dragons for their eggs, running afoul of hungry rogues, and trying not to get eaten by the very thing you want to prepare for dinner.


When the adventuring chef Rutabaga encounters a legendary sword lodged in a stone, he's not interested in the blade. No, he's hoping to collect the rare species of mushrooms that grows only on legendary artifacts. It's also how he crosses paths with a team of more conventional adventurers who are on their way to fight a dragon. Hoping to get his first taste of roast dragon, Rutabaga begs to come with them, and they find themselves impressed by the chef's knowledge of weaponizable flora, ability to brew up a mean pep potion, and autonomous walking cauldron. He befriends the warrior Winn, who introduces him to her king (who keeps a pet with unusual dietary needs) and the wonders of adventurer chow (barely edible slop). Rutabaga may not be handy with a sword, but his ways with a kitchen knife help him win friends and culinary experience points.

Colossal opts for a simple, friendly art style that works well with the silliness and genre-savvy of his ludicrous tale. Rutabaga is a plucky fellow, one who succeeds in part by chance and in part by his own foodie wits. Similarly, he's surrounded by a goofy but competent(ish) crew of characters who are ultimately friendly and always up for a delicious meal. I'm just waiting to find out if that good old standby of dungeon death—the gelatinous cube—is as deadly delicious as it sounds.




Another fantastic pick, Lauren. Just read through the archives, and it's bookmarked into the regular rotation.