Written by Sarah Gailey. Illustrated by Pius Bak. Colored by Roman Titov. Lettered by Cardinal Rae. Published by Boom Studios. This book collects issues 1-5.
Joey is going to spend the summer with her wealthy boyfriend Astor at Haven of the 1%, Crestfall Bluffs. There’s a big party when they arrive and immediately Joey discovers the horrible secret of this community. I mean, the book is called Eat the Rich, you can probably guess what’s happening. Joey has to decide what life she wants to live: one of wealth or one of staying true to her morals. Whatever her mind decides, is it too late for her body?
The art and color are amazing and bring a summer feel to a dark story. The brightness of the beach and bonfires. The perfect bodies, faces, and homes that are all picket fences hiding secrets.
Initially I saw the twist coming, and it happens right away in the first issue, and wasn’t sure what to expect from the rest of the book. While we have seen evil one percenters before I’ve never read such a great examination of motives. The book is even better the second time around. There is so much dialogue that is loaded with double meaning. Brilliant foreshadowing and motivations that aren’t noticed the first time around. We’re absolutely on Joey’s side from the beginning and can empathize with her fears and debate. While she wants to run away, can she actually without repercussions? Will she ever experience a true moment of freedom again if she leaves? Astor’s mom was the new girl once and she takes Joey aside. Her rationale and experiences and revelations make sense within the story. Readers can see her disgust much like Joey is now experiencing, but also why she stayed. Maybe she can even talk Joey into staying. Along the way Joey is able to confide in Petal, one of the family’s staff. Petal reveals the other side of things. The staff’s motivations, her own reasons, and helps Joey to navigate this lifestyle. As Joey ultimately decides what to do, Petal becomes a much bigger part of the story and the.. Heart? Is it right to say someone is an X body part of the story in a story all about actual body parts? While Joey is the protagonist, Petal is the tether, the anchor, the connection to reality and happiness that Joey will need instead of getting lost in this world. Petal makes sure Joey doesn’t forget where she came from.
The story is perfectly wrapped up at the end and who survives, what is left of them, and who else is with them could not have been predicted, but I couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.