Stylizing Subversion in Hot Lunch Special 1

by Drew Baumgartner

Hot Lunch Special 1

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

I’m fascinated by stories where a criminal world of evil bubbles up through the veneer of suburban/small town life. David Lynch’s Blue Velvet might be the defining example of that particular genre, but the Coen Brothers’ Fargo is another great one. And actually, the television adaptation/reimagining of Fargo might be my favorite such story to date — the extra space afforded by serialized storytelling allowed the series to mine some truly chilling, truly bizarre moments while still keeping one foot in a recognizable small town world. Indeed, it’s that anchor in reality that makes Fargo more appealing to me than, say, Lynch’s Twin Peaks, which eschews normalcy in favor of anadulterated Lynchian weirdness. Don’t get me wrong — all of that weirdness makes Twin Peaks the masterpiece that it is, but I maintain that Fargo‘s more familiar setting is what makes the occasional brushes with violence all the more unsettling. That’s very much the approach Eliot Rahal and Jorge Fornés have taken in Hot Lunch Special 1, which relishes the innocence of its midwestern setting, even as its criminal underside makes a few key appearances. Continue reading