Anyone who has worked in a kitchen knows that, despite how the television programs make it look, it is a stressful way to make a living that takes a toll on the mind and body. When most people are preparing to got to bed for the night, kitchen staff are usually ending their work day or beginning to clean up to end their work day. This means that at a time of the day when many people are asleep, chefs and other kitchen workers are trying to unwind after a busy, and often, hectic day.
Every person who works in a kitchen has his or her own way of unwinding. Some go for a few drinks, others watch movies while Rob Thibodeau chooses to unwind by spending a few hours drawing and painting.
Comics and Sci-fi are the focus of Thiobodeau’s work. His images are bright, cartoony caricatures rendered with a blocky ‘super deformed’ style. While some purists might whine that his work isn’t exactly what you would find in the comics, each of the characters in his pin-ups are instantly recognizable.
Thibodeau was kind enough to take a few minutes to talk with me about his style during the recent Toronto Comic Con, (December 14). “Yeah it has a cartoony look, but that’s just the way I draw” Thibodeau said in answer to my question of whether his style was deliberate or natural.
While his pin-ups do draw quite a bit of attention, Thibodeau plans to expand on both his work and style by releasing a comic soon called ‘Hell’s Diner’ through publisher Jailbird Publishing.
“I was trying to think of an idea for a character story that I can be passionate about when drawing,” Thibodeau said, “ so it just made sense to blend both of my worlds comics and cheffing. The book will have a lot of insider/trade jokes that I think a lot of people in the restaurant industry folks will love as well as Comic fans.”
While some may find Thibodeau’s style to be unusual for comic pin-ups, it’s hard to deny that his images are fun, respectful to the character and instantly recognizable. Which is a lot more than many (self–described) ‘serious’ comic book artists can say.
Judging by the work he has produced so far, Thibodeau’s ‘Hell’s Diner’ promises to be a fun visual title that fans will enjoy. Indy Comics Spotlight will be following this title with an update and release announcement as well as a spotlight on the title. You can follow artist/chef Rob Thibodeau on Instagram.
John Goodale is the author of ‘Johnny Gora’ (available through Amazon.com), and a number of articles here on TMRZoo.com. His monthly column ‘Indy Comics Spotlight’ appears here and through his blog Indy Comics Spotlight