Human beings are great at doing two things when we’re sad: wallowing in music and overindulging in food. We all have our go-tos—ABBA and chocolate covered pretzels? Excellent choice. Early Cure and ice cream? Gets the job DONE, son. Belle and Sebastian and Doritos? Awesome and awesome and awesome.
When getting over a breakup herself, artist Automne Zinng spent a lot of time making art while listening to music. Zinng is a primitivist illustrator and surrealist photographer who attracted some attention a few years back with a series of drawings called “Goths Eating Things.” I’ll leave the guesswork as to what that series depicted up to you. She’s parlayed that series into two cookbooks, Defensive Eating with Morrissey and Comfort Eating with Nick Cave, both of which pair drawings of those singers eating with recipes, many of which pun on those artists’ lyrics.
From her introduction to Defensive Eating with Morrissey:
In 2013, I was broke, living in Los Angeles, and going through a terrible breakup. It was probably one of the darkest times in my life and I felt inconsolable. I wasn’t working. I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t drinking. I wasn’t doing much of anything except writing depressing songs and listening to even more depressing ones from my youth. I found it curious that the bands that got me through the general malaise of being a sad teenage goth served as a type of sonic comfort food for me as an even sadder adult. Was I having a mid-life crisis?
The only thing that brought me comfort during that nightmare was drawing. I started to doodle images of Nick Cave crying over pints of ice cream, Siouxsie Sioux devouring tacos, and The Sisters Of Mercy stuffing their faces with Cinnabons. The more time passed, the more surreal these drawings became. Eventually, I started sharing them with others and everyone wanted to see Morrissey putting things in his mouth. Who wouldn’t? I obliged and started doing a series of drawings of Morrissey hoarding food. Those drawings became a zine, and that zine is now a cookbook.
Unfortunately, Messers Morrissey and Cave were not involved in the making of the books. According to the publisher, Microcosm Publishing’s Joe Biel—who’s broached this territory before in publishing Tom Neely’s fictional punk rock bromance Henry & Glenn Forever—“Morrissey was nearly involved. His manager really liked the book and pushed and pushed him but he’s kind of…humorless. We even offered to give money to his favorite charity. He eventually just stopped engaging. Unbeknown to us, Nick Cave’s son had just died when we got in touch so his manager said that he could not be involved.”
The recipes were crafted by Joshua “The Touring Vegan Chef” Ploeg, and accordingly they’re all vegan, so barring allergies, everyone can enjoy them (working out variations to accommodate other special diets like gluten free, nut free, kosher, etc. would be all up to the end user). Microcosm have been kind enough to permit us to share some of the art and recipes with you. We’re planning to try the Nick Cave cookies ourselves this weekend.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
They have Nick Cave skateboards now? I want one
Nick Cave meets Dr. Seuss
Every Day is like Monday: ‘Morrissey Gets a Job’
Siouxsie, Morrissey, John Lydon, Robert Smith and more get superhero makeovers