As widely reported celebrity chef and host of CNN’s Parts Unknown Anthony Bourdain has died, and is being reported as having taken his own life.
Bourdain inspired countless people with his love of food and adventure, and over the last few years even indulged a teen-aged love of comics to get into the medium, first with Get Jiro, a graphic novel from Vertigo and the sequel, Get Jiro : Blood and Sushi.
He returned to comics this year with Hungry Ghosts, an anthology of food-themed horror stories from Dark Horse/Berger Books. The collected edition is due in October.
Bourdain’s collaborator on all of these writer Joel Rose, but with Hungry Ghost a vairety of guest artists stepped in including Sebastian Cabrol, Vanesa Del Rey, Francesco Francavilla, Irene Koh, Leo Manco, Alberto Ponticelli, Paul Pope, and Mateus Santolouco.
While the tributes to Bourdain are heartbreaking to read, the comics world has also spoken out.
We are deeply saddened by the news of Anthony Bourdain’s passing. He was a kind man, fantastic chef, and enthralling storyteller. Our condolences and thoughts go out to his family and friends. We are honored to have worked with him.
— Dark Horse Comics (@DarkHorseComics) June 8, 2018
I am shocked and devastated to hear about Anthony Bourdain. This is so unbelievably sad. He was brilliant,bold and so incredibly talented. My heart goes out to his family and friends. May he rest in peace.
— Karen Berger (@karenpberger) June 8, 2018
This one hit close. @Bourdain was not only a legend in the culinary world, he was one of us: a comic creator. I was really looking forward to tell him in person, maybe at @DarkHorseComics booth at a convention, how much I enjoyed illustrating his HUNGRY GHOSTS…
So long, A ❤️ pic.twitter.com/EhVEq7RpPl
— FrancescoFrancavilla (@f_francavilla) June 8, 2018
Bourdain’s zest for life, as evidenced in everything he did, makes his deciding to end it all thmore tragic and shocking, especially coming so soon after the suicide of designer Kate Spade. These two people had everything to give and endlessly enriched the world around them – they were shining lights in a world that needed them but it wasn’t enough…why?
Just this week troubling statistics revealed that suicide is up 25% since 1999 in the US.
Suicide rates increased by 25% across the United States over nearly two decades ending in 2016, according to research published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Twenty-five states experienced a rise in suicides by more than 30%, the government report finds. More than half of those who died by suicide had not been diagnosed with a mental health condition, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC. “These findings are disturbing. Suicide is one of the top 10 causes of death in the US right now, and it’s one of three causes that is actually increasing recently, so we do consider it a public health problem — and something that is all around us,” Schuchat said. The other two top 10 causes of death that are on the rise are Alzheimer’s disease and drug overdoses, she noted.
30% in 25 states???? What is happening in this world?
Depression is the black dog that never leaves your side, never lets you out of its sight. Like everyone, I get the blues, but many of my loved ones struggle with clinical depression on a daily basis and it’s heartbreaking. And in the US, our health care system isn’t set up to help people get the psychiatric and medical help that they may need. UNIVERSAL. HEALTH. CARE.
While we should all have the suicide prevention hotline nearby, both for ourselves and others – that’s 1-800-273-8255 – don’t be afraid to reach out. Depression breeds in darkness and isolation and if the worst thing that can happen when you reach out is you get turned away, the worst thing that can happen when you don’t reach out may be terrible.
We’re all in this together.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.