It all started back in August of 2011 with a post on r/pics titled “2am Chili.”
The recipe for delicious-looking chili in 29 panels became an instant hit, and blew up to garner 2,208 upvotes and almost 2,800 comments. Its appeal was obvious, too. A simple step-by-step cooking instruction doesn’t receive all that much excitement, but insert a fairly aggressive stick man who has some serious opinions about food and tells you that the spice blend you just made “smells like touchdowns” and you’ve got something special on your hands.
The man responsible for all of this was Tyler Capps, and that very month he made the smart move of creating a website dedicate to the concept. As far as his background I’m going to let the Cooking Channel introduce him a little more:
“A self-taught artist, Tyler is 28 years old and currently based in Asheville, N. C. After serving in the U.S. Navy for almost five years as a meteorologist, he was honorably discharged in 2007 and began work as a freelance graphic artist.”
That is all well and good, it really is, but what’s more important in my book, and what I think is what makes his site so popular, is that he’s very funny. Of course the Cooking Channel also mentions that “he has no formal cooking training”, which really adds to how he approaches his website.
The recipes appear to be delicious, sure, but what people really want to know is how easy they are, a fact that the stick man takes mild umbrage with. Of course they’re easy, cooking is easy, you should be cooking; go cook something. There’s this pervasive tone that everyone should know how to make their own food, and I’m very much into that.
For real, though, these are some easy recipes [clicking the image will bring you to the recipe page itself]-
This next one only had seven ingredients. Look at them, though, I want to put all of them into my mouth. And then some of them into your mouth. So we can enjoy eating them together.
Cheesecake. Man, who doesn’t like cheesecake? I’m mildly lactose intolerant and I would eat one of these alongside an entire gallon of milk is how much I like cheesecake.
What you’ll find scattered throughout each of the recipes above, and the many more on his website, is that it’s not just food that’s important, so is keeping yourself busy. Take a Skyrim break as you wait for something to chill in the refrigerator, or watch an Indiana Jones movie. I said earlier that the guy has a strong comedic sense, but he also keeps things fun. The jokes are interspersed alongside the cooking instructions, but as a whole each recipe is immensely entertaining.
Capps has even released a Cooking Comically cookbook that, unlike the Epic Meal Time one, contains dishes that a) you can actually eat on a daily basis and b) won’t guarantee a long-lasting friendship with your local butcher. Though maybe you want the latter, I don’t know.
The primary reason I’ve chosen to devote a Fame Day to Cooking Comically is simple: more people should learn how to cook. It’s a basic life skill, and this is an internet resource [yes, I’m elevating it to that status] that can help people attain it by presenting recipes that are an actual joy to read.
So major props to Tyler Capps and his creation, here’s to more meals flavoured with a dash of pop culture references. That’s a winning combination for me, and for this blog’s unofficial mascot, Dr. Gregory “Thumbs Up!” House.