ZAK'S LUNCH by Margie Palantini


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A standoff between Zak and his mother over what's for lunch forms the basis for another situation comedy from the collaborators behind Piggie Pie (1995). When faced with a sandwich that's too hammy, too cheesy, and threatens to bring on mustard breath, ornery Zak clamps closed his mouth in refusal to eat. His mother insists, ""This is not a restaurant, young man,"" prompting Zak to daydream about Zak's Place, where he can order what he wants when he wants it. A suspiciously unmotherly waitress named Lou shouts orders in diner-speak to grant Zak's every outlandish gastronomic wish. Greasy ""moo meat"" with a pound of pickles on the side, skinnies, ziggies, and curlicue fries, pizzas the size of bike tires, and baseball-sized meatballs washed down with a flood of drinks are consumed by Zak and his dog George with nary a thought of stomachaches. Zak's endless appetite takes on tall-tale proportions, but the only thing getting full is the landscape of his fantasies. His mother's voice pulls him back to the impoverished sandwich, stranded on its plate, which George obligingly gulps down. The story is as thin and grating as Lou's voice, but the artfully skewed pictures have all the spill-on-your-lap fixin's of a two-fisted sandwich.

Pub Date: April 20th, 1998
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Clarion