I've always felt that themed comic book anthologies are a lot more fun to read than themed literary anthologies. The superority is in transition: Even though you receive such cues in a prose anthology as a page break, a new author name, and a different title, you're still looking at text, in the same font, and it takes a moment for your brain to shift gears into the next world. With comics, though, you get what is obviously something completely different than the page before: It's a totally different artist, with a totally different story, and there's no better proof of that shift than a transition from, say, a scratchy, cartoony pageful of doodles to a photo-realistic rendering of a person.

It's hard to think of an anthology that proves comics' superiority over prose than Digestate, a comic book anthology about food and eating. The entries in here range from a long biographical account of watching a Slovakian man butcher half a cow to a cute, short romance strip about a carnivorous boy trying to pick up a vegetarian girl. The illustrations range from an adoringly rendered cooked chicken to cartoony scenes of people vomiting, adorably. And the politics of the book are all over the map, too. Lots of cartoonists use their few pages to rail against factory farming, or against meat-eating, but others just prefer to tell stories about how they learned how to make a perfect brisket, or the time they ate too much Raisin Bran and got really drunk. And it's not all non-fiction, either: There's a strip about a man with a taco for a head who always has to answer a lot of questions when he goes into a restaurant and orders tacos for lunch. (And of course there's a strip by a Portland resident who lists all the restaurant she boycotts for political reasons that includes the line "If you make a Portlandia reference here, I will choke you.")

This isn't exactly the kind of book you read if you want to make yourself hungry. You never know what you're going to get when you turn the page, and some of the reportage is visceral. (An account by a worker at a slaughterhouse for Morrell says working there was like always "being a fight with fifteen people. Animals were swinging at me as I was ducking and moving, attempting to watch behind me for falling hogs, and above me for kickers on the chain.") But if you read anthologies looking for variety, this is the book for you. In fact, this has to be the best comic book anthology I've read in years.