Read the First Issue of Umami, the Delightful Fantasy Comic From the Artist Behind I Kill Giants

Cover art for Umami #5.
Cover art for Umami #5.
Image: Ken Niimura (Panel Syndicate)

Image Entertainment’s adaptation of Joe Kelly and Ken Niimura’s I Kill Giants just hit theaters, but recently Niimura has branched out into another fantastical comic series in Umami. The tale mashes together culinary delights with a magical world—and we’ve got the first issue here for you to read in its entirety.


Currently being published through the pay-what-you-want service Panel Syndicate, Umami follows the story of two young girls: Uma, a klutzy, cheerful girl from a small village who has a talent for cooking, and Ami, a future royal chef who ardently follows culinary tradition to the letter. Together, the two have to get over their differences in and out of the kitchen in order to save their kingdom from certain doom... with the power of delicious food, of course.

Umami is not unlike I Kill Giants, the story of a friendship between two girls that is born in the process of finding their place in the world,” Niimura said in a statement provided to io9. “Underdogs are my favorite kind of character, and in this story, I wanted to put the spotlight on the kind of character that gets the least credit in any high-fantasy story: the cooks. What if for once they were there not just to feed the main characters, but to save a kingdom in trouble just using their culinary skills? What if they used cooking in unexpected ways? Can you play with food even though your parents always told you not to?”

Check out the first issue of Umami below for free, and then head on over to Panel Syndicate if you want to read the next four issues of Uma and Ami’s delicious adventures.

James is a News Editor at io9, where you can find him delivering your morning spoilers, writing about superheroes, and having many feelings about Star Wars. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!