Morgan Spurlock handed over some tales he did not cover in his film Super Size Me to artists in the Dark Horse stable to create Supersized: Strange Tales from a Fast-Food Culture. Co-written for the most part with Jeremy Barlow, the effort integrates the theme of the film, going 30 days eating nothing but fast food from McDonalds, with a set of behind-the scenes tales that are so extreme in their disgustingness that the main issue of the film is pretty much lost in the comic book effort. Kids spit in prepared food, pick up food off the floor and pack it up for folks at the drive-through, spiders in a soda cup are drunk down by a kid and then burst out his nose. These gross tales are deep in the well of urban mythology and you have to wonder if any out-at-the-fringe argument can ever be used to reach a conclusion about norms, even if these extreme tales are actually true.
This is too bad, for the valuable message in this collection of stories is found in more subtle truths. Too many processed carbs are really bad for you. Fast food does not decay like other food does, making you wonder how much preservative your body can take. E. Coli is a direct result of poor handling of food and rush job lunches greatly increase your chances of being exposed. The good points of Spurlock's arguments are sort of buried under the headline; Let's Watch a Nice Drawing of Someone Vomiting. If the gross is too gross, the people who would learn something from the book will never get to that point.
The artwork in the work is outstanding. A super chubby NOT Ronald McDonald is particularly funny, as is the table of contents imitation of a food content label. "Serving Size 1, Servings Per Container 30". But stories of bad fast food workers who lick their fingers before picking up your food or a lizard head in the salad causing all the patrons to toss their lunch is just too bombastic. It drowns out the valuable tale. The puke is well drawn though!
It's sad too, because the underlying theme of both the film Super Size Me and this book is valid. Lay off the sugar, eat fresher food, do not over consume. The book remains a good read, especially of you like gross apocryphal tales, but it, much like the film it is based off, chimes too hard on lower humor. By the way, for an interesting perspective on food and fast food in general, take a look at the documentary Fat Head.