A few weeks ago Matt Kirschenbaum spoke about Len Deighton, the British spy novelist whose Bomber (1970) is considered the first novel written on a word processor. Len Deighton was also a fairly prolific cookbook author. But Deighton didn’t write his cookbooks on a word processor. In fact,  he did quite the opposite: he illustrated most of his recipes in comic strip form. The recipes appeared in a regular column in the London Observer as “cookstrips” and then in several cookbooks throughout the sixties and seventies.   I’m a huge fan of his cookbooks and thought I’d share some of his strips here. Deighton’s cookbooks also demonstrate that while he might’ve embraced technology in some areas of his work, he was open to many forms of literacy and communication.




6 thoughts on “Cookstrips

  1. Abraham Samuel Shiff

    Beautiful. A to communicate that appears simple, but is really complicated. A mix of words in alphabet and words in pictograms. The challenge becomes how to capture for analysis using ‘digital humanities’ tools.

    Thank you for sharing, Rebecca.


  2. Rebecca Federman Post author

    Hi Gioia,

    The Cookstrip Cookbook, The Action Cookbook, and Ou est le Garlic? are some of Deighton’s cookbook titles. NYPL has copies of all of them, but you should be able to find them on, too. Enjoy!

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