Yummy by G. Neri illustrated by Randy DuBurke

In 1994 Robert “Yummy” Sandifer was making a name for himself on the streets of Chicago. But, it wasn’t a good name. For those who knew Yummy knew he was as sweet as those candy treats he loved so much (hence the nickname). But for those who didn’t know him personally knew him as nothing more than a gangster thug, and a dangerous one.

Yummy was the youngest member of Chicago’s notorious gang The Black Disciples, and due to his small stature he was able to get away with things that other members couldn’t pull off – like stealing luxury cars.

But when Yummy opened fire on a busy Chicago street, taking the life of an innocent girl – Shavon Dean – all eyes were on him.  But who will be the first to get their hands on him – the Chicago Police Department, or one of his fellow Disciples?

G. Neri, author of Yummy, has shed new light on an event long forgotten about. In graphic novel format this book speaks volumes to its audience. Neri has written not only about gang life, and the life of a troubled youth, but has written about the realities that may kids like Yummy have faced and still do.

Told through the eyes of a fictionalized character, Neri seems to have no problems with weaving fact with fiction. He does it so effortless readers will be able to read and understand this story as if it were being portrayed through their own eyes. But what really brings Yummy to life is Randy Duburke’s illustrations. Illustrated in black and white the artwork fully portrays the grittiness of gang life, of violence, and of Yummy himself.

As visual as this book is, Neri and Duburke do a great job at portraying the violence off page, leaving readers minds to fill in the gaps on its own, making for a more powerful story. Readers will know and understand what is coming, but will not actual see it portrayed within the book’s pages.