Chew on this!
I have a hard time remembering from one month to the next what’s happening in a comic book series. Much to the dismay of my “dealer” Brian at Detroit Comics, I’ve been switching all of my reading over from single issues to collections. It’s easier for me to follow an entire story arc in one sitting than straining my brain to remember what happened a month ago (or longer in the case of most comics).
I’ve never been a huge fan of superheroes unless there was some sort of different take on them like in Astro City, Watchmen, The Boys or Top Ten. More so than not being appealing to me story-wise, I don’t have a lot of interest in a never ending tale that goes on and on and on. When I was growing up, my mom watched Days of Our Lives. The story lines that I’d watch throughout the 80s with Patch, Calliope, Roman, Marlena and all the others are just a footnote in the overall DooL universe. I like my stories to have a beginning, middle and an end. Most, if not all, of the comics I’ll write about on this site are either ones that had a run of about 60 to 70 issues or are currently running, but the creator has announced a definitive end.
Chew is currently running, but creators John Layman and Rob Guillory have announced that they’re only planning on a 60 issue run. Image is publishing the book and is doing a great job so far of putting out collections about as quickly as the monthly series itself. Issue 15 came out last month along with the third collection that contains that issue.
Comedian and friend Jackie Kashian recommended Chew to me. She steered me right earlier with Ex Machina, which I’m sure I’ll praise soon enough on here. Her batting record stands strong with another great pick.
Chew is the story of FDA investigator Tony Chu. Tony is a cibopath, meaning he can tell the history of anything he eats…except beets. The story is set in an alternate universe where because of the Avian Flu, chicken is outlawed and traded illegally more so than drugs. It’s a face paced story, with great jokes which while clever are funny first. Guillory’s art is whimsical and stylized in a way that fits the tone of the book perfectly.
What made Preacher my favorite comic book series of all time was the great cast of characters and how they related. Chew is setting up to be just about as strong. Chu’s love interest is food critic Amelia Mintz who is able to write about food with so much description that it can make the reader taste the food, which Tony digs since he’s on a diet of beets and “evidence”. There’s a huge cast of well drawn and written supporting characters from Mason Savoy, Tony’s first partner in the FDA; to the half cybernetic faced John Colby, Tony’s current partner; and even Poyo, the prized cock fighter.
Jackie and I aren’t alone in digging Chew. In its first year, it’s already won the Eisner Award for best new series along with two Harvey Awards. There’s also talk about it being developed into a television series. I’m on the fence about that one. I’m sort of let down by Walking Dead so far, but more on that in a later post. If adapted for television, I think Chew could work as an animated series.
Anyway, if you’re looking to jump back into comics, or you’re just looking for something other than capes, I highly recommend Chew.