A review by dozmuttz
Chew, Vol. 1: Taster's Choice by John Layman
adventurous dark funny medium-paced
- Plot- or character-driven? A mix
- Strong character development? N/A
- Loveable characters? Yes
- Diverse cast of characters? Yes
- Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated
This was a hilarious and creative story that from the sound of the synopsis, I thought I would dislike. However, creators John Layman and Rob Guillory pulled me in and made me have a fun time reading this first volume. Chew shows the story of Tony Chu, a Philadelphia police officer who has a very distinct ability. Chu can get a sense of anything he eats giving a feeling on the journey the food or thing has been on. He eats an apple, he sees it grow and get harvested. He eats a steak, he sees the cows' demise and transitions into the meat grinder. In the book they call it being Cibopathic. In the world of ‘Chew’ chicken has been outlawed after a bird flu kills millions of Americans and so in turn people go into the black market of buying chicken goods. Chu and his partner are assigned a huge chicken dealer for two murders he committed but right before they can book him, they get stopped by a Mason Savoy. A special agent of the F.D.A and their new branch of food related crimes. He asks them to help him infiltrate a chicken spot, and after Chu takes a sip of the chicken soup (the Chef had accidentally cut himself and got a couple drops of his blood in the soup) he gets flashes of the most horrific killings he’s ever seen. All victims that Philly PD had lost hope to ever find. He knows the chef is the serial killer and after confronting him, they come to a stand off and the killer slits his own throat without giving Chu any more info. Chu wants to know all the victims so he bites into the flesh of the killer as his throat gushes blood and he gets all the intel he needs. The Philly PD fires him for blowing cover and being found eating a lifeless body, but Mason Savoy hires Chu to join his special unit with the F.D.A.
Writer and co-creator John Layman does a really solid job of writing a hilarious and engaging story. The whole chicken prohibition idea is so ridiculous, that it takes a certain talent to execute well. Lucky for us, Layman is just that and his subplots of food related crime adventures are an absolute treat (see what I did there?). There’s an overall theme to this first volume too, as it seems that a lot of people don’t believe there was a bird flu and that the government is hiding something from the public. It builds up great suspense and in general there’s twists and turns that Layman sets up that made me want to read the next issue ASAP. His characters are also written well and it all feels like a cool T.V. comedy.
The main attraction to it all though is artist and co-creator, Rob Guillory. I found his artwork to be super enjoyable and it was a great fit to the comedic story. Guillory’s cartooning is something I’ve never quite seen before and it all feels unique. It’s an appealing style that can strive with anything from comedy all the way to some gruesome stuff. I loved his character designs and his panel layouts that seem simple at first but do an overall great job of moving the story along. There’s small detail that he puts into his work and it shines on how great of a cartoonist he is.
Overall; This comic duo comes up with a fun and fresh idea that sounds way too silly but once you get a TASTE it makes you come back for seconds c; (I could’ve done a ton more food puns so be happy I didn’t lol).