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Thursday June 4, 2009 7:52 am

Image Serves Up a Promising Dish with Chew




Posted by Robin Paulson Categories: Reviews, Image Comics

Image's Chew #1Ever since last month’s issue of The Walking Dead gave me a taste of John Layman’s humorously grotesque story, Chew, I have been counting down the days more vehemently than I do for Whedon comics (that’s saying a lot). After all, Robert Kirkman doesn’t put a preview of just any comic behind his widely-worshiped zombie saga.

Within minutes of immersing myself into Layman’s fiction, I instantly found myself actively falling for the cynical, cibopathic (psychic abilities that come from eating) Tony Chu. Forced to stick to beet consumption (the only food from which he doesn’t receive psychic sensations) most of the time, Tony serves as a police officer in an alternate America where chicken is illegal. The poultry prohibition works in his favor until he and his partner begin to unearth an FDA secret that conflicts with their department’s objectives.

In seeking out one suspect, a bite of chicken and vegetable soup reveals that there is yet another murderer within their proximity. It is here that Tony commences his sprint down the rabbit hole.

Although I wait the thirty days for just about every comic I follow, Chew was genuinely worth the wait.

Being that I am fairly picky when it comes to artwork, Rob Guillory’s skill far surpassed my expectations among my first-time reads. Chew‘s art recalls Gabriel Bá with a definitive hint of Guillory’s own intuitive flair. I cannot stop raving to friends about the precise colors that impeccably correlate with the moods set by Layman.

Layman offers a story so flawlessly distinct amidst a bombarding and suffocating genre without any pretense; he has given this genre a much-needed gasp of air. Beginning to finale, Layman prevents Chew from festering in clichés and presents readers a refreshing, provoking, and entirely entertaining new comic.

Bon appétit.

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