Saturday, December 5, 2009


by Graphic-Guy (NWM Staff Writer)

Sometime, someone (most likely during the McCarthy era) proclaimed if you’re fully puberty’d you are NOT ALLOWED to appreciate pictures that have bubbles and words. The other big stumbling block for comic books are that most people think they are only about superheroes in spandex. Which was true back in the 80s. A genre that accounted for 99.8% of all comics. 20 years later that number has significantly dropped to 99.3%. One such “non-hero” book which has been gaining lots of notoriety in the comics industry this year is CHEW, from Image comics.

The series is written by John Layman and illustrated by Rob Guillory. Probably the biggest reason behind the success of this book has to be the concept. It takes place in an altered version of our present day. In this universe the Bird Flu had literally become a pandemic wiping out 100s of millions of people worldwide. As a result the FDA outlawed chicken in the United States. Which (not unlike alcohol prohibition) forced people to open underground clubs that illegally serve this flavorful fowl. One person trying to crack down on these criminals to the best of his ability is FDA agent, Tony Chu. What makes Chu special is he is also a cibopathic. That’s the ability to get a psychic impression from anything eaten (except beets). If Tony eats a hamburger, he’ll see and feel everything done to that cow. He samples of some illegal chicken, he can see the smugglers faces. Needless to say Agent Chu is a very valuable commodity on the force that's made lots of friends and even more enemies.

All in all CHEW has the perfect balance of humor, action and gore. Guillory’s graphic cartoony style (see below) is a great fit for the crazy plotlines. It also totally syncs up with how Layman writes these characters. If you’re looking for an incredible mature story that’ll pretty much keep you guessing to the very last frame, cast your aspersions aside and pick up the trade of the first CHEW story arc (Taster’s Choice). Now available at Amazon for only $9.99

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