One Mad Dog

[Chew Volume 3: Just Desserts] – (John Layman, Rob Guillory)
February 20, 2011, 8:25 am
Filed under: 7 stars, Chew, John Layman, Rob Guillory

“Just Desserts” collects “Chew” issues #11 to 15. It had a lot to live up to after the first two volumes and even though the art is as good, this book felt a bit like a filler issue to me.

Volume 3 explores Chu’s  personal relationships from both the past and the present and also introduces his insane family. Although there is a story arc running through this volume it doesn’t pack the punch of the earlier volumes which made the book a less compelling read.  It spends quite a bit of time tying up loose ends and filling in back story. There are some amusing “Quentin Tarrantino” style movie references that were really well done (especially the art) and these were highlights of the book. Sometimes things read better in “Trade” but I get the impression that this would have read better in single comic form.  I am also not a great fan of comic books jumping around with flashbacks and the like. It may work on a movie like “Pulp Fiction” but often in comic book form it can be a little confusing or it hurts the flow of the story.  In this book it isn’t too bad and at least they make it very clear where in time the part you are reading is set.

Rob Guillory’s art seems to be getting even better with each issue and is a real pleasure to look at . “Just Desserts” is still a great read but unfortunately it just doesn’t match the earlier stuff for inventiveness and compelling story. [ISBN-13: 978-1607063353] . 7/10

[Chew Volume 2: International Flavor] – (John Layman, Rob Guillory)
September 13, 2010, 6:15 am
Filed under: 9 stars, Chew, John Layman, Rob Guillory

“International Flavor” Collects CHEW #6-10 and continues on from the dramatic ending of the first volume with our hero Agent Chu on a remote exotic island (Inspired by LOST) looking for a fruit that tastes just like chicken.  This book is a good as the first one and expands upon the crazy characters and plots from “Tasters Choice” whilst introducing a whole new selection of social misfits.  There are hints of cannibalism, vampirism and just about any other ism you can think of in “International Flavor”. The story is compelling and funny just like the first book. Once I started reading I just had to keep on going right through to the end.

Rob Guillory continues to impress me with his artistic talents and I am really looking forward to seeing his art in the next issue.  This is the freshest series to hit comics since “the Goon” .  [ISBN-13: 978-1607062608]. 9/10

[Chew Volume 1: Taster’s Choice] – (John Layman, Rob Guillory)
September 12, 2010, 10:59 pm
Filed under: 9 stars, Chew, John Layman, Rob Guillory

“Tasters Choice” Collects CHEW issues #1-5.   CHEW is a really good comic book with a great story, witty dialog  and excellent cartoon style artwork.   CHEW is set in an alternative future where a supposed outbreak of bird flu wiped out thousands of people and now chicken and other birds are illegal.  Chicken is the new vice and there is a huge business selling the stuff on the black market.

The star of the book, Tony Chu,  is a detective working for the FDA who have taken over as the most powerful law enforcement agency on the planet. Tony has a special talent. If he eats something he can see the foods complete history and he uses his talent on murder victims to find out who killed them. As if this was not bad enough, Tony is saddled with a boss that hates him so much that  he finds him the most disgusting, gruesome and bizarre corpses to munch on. The icing on the cake for CHEW is the fantastic array of socially deformed or just plain strange supporting  characters.

The main story line and subplots are very clever and this is one of those books that is almost impossible not to read through in one sitting. The whole story is gory but light hearted and amusing  and some bits are plain “laugh out loud” funny.  It’s printed on good quality paper and the art is a joy to behold, So often books that are hyped up as much as this one are a disappointment but this one truly deserves its plaudits. [ISBN-13: 978-1607061595]. 9/10