After hearing a few raves about this title, and reading a few reviews from my comrades here on CBR, I decided to check out “Chew.” Damn, I’m glad I did. This is a title that is such a stunning departure from my preferred comic book cup of tea that I was determined there was no way it could live up to the hype. The hype, as it turns out, was understated for a title that is offbeat, zany, unsettling, and disturbingly enjoyable.
Detained on the island of Yamapalu, F.D.A. agent Tony Chu gets conned into helping the Chief of Police track down Poyo, King of Cocks, a prize-fighting rooster. The story gets a little more offbeat from there, as the tale of Poyo crosses over the legend of the Gallsaberry – a chicken-flavored fruit. The intersection of the two sets up “Chew” for months to come.
Layman delivers a story that proceeds apace, never stopping for recaps, reflections, or flashbacks. Instead, Layman builds upon what is here, giving a deep enough story to allow first-timers to understand what is going on. As my first foray into the world of “Chew,” I can attest that this issue doesn’t preclude others from joining in on the fun.
Guillory’s art has an odd spring to it that perfectly suits the silly, sarcastic uneasiness of this title. His characters come across as cartoonish, but that style brings more drama to their story. The exaggerated figures act more with their entire bodies, like an over-enthusiastic improv troop hopped up on energy drinks and pop-tarts.
The combination of Layman’s writing and Guillory’s art, along with the unapologetic story, unspoken jokes (seriously, how do they not degrade to middle school humor with the “King of Cocks” being dragged through these pages?) and over-staged drama make this a title I am seriously considering adding. Not only that, but I’m thinking the first seven issues might make a fine meal after this appetizer set me up.