Chew #16

Story by
Art by
Rob Guillory
Colors by
Rob Guillory
Letters by
John Layman
Cover by
Image Comics

Sporting a cover that features a snazzy ad for Mother Clucker's, the latest issue of "Chew" sets events in motion to try and crack open the message hidden in alien sky-writing. Tony sets about looking for a missing F.D.A. agent by the name of Daniel Migdalo. The alien sky-writing has set many folks on edge, including John Colby, Chu's partner. This enables Layman to bring in Agent Valenzano, who conveniently (as can only happen in fiction) just so happened to work with Migdalo back in the day.

Valenzano clues Chu in to the fact that Migdalo is a voresophic, someone whose intelligence expands while he eats. Problem is Migdalo disappeared shortly after the sky-writing appeared.

Using a little deductive reasoning, Chu and Valenzano find the trail of the man they're looking for. The end result caught me by surprise, but as can only happen with "Chew" the surprise was tinged with dark humor. In a scene that brings to mind Mr. Creosote and the wafer-thin mint (with a slightly different end), Chu finds his man, but loses the contact he needs.

The detritus that Chu and Valenzano discover in Migdalo's apartment is filled with cartoonish detail. Guillory's style makes things such as this detritus more palatable, and quite comedic. Guillory has a knack for setting the pages up in minimal panel arrangements that allows each panel to be jam-packed, frequently spilling one to the next. This adds an extra layer of movement and action to the book.

Guillory doesn't just use characters bursting from their panels to great effect. He also noodles around with other visual compositions, such as the conversation between Chu and his sister. It's eight simple panels that break the page down into quadrants but, nonetheless, it is fun, playful, and perfectly suited to a phone call, much like the split-screen phone call effect used in television and movies. It's simple and effective, but played up in such a way that it almost feels like a fresh concept.

When the new year rolls in in just a matter of days, folks everywhere are going to pledge to change to exercise, give up vices, and change their diets. If they need motivation, odds are they can find some within the pages of this book. It's not the most pedestrian comic on the stands today, but it is one of the most memorable and different books. This issue in particular is an interesting slice of "Chew" for readers to latch onto.

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