In a seemingly random manner, this issue of "Chew" hops forward, in case you didn't realize that by the numbering. Series writer John Layman stopped by CBR to discuss this a little bit, but not too much. Regardless, this issue is as easily approachable as any issue of this title has been. As billed on the preview for the issue right here on CBR, is this "a brilliant jumping on-point, or a pathetic cry for attention?"
This issue opens up with Tony Chu, cibopath and all-around grumpy Gus, in a hospital bed, unconscious and on oxygen, and his sister, Toni, prattling on about a run-in she recently had. The issue unfurls from there as Agent Valenzano shows up to visit Tony. He studies Toni, and tries to remember where they might have met, which sends the comic into flashback mode. That flashback leads to a current (future?) subplot that offers a few laughs at the bizarre situations that pour from the minds of Layman and Guillory onto the printed page to become issues of "Chew."
The trademark warped humor and off-the-wall concepts are as recent here as they are in every issue of "Chew" to this point, despite the fact that there are nine issues missing somewhere. This issue features the crew of the Farmington-Kapusta International telescope passing time with "the licking of psychedelic frogs." Oh. It also has fricken. Or chogs. Yes, astute readers who may not be too familiar with all things "Chew," it is what you think it is. Not so astute readers, well, maybe you should just pick up the darn book.
The humor is evident in both story and art, with plenty of visual funnies waiting on each page. The "skank x-ing" sign got a chuckle out of me. Sorry. It was just so unexpected. This sign appeared a few pages after a sign on the hospital door which reads: "Disclaimer: Some patients may die or not. . ."
Make no mistake; this issue is a big-time Toni issue, focusing on Tony's sister as Tony serves more as a bookend or framing sequence in this issue. Despite jumping into the middle of an event, the issue holds together well, offering up action, humor, and fun. "Chew" continues to find new ways to impress me, and the fact that we've got chogs in this issue only adds to my amusement.