Rating: 3.5/5 – Mason Savoy decides that prison is not for him.
Chew, co-created by John Layman (writer) and Rob Guillory (artist), has been one of the more inventive and unique comic books since its inception in 2009. The story of a world where chicken is feared and outlawed and the FDA and its agents are one of the top power players not only creates some funny situations but hosts an eccentric band of characters as well.
Chew is centered around a cibopathic FDA Agent, Tony Chu. Tony can bite into anything (which Layman and Guillory certainly push to its limits) and gain a psychic sensation of what happened to that object. Guillory’s art, which has a cartoony style that is expressive and animated, exploits Tony’s cibopathic sensations to display some amazing panels and splash pages detailing the mental feedback Tony is receiving from his ability.
Chew #38 is the middle point of the 8th story arc, Family Recipes. The issue focuses on Mason Savoy, a former FDA agent who was recently jailed and details his reason for being put there in the first place – to gain access to a certain individual who happens to be located at the prison as well. The issue contains its normal zaniness and introduces more food-based abilities but I can’t help but feel at this point we are in a little lull. There is a somewhat big reveal at the end of the issue but for the most part the readers are getting introduced to more characters and more abilities on a monthly basis but the story is not progressing and resolving the open storylines and new items keep piling up. This may be a situation where the comic reads better in trade paperback format than on a month-to-month basis but as a monthly reader I am eager to get back to some of the more accessible storylines from past issues.
Layman and Guillory have built a very unique world in the pages of Chew and the series has hit various levels on the emotional spectrum from laugh out loud funny to leaving you saddened. Issue #38 moves the story further along … somewhat and I say that because it is never revealed to the reader what knowledge Savoy gains from his stint in prison. When this book is good, it is one of the best books on the shelf. In my opinion this issue left me waiting patiently to get some resolution to interesting story points that the creative team has intrigued its readers with without any payoff.
Reviewed by: Jeff Bouchard – firstname.lastname@example.org
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