Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Layman & Guillory
Chew kicks off the new arc, Flambé, by introducing a couple of new characters and taking the overall direction of the story into a mood we’ve not really seen before. The book deals with the apparent alien presence from the previous issue only somewhat but the effects are obvious in the actions of the characters and the tone of the environment. The book is as good as ever and this issue serves up an interesting and entertaining start to the next arc.
The issue begins with a restaurant called Mother Clucker’s and how it changes decade to decade as society changes its tastes for chicken. Eventually the bird flu takes over the restaurant and its surroundings look like a post-apocalyptic war zone. The illustrations during this sequence are nothing short of brilliant. Not just the details in the characters in terms of keeping up with the styles and trends as the times change but in the tiny minutia of the surroundings. For example, on of the newspaper blowing over a dead guy’s back reads, “Mel Gibson Committed” which shows just how the humor is laced throughout the book.
The new status quo in the book is that the government is focusing its agencies on the mysterious writing in the sky seen in the previous issue. This means Tony and the other members of the FDA aren’t really hunting down chicken sellers. Tony is looking for an interesting new character that went missing sometime after the writing in the sky appeared.
This new character is truly a “character” in every sense of the word. Migdalo Daniel is a voresophic. A voresophic eats and the more they eat the smarter they become. This is a bit of a double edged sword. In order to solve a problem all they had to do is eat. On the other hand, the more complex the problem the more they need to it in order to solve it. Some problems are really, really, really tough. The illustrations dealing with the introduction of this character are laugh out loud funny. However, this sequence sort of ends the book. No cliffhanger, nothing special. It just sort of ends with the introduction of Daniel.
The one drawback of this comic book is that it almost feels inaccessible to anyone coming in new. It’s not unreasonable to think someone might be picking up this issue for the first time and there isn’t so much as an introduction to the main character and the epidemic and the subsequent banning of chicken is only inferred. It’s a small nitpick thing but usually the introduction is on the inside of the cover and it is not in this issue.
As mentioned the artwork is the true highlight of the comic. Guillory is in top form for this book. He’s got most of his favorites in here but it’s what he does with the new characters that displays his amazing creativity and skill. Guillory is definitely pushing boundaries in this book.
I enjoyed this issue of Chew as much as any other. You never get a bad one. As is the case with most opening issues to an arc there is a lot of set up and quite a bit of unanswered questions. This issue felt like it ended just as the steam was picking up but without the aid of a cliffhanger. It’s a fun read and I’m sure the arc is going to be outstanding once it’s completed.
3 out of 5 Geek Goggles