The Book I Think You Should Buy:
Chew Vol. 5 Major League Chew
by John Layman and Rob Guillory; Image, $12.99
Chew is an excellent comic – funny, unique, and very new-reader friendly, while also telling a very complex story that builds on itself in such a way that the writer and artist are constantly dropping little hints and asides to foreshadow where the story is headed. It’s not easy to put together a comic that can be equally rewarding for a new reader coming in with no preconceived notions and for a person who has read every issue of the series a couple of times.
Chew is about Tony Chu, a cibopath. That means that he has the ability to instantly know the entire history of anything that he consumes (except, for some reason, for beets). When Chu eats a tomato, for example, he knows where it was grown, who picked it, and what pesticides were sprayed on it. When he eats from a human body, he knows that person’s history.
When this book opens, Tony has been removed from the FDA, where he had been an agent, and has been demoted to the traffic division of the local police. He doesn’t stay on the job long though, as he is abducted by the ex-boyfriend of his current girlfriend, so that he can help him write the book on the sex lives of famous dead baseball players that he’s always wanted to write. This involves beating on Tony a lot, and force feeding him the exhumed bodies of baseball’s greats.
While all this is going on, Tony’s former partners are up to other things. His friend Colby is trying to survive his new assignment, with the USDA, where he has been partnered with a lion, and is dealing with he unwanted attentions of his superior. His other former partner, who betrayed him, is now trying to recruit Tony’s daughter Olive into joining his mission.
There are lots of great moments in this arc, especially the ending. Rob Guillory makes every page an absolute delight. He fills the book with amusing Easter eggs, and terrific characterizations of the cast. He and Layman are the perfect team, and together they are making one of the best comics on the stands. If you’ve never checked out Chew, you owe it to yourself.
So, what would you buy Were Money No Object?