Chew, volume 1: Taster’s Choice came out in 2011.
Was on the New York Times Bestseller list for a while.
Won an Eisner Award.
But I’m going to review it again here because I think it deserves a re-read.
John Layman’s story has always stuck in my mind as clever, original and weird.
Rob Guillory’s artwork is distinctive, stylish and beautifully realises a cartoon world where two cops in the Philly P.D. would sit up all night on a stakeout of a chicken speakeasy.
That’s right, you heard me.
A chicken speakeasy.
What’s the story?
There has been a massive Bird Flu epidemic that has led to a complete ban on all poultry.
That means no fried chicken.
No chicken soup.
No hot ‘n’ spicy chicken wings.
Understandably people are getting cranky.
And the chicken meat market has gone underground.
Hence the speakeasy.
Nice to meet-chew
Our hero is one Tony Chu.
He gets the life story of whatever he eats in psychic flashes.
Everything from fruit to pork chops.
Everything except beets.
So he mostly eats beets.
Until he’s forced into a job with the Special Crimes Division of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Then he has to eat whatever is at the crime scene.
Yup, so this central plot device sounds screwy.
It is kind of screwy.
But it works, trust me.
Getting a taste of the action
You’ll read Chew volume 1 in a single sitting.
The plot fairly rattles along.
His new boss hates him.
He’s on the trail of a murder.
He meets the love of his life.
No ordinary girl.
There’s black market chickyn.
There’s bad guys with bad motives.
All is not what is seems.
Did someone mention a “Upyr”?
See what I mean?
And that’s just the first volume.
There are 8 in total.
If you want to get a taste of this story for free then the first volume is available 100% legal and gratis on Comixology.
You can also keep up to date with the latest issues on the Chew Blog.
Oh, and Chew is another Image Comics release.