Chew by John Layman, artwork by Rob Guillory
Not for the faint of heart or queasy of tummy. There are laugh-out-loud scenes and almost-puke-my-guts-out scenes. Definitely cannot read this and have a meal at the same time.
Since 2009, the series creative duo, Layman & Guillory, have brought us 50 installments and 10 collective volumes (August 2015) of this bizarre tale of a Chinese American FDA detective Tony Chu with a superhuman ability: Tony can bite into any once living organism and have vivid “recollection” of the scenes in that living organism’s life, including the circumstances surrounding its death. So, when he arrived on a murder scene, he is required to take a bite out of the corpse… But, wait, others also have strange abilities like, a food critic able to write reviews that make the readers actually “taste” the meal (including the terrible ones), a chocolate sculptor who can recreate any landmark in 100% accurate details, etc.
And then you have the U.S. Government’s top secret weapon, Poyo, a rooster with nuclear weapon power, other political conspiracies involving NASA and the aliens they deal with, and enough family and love drama to satisfy any soap opera aficionado. Yup. A crazy smorgasbord of gross but hilarious scenarios. I absolutely adore this series and can’t wait to read the rest of the collected volumes (planned 12, by mid-2016.)
One of the main reasons that I love Chew is my fondness of Guillory’s artistic style. And now I think of it, the series definitely fits #weneeddiversebooks movement very well — for older teens.
Meet the artist, Rob Guillory:
And Meet Tony Chu: