Chew is the kind of comic that I want to write, stupid, brutal and absolutely zany. The comics pull together a hodgepodge of ideas that feel like they came out of the mouth of a fourteen year old boy after his first bong rip. Being an avid fan of cartoons I’m smitten every time I get a hold of one of these books, it plays out like a love letter to shows like Invader Zim, Courage the Cowardly Dog and Cowboy Bebop in both writing and art. It’s fun to see such unabashedly colorful and dumb characters and ideas come together on paper and the result is something completely unique, mindless as well as bloody well done.
Chu goes solo in this issue to work on the abandoned Yamapalu island where the egg-worshipping cultist group The Immaculate Ova has holed up, and is working with the Navy there (while agent Colby stays behind to get bum rushed by a crap situation after crap situation, playing psychologist to your belligerent boss and getting beaten by a chesty old woman in a single half-hour is a bad afternoon by anyone`s standards… unless you’re into that sort of thing).
It’s cool to see Chu outside of the regular partner formula and to see just how alpha of a guy he’s become as he confidently leads a small battalion of seamen without thinking twice. Worth noting here is the Village People-esque depiction of the Navy men, all cut-off striped belly shits and bulging bronze muscles. It’s obvious and brash and made me laugh. Chew just doesn’t give a damn.
Also what’s with Poyo the cyborg chicken (I feel just as goofy typing that as you do reading it.)? I think it was supposed to be in the F.D.A. “emergency box”. The cut-aways were weird, but it was so over the top and loud that it caught my attention and I was cool with it. Minor Spoilers ahead!
There was plenty of action, watching Tony duck the telephone pole swung by Dom Partridge, the super strong Cibo-Invalescor and chucking the ball at him so he pukes up his strength giving snack was pretty rad. So was him menacing the Russian dude who he knew had a lead on the vampire that killed his sister. It was awesome to see Tony get that dark, the last few panels as he bites a hunk out of the man pleading for his life to learn how to pilot, “but you can’t fly a helicopter! I’m about to learn.” were super fly, this is Tony Chu on a take no prisoners mission.
Art by Rob Guillory is perhaps the perfect marriage of writing and illustration as it feels like the styles of he and writer John Layman were meant to go together, colors pop and gore stands out in the dynamically realized panels, this man also does a brilliant job with humor in his backgrounds, which I applaud.
I never regret time spent with Chew, the humor, the weirdness, the crack pot ideas the mature- audiences cartoon tone. These are man-child comics at their finest. Enjoy with some pop tarts and a beer.
Writer: John Layman
Artist: Rob Guillory
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: 4/17/13